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Don’t be scared by the market pundits

Once again, the real estate pundits are offering scare stories about the property market. The news headlines scream of falling property prices as scaremonger journalists outline how much property is falling in value per day. While this is always going to be a headline grabbing story what does it really mean to the person on the street?

UK Finance, a trade association which combines 300 entities including the British Bankers Association and the Council of Mortgage Lenders, states that figures for gross mortgage lending, in August were £24.2bn, up £1.2bn on July.

House purchase approvals from high-street banks also crept up to 41,807 in August, up 11pc on the same month last year, when the house market saw a post-referendum slump.

So, while the doom slayers talk down the housing market the reality is that house purchases are up!

Other positive indications include the rate of house price growth increased to 5% in August, according to official government figures. The average UK house price rose by £1,000 in August to reach £226,000, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. The increase took the annualised rate of house price inflation to 5%, up from 4.5% in July.

The biggest increase in prices was in the north-west of England, where values were up 6.5% in the year to August 2017. The east of England, east Midlands and south-west all saw rises of 6.4%.

House price rises have slowed to a crawl in London, which had the lowest regional increase with a gain of 2.6%.

The most expensive borough to live in in the UK was Kensington and Chelsea, where the cost of an average house was £1.2m. In contrast, the cheapest area to purchase a property was Blaenau Gwent, where an average house cost £82,000.

Property market experts blamed a failure to build sufficient houses for the continuing rise in prices despite falling real incomes.

Why in the face of his strong evidence do journalists post such dramatic headlines?

My take on the market is that property is still a great investment, sometimes the returns are slower than other times, but investing in property as a home is always better value than renting in the long term. For the Buy-to-Let market, I still believe that buying property and getting a return on your investment is a great way to grow an asset portfolio.

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