First-time buyer house prices in Wales 'could rise as fast as those in London'
A housing expert suggests prices in Wales' major towns and cities could rise as fast as those of London, where an 11% leap is expected
A Welsh housing expert expects price rises in first-time buyer properties in Wales’s major towns and cities to match those of London in the next year.
Spokesman for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in Wales, Tony Filice, made the prediction after figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) showed borrowing by first-time buyers 38% up last January compared with a year earlier.
Mr Filice said it’s now time for the UK and Welsh Governments to “cool off” with “unnecessary” stimulus packages like Help to Buy.
His call was backed by property economist Matthew Pointon, from analysts Capital Economics, who said the scheme offering shared equity and mortgage guarantees was stoking up already strong demand.
CML data shows the total number of home-owner loans last January was 30% up on a year earlier.
How do prices in South Wales and London compare?
Mr Filice, a director of Cardiff estate agents Kelvin Francis, said: “I think the RICS was quoted as saying in London over the next 12 months they expect house prices to increase by 11% and in Wales up to 7%.
“I’d have to say we’re probably on target with the London price rises at the moment (at the first-time buyer end of the market).”
Mr Pointon said with growth, the economy expanded by 1.9% in 2013, and interest rates remaining at their five-year low of .5% the housing market doesn’t need help.
“If you just increase demand, when you’ve got low stock levels of houses for sale, that’s just going to push up prices.”
Paul Smee, director general of the CML, said: “Lending to first-time buyers and home movers has continued its upward trend and this, coupled with growth in remortgage and buy-to-let activity, would suggest that all parts of the market are open for business.”