The number of people moving home dropped 42% compared to the first quarter of 2021 and the number of first-time buyers was down by 12%, according to new data. Whilst mortgage activity to be strong through this year, this will largely be driven by customers coming to the end of their fixed rate deals and looking to switch to a better rate. This contrasts with previous years when a significant element of remortgaging activity involved borrowing substantial sums of additional money, in many cases to fund further property purchases.
According to the latest data, lenders are now offering more fixed deals without a fee than a year ago and are charging less on deals that carry a product fee. The data also show that the rate gap between fixed deals that carry a product fee and those that do not has narrowed, and that there are more deals offering cashback than a year ago.
Residential property transactions totalled 97,970 in April, 13.9% lower than April 2021 and 10.5% lower than March 2022, according to the latest figures from HMRC. On a seasonally adjusted basis transactions totalled 106,780 - 12.1% lower than April 2021 and 3.9% lower than March 2022.
Average UK house prices increased by 9.8% over the year to March 2022, down from 11.3% in February, according to the latest UK House Price Index from the ONS and Land Registry. The average UK house price was £278,000 in March, which is £24,000 higher than this time last year.
CPI inflation rose by 9.0% in the 12 months to April, up from 7.0% in March, according to the latest ONS data. On a monthly basis, CPI rose by 2.5% in April 2022, compared with a rise of 0.6% in April 2021. April's increase is the biggest monthly jump on record and inflation is now at a 40-year high. CPIH inflation, which includes owner occupiers' housing costs, rose by 7.8% in the 12 months to April 2022, up from 6.2% in March.