Watch this space as in early 2015, I shall be looking into my crystal ball and making predictions as to what will happen with interest rates and property prices for the coming year. There are no guarantees it will be right but may just offer an insight into how the markets are looking.
So what has been happening in the mortgage and property world over the last few weeks?
Let's start with house prices where there does seem to be a difference in opinion as to how the market performed in November. Rightmove believes that house prices fell by 1.7% whilst Nationwide Building Society and Halifax think that prices actually went up by 0.3% and 0.4% respectively.
Where they all agree is that the growth from earlier in the year has slowed down over the last quarter - and this is backed up by the fact that mortgage approvals are 20% less than they were at the start of 2014.
However the positive news is that prices have risen by over 8% since this time last year. That is a good return by anyone's standards. Activity could still pick up again if interest rates remain low, unemployment continues to reduce and the economy stays in good shape. Fingers crossed for all of those!
The other good news has been the change to stamp duty rates and calculations. Please read my previous post for a more in-depth explanation of these changes but generally if you are buying a property under £450,000 then you will be better off. It is rare that a change in legislation actually benefits someone, so why not use that saving to have a glass or two to celebrate?!!
The Financial Conduct Authority have been sending out messages to lenders that could take time to filter through but should have an impact for existing customers in the future. Under the new rules introduced in April, lenders have adopted a "tick-box" mentality to lending money with very little common sense or discretion. The FCA have advised them that it is acceptable to use some flexibility to deviate from these rules in the case of existing customers who do not fit new affordability criteria. Could this slowly see some common sense filter through into the decision making process?
I doubt it but I will keep you informed if I see any evidence of this on a day to day basis.
All that remains is for me to wish you a great Christmas and a Happy New Year! Keep a lookout for the 2015 predictions and I hope next year will be a good one for all of us.