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Experts making sense of the housing market; drawing some conclusions despite uncertain times.

Byline: Vicky shaw

The UK housing market has been going through a confusing time due to Brexit.

Here is a look at what some experts and commentators are saying.

COMPETITION BETWEEN MORTGAGE lenders To ATTRACT FIRSTTIME buyers has been INCREASING A mortgage price war has been particularly intense in the first-time buyer end of the market, according to Moneyfacts.co.uk. But first-time buyers still need to make sure they can meet lenders' criteria to get a loan.

price has The number of homes on ESTATE AGENTs' books Is STILL Close To RECORD lows A monthly survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) found there were slightly more than 42 properties on average per branch last month, edging up from just below 42 in February. February's figure was a record low for this part of the Rics survey, which started in April 1994.

homes Take 19 weeks To sell on average It now takes 19 weeks on average for a home to sell, from it going on the market to the sale being completed, according to Rics.

House prices across the UK generally are expected by some experts to edge down in the coming months, but the longer-term trend is still upwards. But not everywhere is experiencing price falls - in Scotland and Northern Ireland, Rics says house prices have continued to grow.

Meanwhile, surveyors expect prices to generally be higher in 12 months' time - with Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales leading the way in terms of surveyors' expectations.

IT's NOT all ABOUT BREXIT - house PRICE GROWTH Is STILL InfluenCed by WHAT's HAPPENING In your LOCAL area The strength or weakness of a housing market can depend on many factors, such as the strength of demand and the supply of properties in a particular area, and how close an area is to popular schools.

While London and the surrounding south east of England have been seeing a slowdown, other parts of the UK have been affected by the impact of other factors.

For example, the Office for National Statistics recently said there has been some strong house price growth in south-east Wales "likely linked to the abolition of the Severn Bridge tolls".

demand Is BUILDING In The PRIME PROPERTY MARKETS The prime housing market, which includes homes in the top 5% price bracket, held up "better than expected" in the first quarter, said real estate adviser Savills.

There is a growing pool of demand developing among buyers who are taking "a wait-and-see approach", it said. This growing demand from buyers sitting on the sidelines could mean sales pick up when the political situation becomes clearer.

Savills says the prime market in Edinburgh has been performing particularly well recently, while Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol and Bath have all seen prime property prices fall annually.

In The MEANTIME, some sellers may need To WATCH OUT for 'GAZUNDERING' Gazundering, where a buyer lowers their offer for a home at the last minute, is becoming a growing problem, according to a recent report.

Some 45% of people surveyed think gazundering is a serious problem, up from 40% when similar research was carried out last year, the report from campaign group the HomeOwners Alliance, BLP Insurance and Resi.co.uk architects found.

Gazundering can happen just before a sale is set to go through, with sellers sometimes feeling under pressure to accept the lower price to stop the deal collapsing.

loan. the mortgage price war has been intense

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EXPERTS LOOK aT SoMe KEYS To The STATE oF The UK PROPERTY MARKET
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Publication:Evening Express (Aberdeen,Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 26, 2019
Words:588
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