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‘Mr Average’ locked out of the housing market

‘Mr Average’ locked out of the housing market

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 10/03/2017
First Published: 22/02/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The average house buyer of yesteryear is being locked out of the property market, it has been warned.

The average asking price of a property shot up to £230,000 in February, according to Rightmove, well above the average buying price of around £165,000 as recorded by the Land Registry.

Figures also revealed that a lack of mortgage lending is crippling the mortgage market, while a fall in prices from 2007 peaks has left many reluctant to sell their home for a loss.

This has led to a rise in reluctant landlords, with 2011 set to continue in the same vein.

Sellers have also proven reluctant to lower the asking price for their home, despite a lack of interest.

It means that the traditional path of many buyers is being blocked, and without a windfall 'Mr Average' finds himself locked out of the property market, unable to access mortgages that require a smaller deposit.

"The middle tier, traditionally the mass-market that includes 'Mr Average' is suffering from paralysis due to a lack of mortgage finance and insufficient equity to trade up," said Miles Shipside, director at the property website.

"Five hundred and thirty thousand mortgages were taken out in 2010, while circa 1.3 million properties came to the market over the same period.

"While not every property coming to market sells and not every buyer requires a mortgage, these figures show the clear imbalance between property supply and lenders' willingness or ability to find the traditional volume market."

While much of the country struggles, a few elite markets – particularly in London – are moving.

New seller numbers have increased by more than a fifth (21%) over the last 12 months and certain areas of the capital are seeing asking prices rise by tens of thousands of pounds per month.

For example, the average asking price for a home in Camden rose from £745,711 to £804,553 from January to February – a rise of £58,842 or 7.9%.

"This is further evidence that the more elite and southern based markets have some immunity from the effects of stunted equity growth and problems accessing mortgage finance," added Mr Shipside.

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