ONS UK House Price Index – Walker Crips Property Income Ltd comments

James Allen, Director of Walker Crips Property Income Ltd, comments on the outlook for the UK property market following the publication of today’s ONS UK House Price Index:

“Today’s ONS data is yet to cast light on the current property market status, and an inevitable consequence of the health crisis will be a sharp slowdown in transaction rates that leaves a dearth of comparables even in the immediate months ahead.

“Liquidity in property has already been curtailed as evidenced via the recent gating of certain property funds, and there is likely to be a loss of appetite for risk across all sectors going forward. Meanwhile, mortgage holidays and cessation of renter evictions will help immunise the UK housing market from the kinds of dramatic price falls we have seen in traditionally more liquid asset classes.

“Short-term measures assisting those who are experiencing financial difficulties to increase their mortgages or otherwise release equity from their property would be welcome. If the plans in place to help those suffering financial hardship from the impact of the health crisis and the accompanying falls in household income are effective, this should help limit the number of forced sellers entering the market.

“Whilst frontline NHS staff perform their vital functions to limit the human cost of the crisis, it is vital that all industry professionals consider ways of limiting the longer-term economic impacts.”