The housing market has passed its peak as house price growth slows to a torrid pace

Andrew Montlake, of mortgage broker Coreco, said: “The slowdown in growth we saw in April is likely to continue through 2022. We are now seeing real signs of a storm blowing. Inflation and the The cost of living crisis, along with the continuing war in Ukraine, is making buyers more cautious and creating nervousness among lenders who could see them cut their fabric as a result in the second half of this year.

Jeremy Leaf, a North London estate agent, said: ‘Further reductions in house price growth seem inevitable.

Nationwide’s Robert Gardner said the buoyant pace of the market was surprising given the crisis in the cost of living, plummeting consumer confidence and crisis in affordability.

A national survey of 3,000 consumers found nearly two-fifths (38 per cent) were moving or considering moving. That was higher than April 2021. “That’s very high, given that only about 5% of the housing stock turns over in a typical year,” Gardner said.

But the high number of buyers depends on low mortgage rates, which disappear as the Bank of England raises interest rates. Another 0.25 percentage point hike in the bank rate is expected on Thursday.

Tomer Aboody, of lender MT Finance, said: “With interest rates rising, buyers are rushing to get a mortgage now before further increases are implemented. As rates rise and inflation rises, a lack of confidence is likely to start to filter through, leading to a slow market easing in the coming months.

The impact of changing housing preferences is also fading. The share of buyers who said they were moving to get away from city life or find more outdoor space fell to 12% and 15% respectively, from 25% and 28% in April 2021, Gardner said.

The cost of living crisis is also putting new pressure on sellers. More than one in six (17 percent) of those who move said they did so at least in part to reduce their housing expenses.

Mr Gardner said: ‘We continue to expect the housing market to slow in the coming quarters.

Penny D. Jackson