House prices 'remain firm' despite slowing growth

The number of affordable lenders able to offer mortgages to customers who want a high loan-to-income has also fallen from 27 to 22 in just a couple of weeks, suggesting lenders are tightening their appetite for lending at higher income multiples.

Squeeze on lower house prices

Manchester-based broker Jamie Thompson said he has seen more borrowers revising down the purchase price they are looking at in some cases. 

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“This means that those who were looking to purchase for around £300,000 a few months ago are now considering smaller, more energy-efficient homes around £200,000,” he explained.

“Paradoxically this could mean more people competing for properties at lower price points, increasing the prices at the lower end of the ladder more than the higher, making it yet harder still for first time buyers without access to the Bank of Mum and Dad.”

Nationwide’s house price index found the most energy efficient properties - those rated A-C - will pay £1,700 per year in energy bills, whilst the least efficient (F-G) typically see bills over twice as high at around £3,900 per year.

“While only a small proportion of the stock is rated F/G (approximately 2 per cent of those with mortgages), the challenges for these households appear particularly acute,” it said.

Some brokers have also said many homeowners could be forced to sell their home and downsize in the face of rising energy bills and interest rates which keep on climbing.