The UK property market – where are prices heading?

September 29, 2019

Speculations are constantly being thrown around in regards to the UK property market, and adding the spice that is Brexit into the mix has caused a tidal wave of confusion. We understand this can cause a serious amount of stress for potential buyers and homeowners alike, so we´ll squash the rumours and give you all the up to date information you need.

Contrary to belief, it appears that plans to leave the EU have not effected property in a negative downturn… Yet. It started off as more of a hiccup that has now managed to steady itself.

The latest report by Nationwide has shown that house prices are, for the most part, flat across the UK.

The figures confirm the average house prices rose by 0.6 per cent year-on-year in August. However, this only focuses on the UK as a whole and doesn´t offer any regional variation. If you look into specifics it appears that prices are falling in London and the southeast of England, but the more you expand that circumference, the stronger the growth gets.

These statistics followed July when the annual rate of property price growth was even lower, at a mere 0.3 per cent. Throughout the last nine consecutive months, annual house price inflation has all remained below one per cent.

Overall, the market seems to be remaining steady without any obvious peaks or troughs. There are no locations that are booming, and outside the very top end of the market, it is hard to argue that anywhere is crashing.

Currently, wages are rising faster than house prices meaning affordability is gradually improving. However, the optimum situation would be if the spread between wage inflation and property prices grew to five – ten per cent rather than the current three per cent, then affordability would be significantly increased.

It is worth noting that the mortgage market has also stabilised at a constant rate. Mortgage lending saw a solid rise in July, in terms of both the amount loaned out and the number of loans written. UK lenders approved 67,300 mortgages in July, up from 66,500 in June. This was the highest figure since July 2017 according to the Bank of England.

However, Jonathan Samuels, the chief executive of the property lender Octane Capital, said: “Based on this week’s high political drama, it’s looking like August could be the quiet before the storm. Sentiment could come under a lot of pressure in the next 60 days. It’s buckle up the seatbelt time for UK bricks and mortar.”

So while we are unsure how long this flash of property positivity will last, it pays to appreciate any kind of perk we can get during these uncertain times. After all, it shows that maybe even the storm cloud of Brexit has its silver linings.

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