Experts have already started making their predictions for house prices over the forthcoming year after prices remained steady in 2017. There was a great deal of talk about house prices last year, with the media focusing on the number of new homes being built, the first-time buyer stamp duty axe and changing regulations for landlords.
Halifax managing director Russell Galley said he expected national house price growth to remain low, remaining in the 0-3% range by the close of 2018. He said these expectations were based on factors such as the way inflation has continued to surpass wage growth and uncertainty around the short-term future of the UK economy. Many experts are predicting that house prices will only see a small rise at best, with the results of a Reuters poll suggesting prices would rise by 1.3% nationally and drop by 0.3% in London, which saw a notable slowdown last year.
Zoopla said over a third of houses on the market last November saw a reduction in their original house price. Tarrant Parsons from RICS said the stamp duty cut was not likely to generate a substantial rise in activity though a slight improvement in affordability could be on the horizon.
Hometrack has suggested that regional cities including Manchester may experience rises of up to 25% over the next three years. Despite recent falls, London house prices still soared to a record high of 14-and-a-half times earnings last October and that prices in the capital had risen by 70% since back in 2009. He said house prices and earnings had to realign in London in order for recovery to occur.
The estate agents Savills said it expected house prices to drop by 2% in the capital in 2018, whilst predicting slight rises for all other areas. The independent property expert Henry Pryor predicted a fall of 5% in London and that prices would remain more or less flat elsewhere, with a 2% drop across the country. Pryor suggested that the uncertainty surrounding Brexit was preventing people from committing to the “biggest single purchase” of their lives, saying he expected a large number of buyers to wait “until the dust settles”.
The rise of house prices in Manchester has been linked to investors leaving London, with Belfast and London also being regarded as promising investments for many.
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