Where’s the housing market heading in 2018? Most experts predict that prices will move sideways in large swathes of the country and only rise slightly in a few areas. Sadly for many first-time buyers, the majority don’t think a crash is on the cards as lack of supply, low interest rates and very low unemployment will continue to support the market.
What happened in 2017?
The predictions come after the housing market slowed somewhat in 2017 and a ‘two-tier’ market developed.
Prices surged ahead in previously under-loved parts of Britain’s property market, such as Birmingham, south Wales and the North West. In the capital itself, price falls of as much as 20% to 30% were seen in ‘super-prime’ areas, as well as reductions of 10% to 15% in areas outside the centre.
In other parts of the South, prices were flat or fell slightly.
Rightmove: ‘Two-tier’ market set to continue
The closely watched Rightmove House Price Index suggest that the two-tier market will remain in place this year as well. It forecasts price-growth of 2% to 3% in the low-to-middle price bracket, but expects more expensive homes in the commuter belt around London to fall in value by an average of 2%.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove analyst, said of the findings: “Home owners have had a good run, with every year since 2011 seeing a rise in the price of property coming to market… 2018 will continue the 2017 trend by being a real mixed bag of different price pressures, both up and down, but the net result is that we forecast another year of a slowing in the pace of price rises.”
RICS: Prices to grind to a halt
The highly respected Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors says prices will largely grind to a halt in most of the country in 2018 but with some pockets of growth remaining.
RICS believes the cut in stamp duty for first-time buyers will have little overall effect.
UK economist for RICS, Tarrant Parsons, pointed to a slowdown in the market, saying “From our surveys, activity is quite subdued in most places, although pricing has been more resilient in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and also North West England.”
Hometrack: Some cities in ‘mini-boom’
Hometrack, the online property analyst, believes some cities outside of the capital and South East will see a mini-boom, with prices rising up to 25% in places such as Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow over the next few years.
Sarah Beeny: Prices to rise, but watch Brexit
Online estate agent owner and TV presenter Sarah Beeny says prices will increase between 2% and 3%, but believes Brexit negotiations could cause ructions.
Nationwide and Halifax: Market flat or up very slightly
Of the two big lenders, Nationwide predicts the market will stay flat and Halifax says it will grow anywhere from 1% to 3%, depending on the region.
Savills: 1% rise outside of London
Southern-centric estate agent Savills takes a somewhat bleak view of the London market, saying prices will fall by an average of 2% in the capital this year. In the rest of the UK, it predicts a lower-than-inflation rise averaging 1%.
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Published 25 January 2018