If you’ve been trying to work out where UK house price growth is heading over the last year or so, you may feel depressed. It’s also possible – depending on where you live – the value of your own property is causing frustration. Your house may have dropped in value lately. This is something new, compared to how we were used to seeing many house prices rise in recent years.
Growth in the prices of homes has been slow for several months. And the uncertainty over Brexit is certainly a factor behind this. But while prices in London are certainly lower than they once were, there are some positive signs in the regions. Many experts believe that prices will not climb again substantially until a Brexit deal has been agreed.
Modest fall in house prices?
RICS (the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) is respected for their knowledge of the UK property market. Their Residential Market Survey is used by the government, Bank of England and others as a barometer for the property market. Their latest survey, for March 2019, states that the lack of a decision over Brexit is still affecting the market. According to RICS’ findings, demand for housing was generally down across the UK. RICS records the number of new buyer enquiries every month. And March 2019 was the eighth month in a row to record a negative score for such enquiries.
RICS also said properties were taking a relatively long time to sell – which indicates a slow market. The average time for a sale from listing to completion was unchanged at 19 weeks. In the South East of England, a house sale took on average up to 21.5 weeks. People who responded to the RICS survey thought volumes of sales would drop further until July. Beyond then, they were more optimistic. The survey predicted that sales of homes would rise over the coming year from July onwards.
“Almost at a complete halt”
The BBC reported on house price growth back in January. Reporting on research by mortgage lender Nationwide, it said house prices grew at the slowest annual rate for nearly six years. Although there have been more positive signs since then, the BBC report said growth had “almost ground to a complete halt”. House prices were up just 0.1% per cent up from a year before and down from 0.5% in December 2018.
Major cities growth at “seven year low”
Property website Zoopla tracks prices through its Cities House Price Index. At the end of March, Zoopla reported that house price growth in the UK’s major cities had slumped to a seven-year low. The price slowdown in London had spread elsewhere. Zoopla’s Cities House Price Index recorded growth of just 1.7% in the 20 cities it tracks in the year to the end of March. This was the lowest level since May 2012.
Cities in southern regions are facing weaker price growth because property was generally less affordable. But the housing market is stronger in northern cities.
Richard Donnell, research and insight director at Zoopla, said: “The housing cycle continues to unfold at different speeds across UK cities. House prices and sales volumes continue to increase in regional cities outside southern England.”
Leicester among strongest for price growth
Liverpool showed the strongest growth in the year to the end of March, with property values rising by 5.7%. Leicester, Manchester and Glasgow all posted gains of more than 5%. These cities have benefited from rising employment rates, as well as affordable property. Prices in Glasgow only 7% higher than they were in 2008, reported Zoopla, while in Liverpool they have increased by just 4%.
Elsewhere, mortgage lender Halifax said house prices were growing again. But the bank reported modest annual growth at 2.8%, compared to the price boom back in 2015-16. Then, house prices grew in value at an average of 8.3%.
Russell Galley, Managing Director of Halifax, said: “House prices have grown on an annual, quarterly and monthly basis for the first time since October 2018. Taking the average house price to £236,800. The shortage of houses for sale will certainly be playing a role in supporting prices. “House price growth is now at 1.8%, an increase from the 0.6% fall last month. And back at the rate we saw from July to September 2018.”
It looks like there needs to be certainty over Brexit to restore growth in prices to the levels we have seen before.
The truth is trying to eastablish what is happening with UK house price growth is something of a black art. Some homeowners could clearly benefit from selling up in a bouyant market and relocating.
If you decide that you would like to sell your house quickly contact the team at National Property Buyers. One of our team will be only too happy to help.
Has this post helped you in trying to establish where house prices are heading? Let us know by leaving a short comment below. We would love to hear from you.