Property Predictions 2018
In its latest annual market report, the online real estate portal Rightmove predicted that house prices across England and Wales are likely to rise by 1% in 2018 – but expect there to be a further decline in London. Rightmove also reported that the average asking price for an English or Welsh home currently stands at £302,865, which is 1.2% higher than a year ago.
If these predictions are on track, what does this mean for current homeowners, first-time buyers and buy-to-let landlords in 2018?
Elliot Castle, Founder of WeBuyAnyHome, explains what impact these figures and forecasts could have on the UK property market:
CURRENT HOMEOWNERS LOOKING TO SELL
“Whether you’re a second-stepper or a homeowner looking to downsize, if house prices outside of London do rise as predicted, then you should feel positive about the market in 2018. London residents, however, should prepare for a bit of a rough ride – with house prices predicted to fall it looks like Londoners trying to sell may not be able to do so quickly; quick sales are something that may only be achievable if you are prepared to match competitive asking prices. Unfortunately, political uncertainty since the Brexit vote is proving to be felt in London more than anywhere else in the UK and has meant that the London housing bubble, as a result, has become quite deflated.
With house prices predicted to rise, first-time buyers could continue to struggle to get on the ladder. The recent announcement of stamp duty exemption for first-time buyers could well help some of these individuals – most likely those who are able to receive help towards a deposit. Unfortunately, those who are struggling to save for a deposit whilst paying high rents are unlikely to see an improvement in their situation.
With property prices rising across most of the UK, current homeowners looking to buy to let may be discouraged to buy additional property due to increased costs, on top of high tax bills. The buy-to-let market was previously very reliable in providing fluidity within the property market, so it could be that this area of the market now becomes quite stagnated. Whilst some may see this as a positive – that more housing will be available for other buyers – many will not be so happy, particularly if the property market is a key source of investment for them.
If Rightmove’s predictions are right then it will be interesting to see if the property market in 2018 becomes more of a ‘sellers’ market’ than a ‘buyers’ market’, which has certainly been the case for much of 2017. London may well be the exception to this, with sellers in this region potentially continuing to see their property decrease in value.
Overall, I do have some concerns that continued political and Brexit-related uncertainty could further stagnate the market. Whilst the government’s promise of investment into the build and delivery of new homes in the most recent Budget shows that they are taking the housing crisis seriously, I believe that they are still not doing enough to solve the housing shortage issue.”