House prices are finally building
According to the latest figures by the building society, Nationwide, house prices in the UK rose at their fastest annual rate for 14 months in January 2020. However, if it is due to continue, experts say a lot depends on how quickly uncertainty about the UK’s future trading relationships will last – as well as the outlook for global growth if the economy is to remain strong.
With the average home now valued at £215,897, Nationwide’s house price survey recorded an increase of 1.9% year on year – and 0.5% month on month. As always, it depends where in the country you live. In a separate survey by Zoopla, annual house price growth stood at 6.1% in Edinburgh in December 2019 - the highest among UK cities, with Nottingham seeing the second biggest increase at 5.2%.
Whilst it is not unusual for there to be a flurry of activity in the market in January, as many people put their house on the market in a bid for a “new year, new start”, some experts believe this increase is down to pent up demand, following the clear general election result.
Nationwide’s Chief Economist remains optimistic, commenting in a story published by the BBC: “Overall, we expect the economy to continue to expand at a modest pace in 2020, with house prices remaining broadly flat over the next 12 months."
What’s more, in the same article, other experts have commented that Brexit has definitely had an effect on the market, as potential sellers have “sat on their hands” as the uncertainty of Brexit unfolded – but it will remain to be seen if this growth is sustainable after the dust settles.
In fact, it will be more telling if, this time next year, after Britain has fully exited the EU and completed the transition period, prices remain steady or even keep climbing. Since the election we have noticed increased activity which has been confirmed by numerous agents – some say this “bounce” is attributable to the Boris factor.
If you’re thinking about a buy to let purchase, now is a good time to invest whilst prices, and interest rates, remain low. Also, if you’re thinking of selling up, or upsizing, the conditions are right to get a good price for your property – and even bag a “Brexit Bargain” on a larger property if you play your cards right.
If you would like some advice relating to your property purchase, either as a residential homebuyer or buy-to-let investor, contact Downs Solicitors to see how we can help.