2018 was a slow year for the property market. With fewer houses for sale, deals taking a record long period of time to complete, and property being on the market for a significantly longer period, the UK housing market was widely regarded as subdued in 2018.
Unfortunately, there looks to be more of the same going forward into 2019. Of course, the market will continue – unfortunate scenarios in death and debt means that properties will naturally come onto the market. People will still need to relocate for work or education, but buyers will have limited options on the market.
Strict lending criteria will continue to make the purchase of property difficult. With a rise in people renovating and extending their homes, the property market will likely continue to ´tread water’.
We did see economic growth in some areas across the UK last year. Cities such as Manchester and Liverpool, those cities in the North, showed promising growth. House prices in London however slowed.
Prices in London are predicted to drop by a further 5% next year but rise elsewhere. The performance of a school or the level of crime will have an effect on prices.
There is no escaping the dreaded topic – Brexit. RICS were unanimous in blaming Brexit for the relative slump in the market. They say, “uncertainty created by the Brexit process is causing buyers and sellers to sit tight in increasing numbers.”
With house prices falling as much as 30% from a pre-Brexit level, if we are to have a “disorderly Brexit”, the effects are clear. If the UK’s exit is indeed disruptive, then the fall in property prices could be up to 14% in 2019.
The transition phase post Brexit is unlikely to see a recovery, either, as well as those with property assets abroad.
Young people wanting to get on the property ladder will continue to have a difficult time. Stricter lending criteria, affordability issues and a lack of secure employment makes saving for a house as hard as it has ever been, especially in the big cities.
This speaks volumes when first time buyers were actually the most active group in the property market for 2018 according to findings from Hometrack. Government help to buy schemes will have bolstered this demographic, with 1 in 10 buyers receiving help from the schemes. A property investment guide will help for those looking to enter the market and invest in property.
To contrast this, those with existing homes, particularly those under mortgage, saw little reason to move. With the relative unease in the climate, property owners took a safety-first approach to the housing situation.
It is worth noting that the political situation is in a massively unpredictable position. The result of this is that, the UK housing market is particularly tricky to anticipate. Not many will have full confidence in predicting where the housing situation will be at the close of this year.