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Here at Downs, we quite often keep an eye on house prices and their effect on the local economy. Whilst there has been a cloud over the growth of house prices, could there be better things on the horizon for 2019?
In our most recent blog we included stats from Nationwide that painted a rather dull picture of flat-lined house prices and stalling sales. In more recent news, January 2019 marked a near all-time low on the past six years, as house prices grew at the slowest annual rate.
The result is somewhat of an anomaly considering there is otherwise a pretty solid economic outlook. More people than ever are currently in employment, there is strong wage growth and low inflation has led to lower borrowing costs and lower mortgage rates, potentially freeing up disposable cash.
However, building society, Nationwide, has voiced concerns that house prices had almost ground to a complete halt “due to the impact of the uncertain economic outlook on buyer sentiment.” There could also be other factors at play, such as the time of year. December and January are historically slow months for property selling, and, if the country maintains its employment levels, there is a chance that the housing market will pick up during 2019.
The last time Nationwide’s annual price growth was so weak was back in November 2013, when the country was still recovering from the recession. A survey by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) echoes the concerns, saying that the outlook over the next three month is more likely to be more of the same – and that this is the worst level for 20 years.
At least, if the sluggish house prices are due to uncertainty, it could potentially improve during 2019. Prospective house buyers may well wait until after Brexit before making their purchase. However, whilst this may cause a temporary spike in sales, it is also a possibility that the situation could force sellers to attract buyers with lower prices in the interim.
If you have any questions relating to the purchase of your property, whether residential or commercial, then contact our expert property team here at Downs Solicitors to see how we can help.