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All eyes will no doubt be on the property market this year as Brexit starts to get underway. However it would appear that UK house prices actually grew at an annual pace of 0.5% in December – although this is the slowest rate in nearly 5 years.
According to the latest stats from Nationwide building society, Northern Ireland saw the biggest house price increases by about 5.8%. This was followed by Wales, where they grew around 4%, compared to Scotland which grew just 0.9% and England 0.7%.
The area of London, which has traditionally been an area for constantly soaring prices, actually saw a small fall in 2018 of around 0.8%.
Nationwide has stated that continuing uncertainty in the market has led to a dull economic outlook and that, in fact, house prices could stall for a little while. The Nationwide's chief economist, Robert Gardner, commented in a recent article that the severity of the slowdown was unexpected, but that once the uncertain economic outlook has passed, then “things should start to pick up to normal levels of about 2 per cent.”
Although, Gardner also added: “it depends on how we get through this Brexit uncertainty.”
Some property experts are hoping this could be the beginning of the end, however. Maybe now is the time for a surge in optimistic first time buyers, as well as those who are intending to buy with cash, who finally have the chance to purchase homes at a large discount. This could potentially help offset the figures and tip the scales upwards.
We will be keeping a close eye on all developments relating to Brexit, including the effect on the property market. If you would like more information, contact Downs Solicitors to see how we can help.