The UK’s property market is set to burst back into life now that the recent general election has been, gone and resulted in a level of political that has been missing in recent times, forecasts property portal Rightmove. It expects average price rises across the country to hit 2% over the course of 2020 as buyers move. That’s more than double 2019’s preliminary growth figure of 0.8%.
Despite the optimistic outlook, which will please property investors particularly, a note of caution was also added. Rightmove believes a full property market recovery, one that compensates for a sluggish few years on Brexit uncertainty will take time and become a reality once Brexit is “well in the past”.
However, anyone considering cashing in on investment properties probably has a couple of months to wait. The action, and price rises, are expected to kick off when the spring ‘selling season’ gets underway from late February/March.
Rightmove’s data is based on the asking prices for 95% of the property coming to market and says that prices have remained solid over the past few years as a result of demand outstripping supply, despite the uncertainty. That has been influenced by sellers sitting tight – there was an 8% drop in the number of properties put up for sale in 2019 compared to the year earlier. Despite that, the number of agreed sales over this year has been down just 3% on 2018.
London and the southeast, where housing prices have recently been among the worst performing in the UK with market analysts citing the affordability threshold having been reached following years of rampant growth, is expected to see a more modest 1% rise next year. Regions further north, which have seen the strongest price rises in recent years having grown more slowly than in the southeast over previous years, are again expected to perform best with increases of between 2% and 4%.
Positive housing market forecasts in the wake of the general election also saw the share prices of the UK’s biggest housebuilders rise by up to 10%. However, some property experts warn that buyers and sellers could continue to hesitate until a trade deal is agreed with the European Union, delivering further economic certainty.
Savills has also released a forecast that is more conservative than Rightmove’s. The property consultants and brokers expect a UK-wide 1% average rise in house prices next year, citing suppressed GDP and wage growth as well as continuing uncertainty over the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU.