Annual house price growth in the UK remained below 1% for the ninth month in a row due to political uncertainty. The average house price in August is marginally lower than July but in positive territory over the past three months.
Before many of you groan and start to worry that your biggest asset might be plummeting in value, the key-word to remember is ‘static’. The average price for property remains in a holding pattern resulting in not much happening at all.
Robert Gardiner, the Chief Economist at Nationwide has stated that ‘although surveyors are reporting an increase in new buyer enquiries, the number of property transactions is pointing to a slowdown with the number of mortgages approved for house purchases remaining broadly stable’.
Although there are some fantastic deals in the mortgage market and record low unemployment numbers, many buyers are being put off by the UK’s imminent departure from the EU and are adopting a ‘wait and see’ attitude.
The average UK house price in August stands at £216,096, this is slightly down from July where it was £217,663. If there is a positive to take from the latest Nationwide House Price Index. It is that the average price for a UK house, year-on-year is not in negative territory and over the past three months, prices have risen 0.3%.
Marc von Grundherr of Benham and Reeves commented: “While the UK property market may have ground to a halt on a month on month basis, it is an admirable show of defiance to at least register some annual growth, given the seasonalities at play and the addition of political turbulence that continues to plague home seller sentiment.
With Boris lose at the wheel we could well see price growth continue to stall as many brace for what looks like an interesting few months. However, once the dust settles the likelihood is a consistent and strong uplift in property prices, if not this year, then over the next.
Buyer demand remains robust and we still aspire to own our own homes with this dream bolstered by the continued affordability of mortgage products.
However, while the Government’s latest intentions to adjust rules on shared ownership will stoke this fire further, the lack of address where stock levels are concerned will ensure prices remain robust regardless of the wider economic and political landscape. Even if they are climbing at a snail’s pace.”
Although many of the basic fundamentals for a strong property market are in place – low unemployment, low interest rates, attractive mortgage deals etc. An extra boost is probably what’s required to kickstart the market. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is, according to certain press outlets, considering slashing stamp duty. Industry experts believe that this will help increase housing stock supply and of course, boost house prices. Although 2019 is proving to be a non-event for the UK housing market, 2020 could completely change this.
Shepherd Ncube. Founder of Springbok Properties commented: “In our current position, optimism is important and where the property market is concerned we have a lot to be optimistic about. Price growth may have slowed to a trickle, however, it is still climbing and house prices themselves remain steadfast in the face of political headwinds, with mortgage approvals up and transactions still stable.
It’s understandable that many sellers are cautious at present as refraining from a sale now makes little difference in the long-run for those hoping to achieve a higher sale price. As a result, we will see many holding tight until the end of the year and this air of caution will envelop the market in the meantime.
However, the market will continue to tick over until that point and for those looking to secure a higher sale price right now, it seems as though the close proximity to a transport hub is your only hope to beat the Brexit blues.”