Home prices are unlikely to shift a lot during 2018, according to property experts.
Several property consultants, banks and building societies have all looked back over the past year and agree prices have increased by around a modest 2.5% – and that probably won’t change during the next 12 months.
They cite a shortage of homes, a chronic lack of housebuilding and continuing economic uncertainty over Brexit as reasons why the market is unlikely to change.
The last study was from Britain’s biggest mortgage lender, the Halifax, which revealed prices increased 2.7% in 2017 – compared with 6.5% the year before.
The Halifax says that’s the lowest annual increase since 2012, leaving the average price of a UK home at £225,021.
To compound fears that the market is stalling, the Halifax also pointed out that home prices dropped 0.6% over Christmas – the first decline since June.
A similar 2017 study by the Nationwide Building Society put last year’s price increase at 2.6%.
“Nationally house prices in 2018 are likely to be supported by the ongoing shortage of properties for sale, low levels of housebuilding, high employment and a continuation of low interest rates making mortgage servicing affordable in relative terms,” said Russell Galley, the managing director of Halifax Community Bank.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors claims house price drops are rippling out from London.
Economist Tarrant Parsons said: “Following a pretty lacklustre finish to 2017, the indications are that momentum across the housing market will be lacking as 2018 gets under way. With several of the forces currently weighing on activity set to persist over the near term, it’s difficult to envisage a material step-up in impetus during the next 12 months.”