UK House Prices. 2017 Predictions

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2017 UK House Prices – 6 Expert Predictions

What will happen to UK house prices in 2017? We look at six expert opinions

If you want to buy a four-bedroom property in London you need a fat wallet – but maybe not as large as a year ago!

House prices for large family homes in the Capital dropped by 8.7% in the last 12 months, according to property experts Rightmove. In comparison, property prices grew faster than in London in the east of the UK and the West Midlands, according to Zoopla.

In 2016 the Capital’s annual house price growth was 3.7% – which for the first time since 2008 was below the UK average of 4.5%. Source: Nationwide Building Society

So has the bubble burst in London? And are there still bargains to be found?

Well, in Radstock Street, Battersea, a new development of eight apartments will go on the market for £3.65m each in February 2017.

For most of us, that’s a huge price, especially when you realise it’s for a three-bedroom property. These homes will attract buyers who wish to downsize – homebuyers in their 50s – 60s who already own property in central London.

The concept of downsizing to a £3.65m home is a little strange by most standards, but the head of ‘search’ at Banda Property, Louisa Brodie, is quoted as saying “these realistically priced apartments have car parking and a porter”.

Is this a sign that London is detached from the rest of the UK regarding property? Has this always been the case?

Despite the general reduction in activity around London, the average property price is still a whopping £474k which more than twice the average of the UK as a whole (£217k). Source: Office for National Statistics (ONS).

But this slowdown has to be the result of the most significant change in the property market in 2016 – the 3% surcharge on stamp duty on second homes and buy-to-let properties. The rate for houses valued more than £1.5m goes up to 15%.

 

Stamp Duty Bands
Price band Standard rate Buy-to-Let/Second home
Up to £125,000 0% 3%
£125,001 to £250,000 2% 5%
£250,001 to £925,000 5% 8%
£925,001 to £1.5m 10% 13%
£1.5m+ 12% 15%
Source: HMRC

 

This surcharge in April 2016 led to a surge of activity in March of that year, quickly followed by a major decline in transactions the following month.

Price changes

The new charge, according to experts, together with a rise in ordinary stamp duty fees for £1m-plus properties since 2014, has created a greater impact on the UK real estate market than the Brexit vote in June 2016.

Ray Boulger from mortgage broker specialists, John Charcol, outlines it led to many homeowners with expensive homes deciding to extend their properties rather than move house. The result of this has created difficulty in creating chains further along the line.

Since the United Kindom’s vote to leave the EU, chief property economist, Ed Stansfield, from Capital Economics, is quoted as saying the market recovered “remarkably quickly” after its earlier cooling.

Other housing experts see the key to a buoyant property market being first-time buyers.

First-time buyers will “underpin the wider market,” says Henry Pryor – the property buying agent.

Our experts have made a relatively broad spread of predictions for the year ahead in 2017 – from price rises to price falls.

And housing economist at the Halifax, Martin Ellis, is hedging his bets with a rise prediction of between 1% and 4%.

Given that a purchasing a property is the single largest financial commitment in most people’s lives, they will look for certainty in their job and income before making a house move, as will their mortgage lender.