The General State of the UK Housing Market
UK home buyers are being greeted with fewer choices and a housing market that is becoming stagnant. Could this be a result of Brexit or possibly the fault of an uncertain election year? The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveys recently released a report that suggests the slowdown in the housing market could be due to both election uncertainty and a shortage of home listings. They believe that one of the biggest factors affecting sales is the lack of choice that UK home buyers are faced with.
This report is leaving industry insiders to put the blame on all three: election year, Brexit results and lack of options for new home buyers. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveys is also considering stagnant buyer demand as a contributing factor making 2017 one of the slowest years in the past decade for the housing market.
As obvious as it is to blame the election year and Brexit on this downward trend in the UK housing market, some believe that the slowdown will continue to worsen as household budgets are strained. The Royal Institution of Chartered Survey’s report was released shortly after Halifax reported that UK house prices had fallen by 0.1% in April which makes them around £3,000 below their December 2016 peak. Across the UK, other areas are reporting even larger declines in house prices, as much as 0.4%. This has led to some estate agents and developers offering incentives including free cars to home buyers in some parts of London.
This decrease in prices and lack of available homes didn’t happen overnight. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveys states that UK home sales were already slipping after months of flat transactions. They are, however, optimistic as some areas throughout the country are reporting an increase in home prices with steady growth. Perhaps this trend will spread throughout the UK during the next 12 months.
Despite the gloomy outlook, many homeowners in the areas where home prices have dropped, still believe they will begin to grow once the election results settle down and Brexit becomes final.