Britain’s property market "as glacial as the weather" as house price stagnation continues

31 January 2019

Home valuations have continued eek out a morsel of growth as the market stagnation continues.

Annual growth stands at 0.1% according to Nationwide Building Society. This is down from annualised growth of 0.5% in December.

Monthly growth for January stood at 0.3% nationally, up from -0.7% in December.

This means the average UK property price is now £211,966.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist, says: “Measures of consumer confidence weakened in December and surveyors reported a further fall in new buyer enquiries towards the end of 2018.

“While the number of properties coming onto the market also slowed, this doesn’t appear to have been enough to prevent a modest shift in the balance of demand and supply in favour of buyers in recent months.”

Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders, comments: "Britain’s property market is as glacial as its weather.

“Price growth has all but disappeared as the combination of patchy demand and limited supply freeze into a stagnant stand-off.

“All this despite some solid economic fundamentals; a higher proportion of Britons are in work than ever, average wages are rising at a decent clip and mortgages are cheap.

“But house prices are being weighed down not by the economy, but by the imponderable ‘X factor’ of property purchases – sentiment.”

Economic outlook “unusually uncertain”

Mr Pitcher says that near-term prospects will be heavily dependent on how quickly this uncertain sentiment lifts, but adds that: “Ultimately the outlook for the housing market and house prices will be determined by the performance of the wider economy – especially the labour market.

“The economic outlook remains unusually uncertain. However, if the economy continues to grow at a modest pace, with the unemployment rate and borrowing costs remaining close to current levels, we would expect UK house prices to rise at a low single-digit pace in 2019.”

Mr Hopper says: “Many would-be sellers are battening down the hatches, staying put and opting to wait until prices rise before putting their home on the market.

“Meanwhile weak confidence is having a polarising effect on buyers. Some are opting to sit on their hands until Britain’s Brexit impasse is broken, while other, more strategic, buyers are striking now.”



In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

What is Jonathan Hopper talking about ? Why would "would be sellers" wait until prices rise before putting their house on the market ? If you NEED to move, you put your property on the market. Waiting for your house price to rise, does nothing more than put the price up, relatively on the property you wish to relocate to. Nothing gained by waiting.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I've just ploughed through this managerial-style BS and wondered what it's supposed to be getting at? What do you want? I cannot see house prices rising as a benefit to anyone except the estate agents and solicitors. After all; if there is a rise in prices what good will it do us house owners? Nothing!

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