Downbeat pricing for government houses

Government figures show that annual house price growth in the UK has fallen to 2.5 percent – the lowest rate since July 2013.

The official British Real Estate Price Index is slower to report than most other indices, but reflects a similar story to others. As a result, annual growth in November was 2.7 percent, falling to 2.5 percent in December.

The Northeast was the worst performer, with prices falling 1.0 percent in one year, followed by London, where prices fell 0.6 percent. The strongest growth was in Northern Ireland, where prices rose 5.5 percent over the year, with Wales up 5.2 percent and Scotland up 2.4 percent a year.

The West Midlands was the most successful English region, rising 5.2 percent in December 2018, followed by the East Midlands and Yorkshire & Humberside, both up 4.2 percent.

Jeremy Leaf, real estate broker in North London and former RICS chairman, says, "This reduction in growth is not entirely surprising as the numbers show what happened in November and December when the Brexit turmoil was even more furious than it is now."

He points out, however, that the picture may have changed as the government's slightly historical raw data

"Since then, something has happened on the main roads that we've released some pent-up activity and even investors and developers have taken a more optimistic view than has been the case for some time," adds Leaf.

"The market continues to be underpinned by a lack of available real estate and very low interest rates, but in order to complete the transaction successfully, realistic sellers need to make their real estate in terms of price, presentation, or both convincing in order to be able to interact with the company less but more pragmatic buyers. "

Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson Stops, notes that it is noteworthy that "we still have to wait for a result of our future outside the EU and will only stay a few weeks until Brexit."

He adds: "Many branches of the Jackson Stops consortium report a busy start to the year as both buyers and sellers conclude that now is a good time to move, as long as interest rates remain relatively low. "

Will Tremlett, Senior Associate of UK Sotheby's International Realty, comments: "Although Brexit is clearly a contributing factor, stamp duty is the main contributor to the London market. It is extremely worrying that the government has decided to advance the proposed stamp duty on overseas buyers to London districts. "

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