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Building and protecting your wealth

Property Price Update – April

Tracking property prices is an area of interest for many doctors and dentists. Particularly this year as, with political and economic instability, concerns of a property market crash means home owners and investors are cautious with their decisions. Our monthly Property Price Update gives you a summary of what the experts in the market are saying.

This article does not constitute advice. Professional advice should be taken prior to acting on any part of it. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debt secured on it. 

What is happening with UK property prices?

According to Nationwide, the average property in the UK increased in March to £207,308. This is compared to £205,846 in February. Good news for anyone selling.

Taking into account seasonal effects though, house prices actually fell between February and March by 0.3%

Annually, prices in March were 3.5 percent higher, year-on-year, which was a marked drop on February’s year-on-year results, which showed one percent higher, at 4.5 percent.

Interestingly, the gap comparing average house prices in various parts of the UK, narrowed in March, to the second smallest gap on record. It is the lowest gap since 1978.

Still, houses in the south of the country are accelerating more than the north but the differential gap is closing, see below.

Source: Nationwide

Home ownership decline

Home ownership is declining, and now sits at the lowest record since 1985. This graph below shows trends between 1982 and 2016, based on a survey by DCLG.

Now 63 percent of people in England own their own home, down from 70 percent at the turn of the century.

Source: DCLG

There has been an improvement of home ownership amongst young adults in the past 2 years, partly thanks to the government incentive schemes to help first-time buyers to get onto the property ladder.

Interestingly though, there has been a decline in the number of older people owning their own home, with the private rental sector increasing 8 percent in the past 10 years. 20 percent of the population of England now rent.

It is unclear to what is driving, particularly older people do choose renting over home ownership. This chart below shows trends since 2004 and 2016.

Source: DCLG

Current forecasts and predictions

To this extent, forecasting future house price growth is difficult. For now, prices seem to be stable  and Nationwide predict a small increase in 2017 of around 2 percent. Other economists predict up to 2.5 percent increase in 2017, dropping to 2.3 percent increase in 2018 and rising to 3 percent in 2019.

These are just forecasts though and your personal situation could be different, depending on your location, timing and the property type. 

If you are serious about a property transaction in 2017, it is important to keep a regular check on the latest trends.

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