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Property Price Update – January 2020

Monitoring the housing market is very important for many, particularly those doctors and dentists who are looking to purchase their first home or who are investing in buy-to-let properties. Our monthly Property Price Update gives you a summary of what the experts 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’s going on in the UK Property Market?

It’s the middle of winter and house price growth seems to be mirroring the climate. December’s house price growth remained bleak at 0.1%, down from last month’s 0.5%.

As the year drew to a close, overall price growth in 2019 settled at 1.4% compared to December 2018.

The average house price in December was £215,282, a slight decline from November’s £215,734, supporting the up and down performance over the year.

Indicators of housing market activity experienced highs and lows throughout the year but slowed toward the end thanks to uncertainty from Brexit and weak global growth. But housing market activity remained fairly steady thanks to the healthy labour market conditions and low borrowing costs.

A look back at 2019

With a turbulent year in politics, it seems that the volatile housing market is ending the year on a stable note. At the beginning of the year we were talking about house price declines and annual growth far off Nationwide’s predicted 2% for the year. Northern Ireland and Wales fared better with significant annual growth in prices.

July saw some positive numbers and a more stable market despite Brexit uncertainty. This was largely helped by a good labour market.

The market took a dip again in the autumn, with even strong performers, Northern Ireland, seeing a much slower growth rate. Number of property sales decreased and annual price growth stayed below 1%. London struggled the most as has been a trend for the whole of 2019. Comparing 2019 to 2016, growth has very subdued throughout the year.

Looking ahead

Economic developments will be the driving force of the housing market looking into the new year. Uncertainty around trading relationships and global growth will most certainly play a part in performance as well.

But on the whole, in 2020, the economy is expected to grow modestly, with house prices predicted to remain moderately stable throughout the year.

First-time buyers still struggle with a deposit

All over the country, it is becoming more feasible to take on a monthly mortgage payment.

Thanks to favourable market conditions, a rising employment rate, and low borrowing costs, the number of first-time buyers has doubled over the last decade, hitting 354,400.

Of course, London is the exception where monthly mortgages remain out of reach for most hoping to buy in the area.

But even outside London and the South East, raising a deposit seems to be the biggest hurdle to get on the property ladder. Even in the most affordable areas like the North, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the West Midlands it is still proving difficult.

Deposit help

Because many people struggle with securing a deposit for buying a home, they’ve been turning to friends and family – either as a gift, loan, or an inheritance.

Almost half of first-time buyers in 2017/18 had help raising their deposit.

Quarterly update

  • Scotland comes out on top for the first time ever in 2019, with prices up 2.8% over the year.
  • Wales ended the quarter with 1.5%, dropping from last quarter.
  • Northern Ireland’s growth slowed to 1%
  • The weakest performing home nation last quarter was England who experienced just 0.2% growth.

At the end of the year, London was the weakest performing region with house prices declining to 1.8%, making it the tenth quarter in a row of falling prices. Their neighbours, the outer Metropolitan region welcomed back a 0.3% positive growth after five decreasing quarters in a row. Unfortunately, the Outer South East region dropped to 1% annual decline.

The best performing English region title goes to the West Midlands, with prices increasing by 2.7% throughout 2019. The North was close behind, where prices were up 2.6%. Alas, the English region annual rate of change stayed within a limited range of -2% to 3%.

Stay up to date

Check back monthly for our regular update on the nation’s property prices.

Mortgages for Doctors and Dentists

Always remember to visit our site monthly for your regular update on the nation’s property prices.

If you’re planning to buy or sell property this year contact an advisor for personalised advice. 

At Dental & Medical Financial Services, our experts are dedicated to helping our clients select the right mortgage deal for your needs. If you’re ready to take the first step toward home-buying, get in touch with us today.

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