The State of the UK Housing Market at the End of 2019 Property | Property News 8th December 2019 | By Luke Egan With the end of 2019 nigh and 2020 just around the corner, we take a look back at the major changes from the last 12 months and outline what the industry is predicting for property and finance in 2020. A Reflection On The UK Housing Market in 2019 Despite Brexit uncertainty and distractions, UK property prices have remained relatively stable throughout 2019. According to the Land Registry Index, the average property price in the UK was £229,865 in December 2018. The latest figures available are from September 2019 and estimate this to now be £234,370 – a 2% increase in nine months. Growth is still happening but at a slower rate. However, the number of sales across the UK during this period fell slightly (1.1%) than the same period the year before. These numbers were bolstered by low mortgage rates, lower Stamp Duty, and other schemes to encourage buyers to purchase. In fact, Property Reporter recently revealed first-time-buyer loans reached a 12 year high in August 2019. In our opinion, some of the biggest events of the year can be summed up in the following posts: Help to Buy Mortgages Are Now Being Extended Beyond 25 Years Everything You Need to Know About the New-Build Leasehold Ban Letting Fees to Be Abolished in Wales: What Does That Mean for You? Our Predictions for Property and Finance in the Year Ahead Following current trends and political uncertainty, we believe UK average property prices may fall slightly in the first half of the year. However, this will soon begin to recover and remain to resolve into 2021. It is this uncertainty which will make good advice and the experience of a finance broker more important than ever. This has been reflected in the success we have seen at Pure Commercial Finance this year – breaking records on the number of completions and debt raised. And it’s not just British investors and developers seeking a good deal. Foreign investment continues to go from strength to strength, with the capital remaining popular, and other areas of the UK also starting to look favourable. Why? Well, with a housing shortage, there is high demand for rental properties, guaranteeing foreign investors a decent income, and this is unlikely to change in the coming months – especially with the depreciation of sterling over recent years. Estate agents Savills has predicted that house prices in the north-west of England will see a boost next year and beyond, with prices growing six times faster than London over the next five years. Overall, Savills believes UK house prices will increase by 15.3% over the next five years, bringing the average to £266,000 by 2024 – the highest increases being seen in 2021. So, what’s the overall consensus for 2020? Well, until we know the results of the General Election and the repercussions of this, it is hard to say for definite. However, we believe 2020 will see investment to continue, with expert guidance, and the property market will stay resilient. Will property prices hit new record highs? Probably not. But, quality developments and great deals will continue, property projects will be dreamt up, and more people will purchase. For those who know what they’re doing, 2020 has a very positive outlook.