Recently released figures show that the UK’s property market is beginning to pick up. There has been a lack of activity in the sector and this may be, in part, because of uncertainties arising from Brexit and the Bank of England’s recent interest rate hike. Has there now been a turnaround? With this in mind we take a look at buying property in the UK as the market picks up.
What the Statistics Show
The month of July saw house prices rise at the fastest pace since the end of 2017. The Halifax reported that the average home rose by 1.4 per cent, making the average price of a house in the UK a record £230,280.
Meanwhile Nationwide said that the increase in July was 2.5 per cent and that this indicated that the average house price was now £217,010.
In any case the market grew during July, but this raises the question of whether this growth will be sustained. Speaking to the BBC the Halifax speculated that we would not see sustained growth and that the rise would not have a “significant effect on either mortgage affordability or transaction volumes”.
So, is this a good time to buy a house in the UK and where should buyers be looking to find the best deals?
Buying Property in the UK
Whether or not it is a good time to buy property in the UK depends, to a large degree, on the personal circumstances of the buyer. Having a reasonable deposit, job security and other debit being the factors that are most like to impact on their decision.
But for those who are in a position to by a property, where are the best places to look?
London and Manchester
Browsing the pages of a real estate advisory company like GVA will show that there is no shortage of options when it comes to buying a property. But understanding how the markets are performing up and down the country may help to broaden the perspective – comparing our two biggest cities for example.
According to the Independent, “London prices have fallen at the fastest pace since the recession hit almost a decade ago.” In January the average price of a house in London was £593,369, down 2.6 per cent from January 2017 – making London the worst performing market in the UK. Despite this London is still the most expensive place to buy.
This is in stark contrast, however, to the fortunes that the Manchester property sector has experienced. Manchester property prices outgrew those in the rest of the UK, rising by 7.4 per cent in the 12 months to the end of June.
The Manchester Evening News recently reported that “Investment money continues to pour in from the Far East and North America as well as the UK, with developers viewing Manchester as a strong and safe market based on forecast economic growth.”
There is clearly still some uncertainty in the property markets and so getting advice, particularly if you are a first time buyer, constitutes a sensible approach whether we are to see boom, bust or what is far more likely – a few ripples.