What does 2019 have in store for the housing market?
PUBLISHED: 14:24 07 December 2018 | UPDATED: 15:04 07 December 2018
As 2018 comes to a close, what does 2019 have in store for the housing market? Louis de Soissons, from Savills in Norwich, gives his predictions.
I’m reflecting on an interesting year for the local property market and gazing into my crystal ball to look ahead to 2019. There’s no denying that the shadow cast by Brexit uncertainty, political instability, rising interest rates and more stringent mortgage regulations have all affected the local property market in 2018.
But, despite the challenges, we move into the New Year on a positive note. The third quarter of this year in particular has seen a marked increase in agreed sales.
Although no one knows for certain what will happen, people appear to be after family homes rather than investments and there’s a real sense that they just want to get things done.
Mainstream property prices have increased by 2.9pc in the East of England in 2018, whereas in London they have fallen. Although not as high as in some other areas of the UK and slightly skewed by regional hotspots such as Cambridge, it does show the local market remains robust.
Although Savills is expecting house prices to remain relatively static over the next two years, we forecast growth of 9.3pc for the East of England over the next five years.
What’s interesting is the rise in demand for properties in urban areas such as Norwich city centre and the greater importance buyers are attaching to an easier lifestyle.
With both parents working, people want to walk their children to school and have a shorter commute. Buyers also want properties that need less looking after because they no longer have time to spend on regular maintenance.
Government initiatives such as Help to Buy and changes to tax relief for buy to let properties (so there are fewer property investors competing in the market) also appear to be tempting more first time buyers on to the property ladder, with 364,000 setting up home across the UK in the last 12 months (52pc higher than five years ago).
All this makes for encouraging reading and helps to underpin a healthy property market for the future, ensuring there are more buyers percolating up the housing chain.
For the prime market – properties over £750,000 – what remains clear is that Norfolk offers great value for money. The village market in particular continues to provide plenty of house for your money. Our recent research suggests the average price of a property in prime Norwich and Norfolk works out at £240 per sq ft – that compares to £1,200 per sq ft across prime London.
While there will no doubt be many twists and turns ahead, there is real cause for cautious optimism for 2019. We are fortunate to live in a fantastic part of the world with great schools and connectivity that offers an attractive lifestyle.
Sensibly priced properties will continue to sell and generate genuine interest.
For more information about properties in Norfolk contact Louis de Soissons at Savills Norwich, column sponsors, on 01603 229210 or email firstname.lastname@example.org