A positive start to the new year
Connells Group recorded a four per cent rise in house prices in 2017, slightly ahead of its forecast of 3.5 per cent. Data is based on activity from the Group's network of nearly 600 estate agency branches across the UK.
"At the start of 2017 we predicted that house prices would rise by 3.5 per cent when most were predicting a year of lower increases, and some predicting that prices would fall," says David Livesey, Connells Group Chief Executive. "Despite a more challenging market, particularly during Q4 2017 where sales activity faltered, we ended the year with overall house prices at completion up by 4 per cent."
Although buyer sentiment softened in the second half of 2017 following the general election and, while Brexit and political uncertainty remains, Connells Group’s forecast for 2018 is positive, with the fundamentals that drove house price increases last year still existing:
"There is still a shortage of property for sale, low interest rates, lenders with appetite to lend, stamp duty that supports first-time buyers and a continued demand for homes," continues David.
"We therefore see a similar outlook for the market in 2018 and, with positive signs in the first three weeks of business, we predict that house price inflation will continue to increase and potentially up to 3 per cent," David concludes.