At the moment a lot of people in the UK are obsessed about Brexit and the effect that it is going to have on house prices. This is understandable as there is a lot of uncertainty about how everything is going to turn out. So we asked the experts for their opinion about how they see UK house prices moving in 2019.
The View of the Halifax
One of the biggest mortgage lenders in the UK is the Halifax. Their managing director, Russell Galley, believes that the affordability of mortgage payments in 2019 will have a significant effect on house prices.
He said that he is confident the growth in pay will continue this year but he is also aware that another rise in interest rates is likely too. These are likely to cancel each other out to some degree so he doesn’t believe that either of these factors will influence house prices.
Galley thinks that if the UK can leave the EU with an agreement and a period of transition then he is optimistic about house prices in 2019. He believes that there will be a 2% to 4% rise in house prices in 2019 under these Brexit conditions which is a little higher than 2018.
The View of Mortgage Broker John Charcoal
Ray Boulger is the Senior Mortgage Technical Manager at mortgage brokers John Charcoal. He said that Brexit had already impacted house prices especially in London. What he doesn’t know is the magnitude of the effect that Brexit has had with house prices or whether this is worse than expected or better.
Boulger went on to say that the housing market is far from perfect. There are often rapid changes in demand for properties but supply doesn’t move with the same speed. Factors such as employment levels. interest rates, mortgage availability and overall consumer confidence all have an impact on house prices.
On the issue of further interest rate rises Boulger believes that if Brexit significantly weakens the UK economy then there will be a cut in interest rates rather than an increase. He thinks that a number of lenders will reduce their interest rates on fixed rate mortgages in January 2019 in an effort to improve the confidence of potential buyers.
A no deal Brexit will have a negative impact on UK house prices in the short term believes Boulger. But over the course of the year he thinks that house prices will not change that much whatever Brexit terms are agreed. He forecasts an increase of just 1% for house prices in 2019.
The View of the Estate Agents provided by Zoopla
The Insight Director at Zoopla, Richard Donnell, stated that in 2018 the overall growth in UK house prices was around 1% and that this is below the 2017 growth of 3.5% for the previous year. This was mainly due to the fall in prices in London, the South East and the East of England.
Donnell believes that the attractive affordability levels on offer outside of the South of England will continue to play out in 2019. Combine this with lower mortgage rates and employment rising he thinks that house prices will pan out pretty well in 2019.