House Prices Rise in Every Region

There’s been some quite extensive coverage regarding what many consider to be the beginning of a major boom for the property market this year following the shock election result back in December.

House Prices Rise in Every Region

Of course, it appears that the majority of the economy is experiencing an upturn thanks to the certainty afforded by the result, and that would have been expected regardless. Having said that, the difference is marked, and the test now will be to see if it is sustained.

There were early markers from last month, and from the turn of the year, that the property market would be one of the main benefactors with mortgage applications, valuations and prices all going up almost immediately.

There’s a lot to be said for economic certainty, and with the sustained economic pressure currently gripping powerhouses China and Japan, as well as other East Asian economies, the UK appears to have gained confidence from investors, property owners, landlords and buyers.

With nerves calmed, it seems that people are now keen to make hay whilst the sun shines with almost 4 years of turbulence now behind them. Property, it also has to be said, remained a very stable port in the storm but never quite had the sustained calm that would have released its potential and that seems to have now arrived.

New research released by the Land Registry this week shows that average price increases hit a massive 2.2% across the country in December, up from 1.7% in November, rounding off an incredibly strong end to the year.

Going back as far as summer last year there were signs of strong recovery, but the concern was that this wasn’t spreading out across the regions of the country with just North and Eastern regions showing signs of good growth in that period.

The encouraging results have now set in motion much more universally positive reactions with every region in the country, including Scotland and Wales, for the first time since February 2018.

The average UK house price has now reached £235,000 – up £5,000 year-on-year. London experienced its largest growth since October 2017, rising 2.3% from December 2018. There had been some concern of flat-lining growth within prime areas of the city, but the growth was largely driven by a surge in sales in these same areas.

The performance bodes well for investors, landlords and those in buy to let as prices grow, but so too do rents, applications and yields. Capital growth can now be added to a very strong outlook for property as a whole.

The ONS said: “Increased London house price growth may reflect a larger shift in the type of properties being sold than usual, with more sales of very high value properties. While the London figure may have been skewed slightly by sales of extremely high value properties, the capital as a whole appears to have rediscovered its mojo.

“There’s every chance the rebound in sentiment in the capital will cause a ripple effect across the regions.”

The picture then remains extremely healthy, and most commentators are preparing for a bumper 2020. There appears to be a shared sentiment across the industry that whilst property was performing relatively well given the circumstances in these past few years, this renewed sense of stability is settling nerves and releasing the hand brake.

Some caution should be exercised until more data becomes available to confirm this trending performance, but right now all the signs appear to be pointing towards a strong year with growing prices and yields.

The budget is set to be delivered in the spring and there is chatter that there may be some tax relief for those invested in property as the government seeks to stimulate the market further to allow further economic growth.

With spring approaching, so too the thawing of the season may be spreading across the UK too.

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Preston Guide vertical - April 2019

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