The economy is getting stronger

According to the latest economic figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK economy grew by 0.5% in the final three months of 2017, exceeding official forecasts of 0.4% previously made for the same period.

The economy is getting stronger

As reported by the BBC, Darren Morgan, head of GDP at the ONS said “The boost to the economy at the end of the year came from a range of services including recruitment agencies, letting agents and office management.”

The economic growth for 2017 as a whole was 1.8%, only slightly below forecasts made the previous year.

Buy-to-let, despite tax changes, has seen high success in economic terms from 2017 through to early this year, with yields and price growth strong. Central London has, of course, been struggling for some time now and has weighed fairly heavily on the UK-wide figures but the outer-boroughs have broadly seen the benefit of this correction.

According to the ONS, property prices through 2017 rose 4.4% in total, with London decreasing by 1%. According to The Independent, the number of first-time buyers rose by just 4% in February, compared to the same month a year ago.

Off-plan property has also been booming, with projects being completed all over the country with strong capital gains, especially in cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds. Areas in the North West and North East took up 15 of the top 25 highest yielding postcodes according to Totally Money.

But it’s not just the property market that is performing well in the UK.

According to the Financial Times, the volume of retail sales grew by 0.1% month-on-month revealed by a poll from Thomson Reuters. On the year, sales were up by 1.6%, from 1.4%.

Additionally the ONS released figures in January showing that manufacturing output in the UK had reached a ten year high, with November marking the seventh month of consecutive growth, according to the report.

According to The BBC, renewable energy projects, boats, aeroplanes and cars for export helped make output 3.9% higher in the three months to November than in 2016.

Factories in the UK are busier than at any other time in the past decade, and this also means that commercial property has been growing quickly too with yields and capital gains increasing.

Overall, despite a multitude of uncertain factors, by almost every measure the UK economy is stable and growing well. Property in particular is seeing big gains and good success despite government changes being introduced recently.

Brexit is now under 12 months away and it would be fair to say that the economy has responded well and we should expect to see increased investment from both inside and outside of the country.

Intus Lettings vertical - April 2019

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