Industry Roundup – March 2019
In our March property roundup we look at how annual growth rates are increasing while demand remains high.
All cities record price rises for the first time in 3.5 years
According to the latest HomeTrack House Price Index, average prices have risen by 2.8% over the last year, with annual price inflation ranging from 6.8% in Leicester to 0.2% in Cambridge. This marks the first time there has been positive growth across all of their tracked cities since August 2015.
Annual growth rates in London show a minimal rise
While London still remains weak in relation to the growth it has experienced over the last 10 years, the annual growth rate has increased by 0.4%, showing signs of future growth in demand as the market has recorrected itself.
However, there has been definitive price falls in the higher-value markets and prices continue to fall across half of London postcodes. Data reveals that although nearly 55% of postcodes have seen decreases, this down from 70% in October 2018.
Positive market activity
For buyers that have adopted a wait-and-see approach since the Brexit vote, greater value for money is becoming more apparent – potentially a symptom of investors seeking out opportunities while uncertainty over Brexit still impacts the market.
Regional cores slowdown
As expected, the housing cycle remains in effect. While regional cores are still overperforming, the rate of price inflation has moderated which is expected to continue throughout 2019.
Demand remains high despite Brexit’s impact
With unemployment levels at a record low and mortgage rates remaining positive, there has been no material drop in activity – HMRC data shows that housing transactions have increased slightly since January 2019, a sign that buyers may be ignoring Brexit uncertainty until there is a tangible change in the overall outlook.
March Property Roundup
Wage growth highest since 2008
With inflation falling, many households have experienced a spending power boost and annual wage growth has hit a peak of 3.4%, the highest in 11 years according to ONS. With employment hitting an all-time high of 76%, the position for consumers has been strengthened considerably.
Rents pick up pace in the South West
According to Your Move, rents increased in the South West faster than any other region last month, gaining 4% and hitting an average of £703. Other increases included the West Midlands (3.1%) and Yorkshire and Humber (2.1%). The average rent in the West Midlands now equals £636 while Yorkshire and Humber sit at £588.