It’s been a tough time for the UK recently, with the shock Brexit result and the political unrest that followed. The property market has stagnated somewhat, with the growth of house prices slowing through the beginning of 2017. There’s more uncertainty ahead - at least until the UK’s future is clearer - so many homeowners and potential buyers are likely considering their next move.

In this article we shall take a look at the current property market, how things could change over the next 12 months, and get the opinions of the experts. Let’s get started.

First things first, how does today’s market look?

Britain’s housing market slowed significantly during the first half of 2017, which was welcomed with open arms by prospective homebuyers, but bad news for those looking to sell. However, over the past couple of months, the growth in house prices picked up - somewhat surprisingly. This could be due to an increase in employment levels coupled with a shortage in the amount of properties on the market.

Trouble in the capital

Although house prices rose nationwide 2.2% between the months of June and September, there was inconsistency in the London region. This was somewhat of an anomaly - this is the first time in 12 years that the capital has been the lowest-performing region in terms of house prices growth. Despite this factor, the average cost of a UK home has been creeping up to £210,982.

In spite of its price drop, the capital remains the most expensive place to purchase a home - unsurprisingly. The gap in house price growth across different UK regions is shortening, however. Rates of growth have slowed in the south, while costs across the midlands and the north west have been steadily rising.

Approval rates are low

Recent figures have shown that less people are being approved for mortgages - the figure in June dropped to a nine-month low of just 65,000. Furthermore, there has been a fall in the number of new buyer enquiries. It’s unsurprising to hear, then, that the rate of home ownership is falling fast, and now sits at a 30 year low. A key reason for this is that the average age at which people buy their first home is ever-rising, perhaps due to high house prices and relatively low wage levels.

Estate agent James Pendleton noted that: “annual growth rate has been broadly shrinking like a tyre with a slow puncture since the middle of last year”. This could be due to people choosing to stay put in their current properties, or simply carry on renting, put off by high costs and the difficulty of landing a mortgage.

So, what next?

Let’s see what the experts think; Countrywide has voiced their opinion that they believe house prices will rise another 1.5% before the end of 2017, and another 2% by the end of 2018. Although this is a slower rate of growth than we’ve seen in previous years, it is steady considering that Brexit negotiations are set to continue until March 2019, and the current state of our political climate is shaky, to say the least.

The continued growth of house prices is also supported by the shortage in housing supply. Estate agents across the country are struggling to take new properties on, and the rate of houses being built is unlikely to fill the previous deficit. What’s more, the recent changes to stamp duty have led to a drop in the number of buy-to-let purchases. All in all, while supply fails to meet demand, house prices could continue to creep up.

Eddison Wells’ Client Care Manager Stacey had the following prediction to offer: “I feel that in 2018, schemes such as shared ownership and help to buy could become more popular as more first time buyers look to get onto the property ladder, especially with lenders’ criteria being as thorough as it is now.

Therefore we may see a rise in asking price for the cheaper and better priced houses due to many people bidding over the same low-priced properties, as demand could outweigh what is currently for sale on the market. This is why schemes such as shared ownership could become more popular, as they are a cheaper way to own a property, as you are only buying a share of a property, as well as right to buy as more people could potentially need help from the government in order to purchase their first home.”

Are you looking to buy, sell or move?

If you’re thinking about making a move in the near future, the best advice we can give you is to be cautious. Doing your research or better still, speaking to an expert, can help you understand the market, as well as the options available to you.

With offices in Brighton as well as across the UK, mortgage brokers Eddison Wells are able to advise on a comprehensive range of financial products. Providing the highest quality service at the most affordable price is a prerequisite and a firm ethos. If you’re thinking of taking your first mortgage, call now on 0800 808 9981 - a member of their team will be willing to help, and provide advice based on your own circumstance.