UK Property Market 2020
New reports on the UK property market are increasingly positive. It’s been a long shutdown period and people appear to be resuming their plans to move or buy a new home.
The forecasts for lower property prices which should bode well for those with the financial resources to move in the last half of 2020. For long term investors, the forecasts from JLL continue to support the value of buying homes and rental properties in the UK. See the stats below.
Savill’s Predictions for the Months Ahead
According to a Savill’s survey, UK residents are looking to move to roomier more rural locations. It’s a big trend happening in the US, Canada and likely in Germany and Australian urban areas too. Part of it is due to the Corona Virus threat and part due to new remote work arrangements for employees.
February was a particularly strong month for property sales which makes the March, April and May sales numbers look depressed. Yet, sales have increased back to last year’s levels. As we progress back to normal, will home sales grow back to record levels?
Savill’s thinks this recovery of late will be short lived. Sales occurring now are locked in sales from the shutdown that are only completing. New sales might be slow to evolve.
The UK’s drop in GDP in April, shutout workforce, and crushed retail spending all contributed to record lows in April. In May however, agents are seeing a big increase in new buyer inquiries.
Economists and housing market experts are a little down on the outlook. Predicted falls in property prices range from 4% to 13%.
New 2020 Forecast Dampened a Little
As we return to normal, previous economic and property market forecasts carry a little more credibility. It’s definitely not business as usual, but people and companies are adjusting to the new work environment. Over the next 6 months, we’ll all learn to live with the virus, and control it.
Much of the negative forecasts might be focusing on past Corona Virus stats, but we have to believe we’ll get control and be able to open business fully, under new terms of course.
JLL Forecast for Next 5 Years
Despite all the political, health, and trade uncertainties surrounded the UK economy, JLL is offering up its forecast.
JLL believes house prices will fall 8% within 2020 and that UK new housing starts will fall to 80,000 in 2020. They believe home sales for 2020 will be dramatically lower for this year. They’re expected home sales to fall 550,000 from last year’s totals to around 650,000 in 2020.
JLL sees annual transactions getting back to normal in 2023 at 1.2 million.
JLL expects rental prices to decline by 2%.
Stamp Duty and the Falling Pound
The weaker British pound and falling prices in the UK were drawing the interest overseas investors. For UK buyers trying to decide on the buy vs let option, the answer is to rent.
Some may be waiting for an expected cut to the stamp duty by Boris Johnson which had dampened the UK real estate market after it was introduced. Property purchases by Brits had dropped 16% year over year.
Some property company experts suggest that a £500,000 starting threshold for a Stamp Duty and Land Tax would be help in the overheated market of London and the South East but could lead to a two tiered housing market. There are fears no one would buy in lower priced Scotland.
A good percentage of buyers are wanting and expecting a stamp duty cut from the Johnson government.
JLL offers its price outlook report, beginning cautiously but much stronger within 2 years:
House Prices to Rise 15%
JLL UK experts forecast house prices in the UK will grow 15% over the next 4 years. They support their outlook with forecasted 68% rise in GDP, 6.9% rise in household disposable income and a 2.7% increase in employment.
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This chart below from JLL, shows investment is strong in Berlin and Denmark, and not far behind, London UK. Investment in European multifamily properties rose 40% to 56 billion euros in 2018.
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PWC UK Economic Report 2020
In the recent PWC UK economic report, the company forecasts business investment to stay low, although 2020 national GDP levels will remain similar to 2019.
In their UK housing report, PWC cites mounting affordability issues for workers in London. They believe house prices will rise only 1% across the nation.
“Locked out of purchasing a home, many young people – commonly referred to as “generation rent” – have turned to renting. The proportion of 16-24 year-olds renting privately has risen from 51% in 1998/99 to 73% in 2017/18 and from 20% to 46% for 25-34 year-olds. ” — From the Pwc housing report.
Housing shortages, high deposit requirements, stagnant wages, should make many UK residents renters by necessity for the immediate future.
UK Rental Tenants on the Move
After the removal of Tenant fees, renters are ready to move. Demand in the Uk rose 7% overall and in London saw a 13% increase in demand for rentals. Asking rents in London are at a new record high of £817 per month.
UK National Average Asking Prices
According to research from Rightmove, within London, the zone 1 area suffered a 6.5% price drop year over year . The average price reduction across London was £8000. Average asking price is £628,458. Reports are that rightmove agents are losing their jobs.
Flat Rental Prices Levelling Out
Nationally flat and home rental prices rose 2.7% while rents in Greater London fell 1.6% in the second quarter. However year over year, London prices are up 3%.
Is this the Time to Buy a UK Property for Let?
The above charts would have us believe there are hotspots for price growth such as Midlands and Scotland.
According to Propertyhub, the city of Manchester, which has 30% rental properties, is worth a good look. It has a high student population which helps to prop up demand for rental flats. Liverpool as well is cited for high student populations. And Birmingham may have a rental housing shortage that could open it to price growth.
We’ll bring you additional insight into the UK’s rental housing market in future.
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