It’s been a flat year for the property market. Consumer confidence has been hit by the uncertainty of the Brexit negotiations, house prices, and the Bank of England Base rate has increased to 0.75%. Remortgaging numbers hit record highs and the Government extended the Help to Buy scheme.
Whilst it is tricky to predict what might happen in 2019, I have outlined my predictions for 2019 based on what we know now. What is clear, is that Brexit will have an impact.
Housing Market: Prices to continue to stabilise
Though house prices have stabilised throughout the UK, the Oxfordshire property market has remained buoyant, driven by high demand and low supply. Due to the Chancellor’s support and increased tech industry in the Oxford/Milton Keynes/Cambridge corridor, one of the hottest property markets in the UK is Oxfordshire, where property prices have risen 150% in the past five years. I expect these high prices to remain steady throughout 2019.
Mortgage Market: Rising Interest Rates, Competitive Mortgages
With interest rates expected to remain low, the number of people remortgaging looks set to remain high for another year. Expect to see lenders continue to fight each other for market share by offering competitive deals for new and current customers. All mortgage holders should speak with a mortgage broker about your options.
Buy to Let: Less activity in the marketplace
The buy to let market has been less active over the past 18 months due to Stamp Duty changes and the withdrawal of mortgage tax relief for landlords, and we expect the slowdown to continue into 2019. The changes are likely to have a positive impact on the quality of the landlords operating in the marketplace as rogue landlords depart. With higher quality landlords, there will be a better quality of private rented stock, and that could help to underpin rents and yields in some regions.
First Time Buyers: On the Up
First time buyers have been reaping the benefits of landlord restrictions, as the number of new homeowners has steadily risen in 2018. With house prices falling in London and the South East and the Help to Buy scheme extended, there is more hope for first time buyers who have a deposit together and are looking to buy their first home. Oxfordshire is one of the best places in the country for first time buyers to invest, as one-bedroom flats average £259,000.
This article was featured in What Mortgage.