Happy Brexit Christmas!

3 min read
Everyone deserves a Happy Christmas this year following a recent General Election send-off which, while it won't have pleased everyone, finally set the – non-EU – direction of travel for the UK. 

We all know that in reality the Brexit process has just started however, in theory, the Government can spend at least some of its time and resources on housing matters, which remain desperate for decent attention.

That said, housing market stakeholders can only welcome a healthy dose of some stability returning to the sector after three years' woe resulting from the non-stop debating after the 2016 in/out referendum.

And we can certainly happily report some positive signs from recent Land Registry data, which should usher in a New Year in their wake.

[All statistics which follow are the most recently available figures from the Land Registry and the Bank of England unless otherwise stated.]

Positive price and sales volume news for England and Wales

England and Wales' average housing price fell fractionally month-on-month, to £244,258, from the previous month's highest value ever (£245,913) but this was still 1% higher than a year ago. Volumes actually rose both month-on-month, to 74,853, a 3.7% rise, and also yearly, by 3.7%. 

In many ways there's cause for – albeit minor – celebration here: a price fall and volumes rising are tentative signs of a better functioning market.

(report continues below...)

London's housing market showing encouraging signs of recovery

London's average property prices fell to £472,232, which was a decline of 1.7% month and 0.5% year-on-year however, and comparable to last month (but of lesser magnitude) there was a month-on-month rise in sales volumes, to 7,621, by 2.4%, even if year-on-year, volumes were still 0.2 lower. Taken together and compared to much of the last two years' monthly figures, once again the small price fall accompanied with the volume increase should be greeted with tentative optimism.

Real wages slightly down; 'could be worse' given Brexit

Inflation was marginally up – by 0.18% in a month – with the CPI index moving from 108.3 to 108.5. Average UK salaries – when extrapolated from weekly wages (ONS) – however remained at the same level as the previous month, equating to £28,184, meaning that there is slightly negative news on the real wages front, however given the massive uncertainties of Brexit coupled with the general election, things perhaps could have been a lot worse.

Andrew Boast, co-founder of SAM Conveyancing, said:

"It's been a tough year in the main for many stakeholders in the UK's housing market, with many professionals at the 'bleeding edge', such as RICS surveyors, feeling the pinch."

"Some of this is down to pricing staying stubbornly high with the knock-on effect of reduced sales volumes. Add to this the uncertainty surrounding not only the direction of travel vis-a-vis Brexit, and indeed even the nature of the government, whose majority was eventually wiped out, it's little wonder that many put off their home buying and selling decisions in the hope of sunnier uplands."

"So we've had a rare winter General Election and now have the Conservatives with a clear majority and mandate to 'get Brexit done'. This on its own is likely to settle businesses up and down the country, giving them some confidence in their future planning decisions and also encourage residential home buyers to go ahead with their purchases and sellers to put their homes on the market." 

"We've even some good news in the fundamentals and we look forward to a highly productive and successful New Year both for the housing sector and all associated businesses but more generally, to all our clients, readers, suppliers and supporters. Happy Holidays one and all!"

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Brexit Election Special: Housing? Or Just Browsing?

Brexit Election Special: Housing? Or Just Browsing?


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