What are the dynamics of the UK housing market slow down?

We talk to Jeremy Leaf, of Jeremy Leaf and Co, about the factors influencing the housing market in 2018, including London housing prices, Brexit and the caution of first-time buyers. Read on for a summary of his insights, or take a look at the video to see the full interview.

How are London housing prices affecting the market?

Evidence has shown that the housing market is beginning to slow down, and London is the geographical drag. And while London prices have begun to soften, the rest of the country hasn’t caught up yet.

When housing prices go up by so much so quickly, affordability usually has to kick in – but when might that arise?

How has the 2018 UK housing market started?

Estate agents are beginning to see a higher number of house viewings in 2018, but will they translate into sales?

With the lack of affordable housing, plus rising inflation without rising wages (which stretches budgets to the limit), potential first-time buyers may be becoming more cautious about the housing market. And with caution, comes reluctance to make an offer, until the future direction of the market becomes clear.

So is the government doing enough to help people gain access to housing? The real measure of the health of the housing market is how easily people are moving house, which makes the current trend of lengthening transaction times a potential worry.

How has government regulation impacted the buy-to-let market?

We’ve certainly seen a decline in the number of buy-to-lets over recent months. But could the government’s anti-landlord strategy be backfiring? Reducing the number of properties available to rent is pushing rents higher, and house prices higher still, so would-be homeowners are finding it harder to raise deposits.

The exodus of landlords from the buy-to-let market could have a major impact on the rest of the market. A reduction in the number of properties available to rent might push house prices higher still, making it more difficult for would-be homeowners to raise deposits. 

How has Brexit impacted migrants in the housing market?

Though the numbers remain unclear, estate agents have begun to see many migrants returning to their country of origin – especially Eastern Europeans – and they aren’t being replaced by younger buyers.

Brexit may not be the direct cause of the mass departure, as other factors such as life expectancy and familial ties likely had an influence, but it seems that may have been the final straw.

Find out more about why Brexit is important to traders

What problems does the new-build market face?

The government has announced its intention to introduce 300,000 new homes a year by the 2020s. Watch the video above to find out how likely they are to hit that target – as well as the problems that the new build market faces, and more information on how London house prices will impact the market in 2018. 

Read more about the outlook for UK home builders for 2018

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