What does the housing market hold for 2019?

Here at Property Formula, we have had a good year in 2018 and are looking positively toward 2019.

With Brexit looming and negative media coverage on the housing market, we thought we would offer our take on what we’ve experienced in the last 12 months and offer our thoughts on what is to come.

Have house prices come down?

The short answer is yes. The real question is “by how much?”. There is no doubt that there were drops in achieved prices in 2018, particularly during the last three months. Price reductions seemed to outnumber new instructions at times, but the reality is that these properties weren’t worth their asking prices to begin with. Many of the houses we surveyed in 2018 achieved their asking price or close to it, though sometimes it was following an adjustment in price. We found the greater changes in price were often in areas where there was competition from new build homes, due to a large proportion of the buying market considered to be first time buyers and the incentive of Help to Buy.

Has Brexit affected the market?

Any uncertainty, political or economic, can dilute the numbers of potential buyers and sellers. Ultimately, those thatneedto move to a new house, will. Those that wantto move will wait for more certainty. There is always something to worry about, whether it’s the Scottish Referendum, EU Referendum or a general election. Its likely speculative buyers and sellers will sit tight until the outcome of Brexit is announced, now that the deadline is closer. That said, it could take years before the effects of Brexit are felt, and much like the short-lived shock after the referendum results, the market continued, and the world didn’t end.

How did the market change in 2018?

In Oxfordshire, we saw prices remain largely static for most of the year with local variations depending on the volume of competing stock. Prices began to drop after the summer, partly due to uncertainty around Brexit, but also due to the typical seasonal slow down in the run up to Christmas and first-time buyers gravitating towards a large volume of new homes.

How does Oxfordshire’s market differ from the rest of the UK?

Oxford City has always been relatively robust in the face of economic uncertainty and recession due to the huge demand for its schools and universities. High end property appears to have faltered above the £2,000,000 mark, but that is partly because houses at this level are a luxury move, not a necessity move. The same can be said for large rural property when values are harder to underpin, and it can take longer to find a buyer. Generally, property of all types and sizes sold in Oxfordshire, but the market continues to be price sensitive and more of a buyers’ market than a sellers’ market.

What’s next for Property Formula?

We will continue to offer our surveying services to prospective purchasers across the county, for property of all ages and types. We increased the number of plans produced for Land Registry purposes last year and hope to continue to do so in 2019. This includes first registration for new builds or parcels of land being divided as part of a private or market sale. For those staying put in 2019, we offer valuations for Capital Gains tax purposes, staircasing for Shared Ownership properties and Reinstatement Cost Assessments for insurance purposes.

Conclusions

  • Prices are likely to drop regionally where there is greater competition, but should hopefully remain relatively stable
  • The market will remain price sensitive, so sensible pricing is key to avoid marketing stagnating
  • Oxfordshire property has dropped more dramatically before and bounced back, so it is likely any decrease in values after Brexit will be short lived.