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Confidence set to return to market amid house price rises in 2020

The past few years have been marred with uncertainty, but experts are predicting a brighter 2020 with the north of England leading the way.

As we round off 2019, we head into the new year with a much more certain future politically. The Conservatives’ victory in the General Election has been met with optimism among many in the housing market, and you can read more about how it will affect the sector here.

Now property portal Rightmove has set out its predictions for a 2% house price rise over the course of 2020 across the UK. Further to this, it believes spring will see a bounce back in market activity as both buyers and sellers prepare to get moving again now that the turmoil of the election is behind us.

A resilient market

The predictions are in stark contrast to 2019’s forecast from Rightmove, which was a 0% price change. However, the year proved more fruitful than this as prices rose by 0.8% on average, demonstrating the property market’s resilience in the face of decreased confidence and transaction activity.

Miles Shipside of Rightmove commented: “With much of the political uncertainty removed, we expect that the number of properties for sale will recover as more new sellers come to market, making up some of this year’s lost ground.

“However, property supply is still limited, with estate agents having the lowest proportion of properties available for sale in two years, and this will fuel modest gains in the national average asking price of property coming to market.

“The fundamentals remain sound with low interest rates, lenders competing to lend, high employment, and average wage growth outstripping house price growth and helping buyer affordability.”

North-west propping up the rest

Over the past 12 months, the north’s housing market has fared markedly better than the south’s. In the year to December 2019, the north-west made by far the largest gains of 3.2%, while properties there took an average 68 days to sell.

The rest of the country mostly stayed in positive territory, with the West Midlands seeing house prices rise by 1.7% over the year, Yorkshire and the Humber by 1.8% and the East Midlands by 1.9%. Greater London was the only region to see losses, which averaged -0.5%.

According to the Rightmove report, this trend is largely expected to continue, although London is expected to move back into positive territory.

“London is finally showing tentative signs of bottoming out, and we expect a more modest price rise of +1% in all of the southern regions where buyer affordability remains most stretched,” said Miles Shipside.

“In contrast, the largest increases will be in the more northerly regions, repeating the pattern of 2019 with increases in the range of 2% to 4%.”

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