80% of brokers expect UK average house prices to increase this year

According to the latest broker sentiment poll carried out by United Trust Bank (UTB), 80% of commercial finance brokers who took part believe that average house prices will increase this year.

23% of the 118 brokers who took part indicated that that they felt the average price would increase by up to 2% whilst 58% felt that house price growth in 2018 would be 2% or greater.

12% believe that the average house price will fall this year and 6% that there will be no change.

The most recent Nationwide House Price Index indicated that prices fell by 0.2% over the month of March taking account of seasonal factors making the average UK house price £211,625. Annual house price growth remained steady at 2.1% but the average London house price fell by 1% year on year.

For the fourth quarter in a row, regions in the North of England recorded stronger annual house price growth than regions in the South.

Noel Meredith, Executive Director – United Trust Bank, commented:

“The Nationwide Index paints a picture of lacklustre house price growth and this is supported by lower mortgage transaction figures and the RICS Residential Market Survey indicating buyer demand falling for the 12th month in a row. The residential housing market is likely to remain relatively subdued this year but with some bright spots such as Yorkshire and the North West.

“The fact remains that we have a housing shortage and we’re still not building new homes as quickly as we need them. However, this on its own may not be enough to continue to drive house price inflation. Initiatives such as Help to Buy are providing considerable support to the market so the Government’s commitment to keep it at least until 2020 is welcome. The market as a whole is becoming increasingly price sensitive with values rising and falling depending on the location and type of housing sought. For house builders, therefore it is vitally important to consider the fundamentals of planning a successful development; that they are building the right homes in the right places and can sell them for the right prices.

“Looking ahead, UTB remains optimistic about the outlook for the UK residential property market and the role smaller and medium sized house builders and developers can play in contributing to the UK’s housing needs. We’re investing in new people to grow our development finance team and this is enabling us to offer our services to house builders in more parts of the country than we have ever done before. Where house builders can find opportunities to create successful new housing developments and show they have the skills to deliver a quality, sought after product, UTB will be pleased to provide the funding.”