There had been concerns that a vote for Brexit would cause house prices to plummet, but it seems that, for the time being at least, prices are still holding their own in the property sector.
Prices edge up
Latest figures from the LSL/Acadata house price index show that house prices in England and Wales climbed 0.6% higher in June to hit an average of £293,444, marking the first monthly rise since February. This also means that house prices are now 6% higher than they were this time last year, which although signals a slower annual growth rate than that seen in recent months, is still a healthy uptick.
Online estate agent eMoov.co.uk has taken a slightly more tongue in cheek look at the whole thing by investigating the average house price across each overground train station in England, Wales and Scotland, and this, too, shows that price growth is still strong.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, properties in central London still come out on top, with average house prices around the 14 major London terminals clocking in at an average of £1,024,070. However, outside of the bubble, prices are more reasonable, with the average property price across all stations coming in at £221,000.
Russell Quirk, CEO of eMoov.co.uk, said it was "always interesting to see which pockets of the nation are outperforming the rest from a property point of view", and it appears that the generally accepted trend of inflated prices in central London and lower prices elsewhere still holds true. But will that be the case forever?
But what does the future hold?
The figures seem to suggest that, while things may be rosy for the time being, they won't necessarily stay that way for long, with prices in London already feeling the effects of uncertainty in the market.
The LSL/Acadata figures also revealed that, in June, London property prices saw the largest monthly fall since May 2011, with the London average falling by 1.4% month-on-month – equating to a cash drop of £8,400 in a single month. Prices still remain 7.4% higher than a year ago, but with this latest fall marking the third successive monthly drop, it isn't necessarily looking good.
Indeed, the report pointed out that the full impact of Brexit is yet to be felt, with the referendum result likely to affect the market for some time to come: "Brexit is going to have a wide range of influences on the market, both positive and negative," commented Adrian Gill, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents. "How they will all balance out is far from clear, but they are going to increasingly dominate the market in the months ahead."
Furthermore, additional figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) show that activity in the housing market has already taken a hit since the result was announced, and over time, this could have a knock-on effect on house prices.
The survey found that, in June, buyer enquiries fell for the third consecutive month to give the lowest reading since mid-2008, with 36% more chartered surveyors reporting a fall in interest from buyers. Sales also fell sharply, as did the supply of properties coming onto the market, and a further drop is expected in the months ahead.
This could have an affect on house prices, particularly in London and the South East, with 12-month price expectations turning negative in these areas. The longer-term outlook is still more positive, however, and prices are still predicted to continue rising, albeit at a slower pace than that seen in recent years – which essentially means that no-ones quite sure what's coming next!
As it stands, it's all prediction and speculation, with some commentators expecting severe drops in house prices while others believe that the impact won't be as keenly felt. The impact on mortgage rates is even less certain, but if you're thinking of taking the plunge, why hang around? Check out the top mortgage rates to see if you can fuel your next house move, no matter what happens to the market at large.
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