With the UK's property market currently valued at a staggering £7.9 trillion, it is by some measures one of the most valuable housing economies on the planet. Together with strong property protections and carve-outs for foreign buyers, this makes the UK such an attractive destination for investing in residential property.
Billions of pounds are invested directly into UK property from overseas every year, a sign that it remains one of the most reliable sectors of the economy as far as returns are concerned. However, the future has been feeling less certain over the past couple of years.
Rates of growth have fluctuated wildly, with house prices across the country actually dropping last year. However, since the start of 2020, it seems that optimism is back. Read on to find out the essential predictions on the UK property market that investors need to know.
1. It's a London Thing
Despite some strong house price growth in the Midlands and Northern Ireland last year, the market in the capital will continue to dominate in the year ahead. While London house prices actually dropped sharply in 2019, the post-election surge in consumer confidence has almost completely closed the gap in just a few weeks. Most growth in this sector will likely be constrained to Greater London in 2020.
2. It's Still a Buyer's Market... for Now
Investors and homebuyers should know that the UK property sector is still a buyer's market, although this will likely not continue for much longer. Although a surge in prices and transactions is getting underway, there are still plenty of bargains to be had. In addition, the rising popularity of free mortgage broker services has meant that homebuyers can afford to be more discerning with the purse strings. Now is the time to buy, as prices will likely be significantly higher in a few months.
3. Q3/4 is the One to Watch
As you might have already guessed, the end of the year is when things will get interesting. While Brexit has already happened, the next date to watch is December 30, 2020, when the transition period is set to end. It is difficult to say what will happen to UK property values as this new Brexit deadline approaches, but it is worth noting that prices sank like a stone in the run-up to the original March 2019 deadline. Much of what will happen will depend on whether there is a favourable trade deal actually in place by December. Investors, buyers, and sellers hate uncertainty, and property prices will reflect that.
4. Portfolio Landlords May Suffer
Landlords have already expressed a number of concerns over Brexit and the economy. Fewer EU nationals are moving to the UK, which has already had a noticeable impact on the portfolios of landlords in areas such as London and Manchester. In addition, new government requirements for landlords to stay legally compliant may also may it more difficult for those who operate large portfolios. Investors in large property developments need not worry, but individual landlords may need to make up for a shortfall in 2020.
These are the top prediction of how the UK property sector will perform in 2020. However, as we've seen recently, anything can happen. Stay tuned for more updates.