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UK house prices remain ‘reassuringly resilient’

Residential property prices were at the forefront of the Brexit debate in the run-up to the EU referendum, with the now former chancellor George Osborne claiming that the value of homes in the UK could fall by as much as 18% following a Brexit vote.

Based on the average price of a home in the UK at the time, Osborne’s forecast suggested that the average residential property could drop in value by more than £50,000 within two years of the vote in comparison with what it would be if the UK stayed in the EU.

But Osborne’s forecasts have so far proved wrong, with property prices remaining “reassuringly resilient” as reflected by a “robust December”, according to Rob Weaver, director of investments at property crowdfunding platform Property Partner.

He commented: “Despite an easing in annual growth, due largely to falling demand from investors, house prices have stayed stable.

“Scarcity of supply is underpinning the market with a near 30-year low in available homes for sale adding to the continuing issue of not enough residential properties being built.

“And with interest rates at rock bottom, there’s still a seemingly strong appetite from buyers whether first-time or those hoping to move up the ladder.”

Reflecting on the latest Halifax data, released yesterday, which showed that residential property prices rose by 1.7% to an average of £222,484 in December, Weaver added: “Last December, the average UK house price [according to Halifax] was £208,474.

“A year on and the average home has risen more than £14,000 - persistent proof that bricks and mortar are a reliable store of value despite difficult conditions such as the stamp duty hike for second homes in April and EU referendum result in June.” 

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