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Overall asking prices will remain flat in 2019, Rightmove predicts

The national average asking price of property coming to market is to remain flat at 0% in 2019, according to a Rightmove forecast.

The portal said that the increase in political and economic uncertainty will have a ‘detrimental effect’ on the current fundamentals of the housing market.

Prices in parts of the more buoyant northern half of the UK are set to rise by 2-4%. However, this will be offset by new sellers adjusting their prices downwards in parts of the south.

With this, Rightmove predicts that prices in the London commuter-belt regions will fall by around 2%, while Greater London will slow its current annual rate of decrease from -2.4% to an average fall of -1%.

Miles Shipside, director and housing market analyst at Rightmove, said that although buyer affordability is stretched in some parts of the UK due to house price rises having outstripped wage rises, the underlying fundamentals supporting the housing market are currently sound.

“Positive employment data and affordable mortgage interest rates at high loan-to-value ratios are key to keeping property prices broadly in line with current levels,” he said.

“Buyer sentiment has been helped by recent interest rate rises not being fully passed on, which may continue to be the case with any future base rate rises as long as healthy competition remains among lenders keen for new business.”

Since the financial crisis in 2008, many parts of the northern half of the UK have seen marginal or relatively modest price increases. According to Rightmove, these areas will continue to see price rises, though tempered by affordability constraints.

In contrast, regions in and around the influence of London have seen prices by an average of around 40% in the last five years. Rightmove forecasts that these areas will continue to see modest downward price adjustments in 2019.

Shipside continued: “Agents in some locations are reporting that home movers are being negatively influenced by the ongoing political uncertainty, and a more certain outlook would obviously assist market sentiment.”

“Whilst uncertainty traditionally deters some discretionary movers, particularly at the high end of the market, there are many would-be buyers and sellers who will be getting on with their lives and will be keeping the market moving.”

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