Despite Brexit uncertainty, UK house prices rise

By: Damian Wood
Damian Wood
As an experienced trader, I work for myself managing my own small portfolio and also contributing on several investment news sites.… read more.
on Jan 6, 2020
Updated: Mar 11, 2020
  • A report by Nationwide Building Society indicated a modest gain in UK house prices in 2019.
  • Among the top gainers were Scotland and The West Midlands having gained 2.8% and 2.7% respectively.
  • London was at the bottom of the list of gainers, hardly managing a 0.3% rise.

The UK house prices were negatively impacted by the Brexit uncertainty for the better part of last year, but tables started turning as we approached 2020. On average, the UK housing market closed off the year with a 1.4% gain; this is according to a report by Nationwide Building Society.

The society indicated that the house prices in most parts of the UK took a hit up until October before the market started recovering to close the year with the modest gain. By last year December, the average price of a house in the UK was £215,282, Nationwide stated.

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Analysts noted that the gain was a sign of a market that was “getting back to shape” after months of uncertainty.

An October report by Halifax, a mortgage lender stated that the Uk house prices had dropped to a six-year low.

 According to the chief economist of Nationwide: “Indicators of UK economic activity were fairly volatile for much of 2019 but the underlying pace of growth appeared to slow through the year as a result of weaker global growth and intensification of Brexit uncertainty.”

The UK’s highest gainer was Scotland having recorded a 2.8% gain in 2019. This was Scotland’s first lead since 2008, Nationwide said. The West Midlands came in second with a 2.7% gain.

At the bottom of the list was London with a price decline of 1.8% during the last twelve months. The gain in London house prices barely made it to 0.3%.

But Gardner cleared any hopes of a bounce-back due to Boris’s election win last month.

“Much will continue to depend on how quickly uncertainty about the UK’s future trading relationships lifts as well as the outlook for global growth. Overall, we expect the economy to continue to expand at a modest pace in 2020, with house prices remaining broadly flat over the next 12 months,” Gardner said.

Calculations by Halifax place 2020’s UK house price growth at between 1% to 3%.

PF Private Clients chief executive Mark Harris stated that the UK housing held up “exceptionally well” last year. “This has been assisted by strong employment, low mortgage rates and a lack of supply, which supported prices even in the face of considerable economic and political uncertainty. First-time buyers were the big success story of the year, steadily growing in number,” he said.

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