Will 2015 Be The Year When The North Catches Up?

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The North of England has been particularly slow to catch up with property price growth in the rest of the UK, but there is hope on the Horizon for 2015 according to Home.co.uk.

The economy is growing, fuel prices have fallen to levels last seen six years ago. The feelgood factor is returning in early 2015 after years of gloomy economic numbers. The same optimism might also apply to the UK housing market in the year ahead according to a statistics released by Home.co.uk which shows that property prices are rising in more regions than expected at this early stage in the year.

Price discounting is also at a four-year low as sellers are hanging on for the best price rather than slashing tens of thousands of pounds off the price of their houses just to secure a sale. As a result, the average asking price for a house in England and Wales is now 7.8% higher than this time last year.

Despite other housing related agencies predicting a levelling off of house prices in London in recent months, prices have risen by 0.6% in Greater London even if prices have admittedly been falling in prime Central London of late.

London of course has been setting the pace and driving the rest of the UK’s housing market since the slump in 2008 but the real news is that the North East is showing signs of life at long last. Prices in the North East increased by 0.4% according to the Home.co.uk survey.

The increase in property prices across most of the UK’s regions is long overdue. Growth in prices is said by many analysts to have come from demand being ahead of supply, but beyond London and the South East there is little evidence to support this assumption.

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It is more likely that a combination of an improving economy, low interest rates and availability of mortgages are the main contributors to people becoming more optimistic when it comes to purchasing houses.

Buy to Let investors will also be buoyed by rents that are rising at 3% per annum on average. “015 could be a very good year to invest in property with a whole range of competitive mortgage deals available for those who wish to expand their property portfolios.

The one dark spot is the coming election which may bring housing reform and the possibility of rent capping, depending on which party is occupying number 10 come the summer of 2015. In the run up to the election however, expect to see a busy spring of activity across the UK.

Posted on: January 19, 2015

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Scott Neal

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