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“Brexit’s not to blame” for housing market doldrums

One of the country’s most detailed housing market forecasts for 2019 suggests house prices will fall in London and nearby regions - but it insists Brexit is not to blame.

The listings website Home, which issues a detailed monthly housing market snapshot, predicts that house prices across the country are set to slip by around one per cent over the next 12 months.

More spectacular falls are likely to be seen in three areas that Home says have already retreated into the red during 2018: Greater London, the South East and the East of England.

The price falls seen in these regions next year could be as high as 3.5 per cent in London at least, says the website, which predicts that the South West of England could join the ‘in the red’ regions.

Home says the SW saw prices rise modestly by 0.7 per cent in 2018 but these are set to drop back by 1.0 per cent in 2019. 

“Some of this year’s most successful regional property markets are also set for a hammering in 2019” says the site.

“In the West Midlands, prices have shot up by 5.2 per cent in the 12 months to December 2018 but are set to rise by a far lower rate of just 2.0 per cent next year. And the East Midlands, which saw annual price inflation of 3.6 per cent, should brace itself for zero growth during 2019” warns Home.

On a more upbeat note, the site anticipates that the North West, Yorkshire and Wales should both see repeats of the strong growth witnessed this year.

“Looking ahead to 2019, our trend indicators suggest that national price growth will likely be in the red by 1.0 per cent towards the end of next year” says Home’s director Doug Shephard. 

“We don’t expect London prices to pull out of their shallow dive until 2020 and, what’s more, other regions look set to slide into negativity in 2019.

“Going forward, the major challenge for estate agents will be to manage the expectations of vendors in the growing number of regions where prices are sliding. Failing that, property auctions look well placed to profit from the increasing numbers of frustrated sellers in and around London.

“Brexit is not to blame. Sure, May’s mess is not helping, but the current post-boom hangover was ‘baked into the cake’ when the Bank of England reduced rates to historic lows back in 2009.”

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