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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Buckle-up: Bumpy few months ahead for housing market

House prices are forecast to dip as the year ends and stagnate at the start of 2020 according to the latest forecast.

The prediction comes from Reallymoving, a home moving service which tracks prices paid and sales agreed in recent months, which are thus likely to complete in the next three months.

It suggests that average prices in England and Wales are set to dip by 0.3 per cent in November and 1.1 per cent in December, with zero growth forecast in January 2020. 

It says that despite the continued lack of clarity over Brexit, buyers and sellers who need to move have pressed ahead to agree deals with values peaking later than usual in October and tailing off towards the end of the year.

Reallymoving says that the latest data from HMRC shows a modest five per cent increase in transaction levels in September, indicating that demand from those who need to move for work, family or financial reasons is continuing to support prices. 

Annually, the site claims house prices have performed better than expected in 2019, with the year-on-year rise by the end of December likely to be around 4.1 per cent. 

Average house prices will end the year at £299,705 in December 2019, compared with £287,901 some 12 months previously. 

Rob Houghton, the site’s chief executive, says: “Most regions of the UK are set to see prices dip over the final quarter of the year which is partly down to seasonality as the market follows its usual pattern of peaking in the late summer/early autumn and then tailing off steadily towards the end of the year.

“2019 was never going to be a stellar year for the market but despite consumer confidence taking a battering, prices in England and Wales are on course to end the year four per cent higher than at the end of 2018, which supports our belief that the underlying value of property remains fundamentally stable.”

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