Welcome to 2019 – what’s in store?

Few people are making predictions for the next 12 months – and they are more optimistic as one might have thought, writes Graham Norwood

Forecasting 2019? With Brexit and wider political and economic uncertainty? Some may regard it as foolhardy but a few people are making predictions for the next 12 months – and they are more optimistic as one might have thought, writes Graham Norwood.

“We expect 2019 to be a good year for the property market as a decision of some sort is made on Brexit,” forecasts James Greenwood of Stacks Property Search, a buying agency that operates in London and across the UK.

“There are an estimated 6m households living in the wrong property and the country needs to get moving. Whatever the Brexit outcome, we will certainly see a significant increase in activity. More supply will be matched by more demand and I don’t expect us to see any dramatic rise or fall in prices,” he suggests.

On the sales side too, agents are making forecasts that see silver linings.

Property consultancy JLL claims that a new phase of affordability and a sharp rise in confidence will take hold across the UK – first in London and the south of England, where prices will rise once a deal has been agreed on Brexit.

It anticipates house prices across the UK will grow by 11.4 percent in the next five years, starting slowly in early 2019. Then there will be an increase to 1.5 percent by the end of 2019, post-Brexit deal, and price growth returning to what JLL calls “a more stable three percent” per year by 2021.

Meanwhile one of the property industry’s most respected analysts – Richard Donnell of property consultancy Hometrack – says: “Two and a half years on from the Brexit vote, our analysis reveals a limited direct impact from Brexit uncertainty on the housing market thus far”.

He adds that London has slowed in terms of numbers of apartments and houses being sold. But he gives hope for 2019 by adding: “Our housing indicators suggest no imminent deterioration in the outlook for prices or market activity”.

There is more clearly positive news for London’s lettings sector – and a vote of confidence in landlords and investors providing homes for the rental market.

London rents will rise by 15.9 percent in the next five years according to Savills – amongst the highest rental increase anywhere in the country.

“Until the market sees a significant injection of (new) stock, rental demand will outstrip supply… This will add to upwards pressure on rents, particularly in London,” explains Lucian Cook, head of research for the agency.

So is it a Happy New Year for owners and landlords? It’s certainly a difficult one to read but with rents rising and the sales market stable, there’s all to play for.

All the best for the year ahead.

“…with rents rising and the sales market stable, there’s all to play for”