People’s perceptions of the UK property market are usually informed by the main news headlines. Each month the main news headlines will report either a small rise or fall in property prices. This figure is then used to give an indication of the overall health of the UK economy.
Unfortunately this gives potential buyers, and sellers, a distorted picture of what’s going on near them. Though the national average for this month might be a 1.2% fall in house prices, prices could have risen by as much as 10% in your area.
These regional discrepancies are quite important at the moment. Nationally, house prices have risen by 1.7%. However, this figure disguises the 1.8% rise in England, the 1.6% rise in Wales, a 0.9% rise in Scotland and a 10.1% drop in Northern Ireland (Office for National Statistics Figures).
With this high level of variation between the home nations it’s also obvious that there will be great fluctuations within these areas. One key example is the current property market in London. Last year (to September) house prices in London rose by 5.2%. This is 3.4% above the average across England and 15.3% higher than the average in Northern Ireland. This is a prime example of headline figures disguising what’s actually going on in the property market across the UK.
Unfortunately, these figures, the low availability of mortgages and the wider financial climate are all dramatically slowing the UK property market. Overall, the market slowed by 0.2% in August / September this year. However, for those who are willing to take an in-depth look at what the market is doing on a local level, you are still able to find very good investment opportunities.