According to international property consultant Knight Frank, the annual change in prices in prime regional housing markets in England and Wales fell for the first time in 18 months in 2018, according to Knight Frank figures. Values dipped by 0.9% in the fourth quarter of the year taking the annual change to -0.6%.U.K. Country Home Market FAQs:
- Prime regional property prices in England and Wales declined in the fourth quarter of 2018, taking the annual change to -0.6%
- Demand, as measured by prospective buyer registrations and viewings, is on a par with levels seen a year ago and above the level seen in 2015
- The North of England was the strongest performing region in 2018, with an annual price growth of 1.3%
- Townhouses have been the strongest performing property type, with a growth of 24% over the past five years
- Knight Frank forecasts cumulative price growth of 0.5% across prime regional markets in 2019 and cumulative growth of 8.2% between 2019 and 2023
Recent performance reflects a general lack of urgency among both discretionary buyers and new vendors, with uncertainty over Brexit and the political future of the UK now at the forefront of their minds. Many, according to Knight Frank negotiators, are choosing to sit tight and wait for clarity as the March 2019 deadline for leaving the EU nears.
Knight Frank further reports that despite hesitancy, it is worth noting that demand, as measured by prospective buyer registrations and viewings, is on a par with levels seen a year ago and above the level seen in 2015, irrespective of the current uncertainty. This may suggest that pent-up demand is forming and could be released once the political uncertainty recedes.
Where sales are being achieved they are generally taking longer to complete, particularly in the south of England. Knight Frank analysis measuring the time taken between when a property is listed for sale and a sale is agreed shows that, so far in 2018, the time taken to sell a house valued above £500,000 in the South East has increased by 23% compared with 2016. In the East of England the increase is 28%.Regional Variations
It remains the case that there are variations in price performance depending on property type and location. At a regional level, for example, prices dipped by 3.1% annually in prime markets across the North Thames and Chilterns. In the North, annual price growth was positive, albeit only at 1.3%.
Price movements also varied by property type, with longer-term performance highlighting some stark differences. Manor houses, for example, have reported modest growth of just 0.8% during the past five years, compared with growth of 19% and 24% respectively for cottages and townhouses over the same period.