To say that 2019 was an interesting year for the UK property market would be an understatement. Despite the constant political and economic uncertainty throughout the year (thanks to the December General Election and overarching Brexit debate), the property market remained strong for the most part. In the end the Conservative party were victorious in the election, and the result finally offered a slight break from the economic uncertainty that had been ever present throughout the year.
The result of the election meant that 2019 ended on a high for property investors. According to the Nationwide index, annual UK house price growth exceeded one percent for the first time in 12 months in December. House prices also rose by 1.4 percent over the December 2018 to December 2019 period, a substantial increase on the 0.8 percent recorded from November 2018 to November 2019. During the final month house prices saw also an increase of 0.1 percent.
This promising end to the year paved the way for a renewed interest in investing in buy-to-let property, after a large number of investors had held back on investing until the outcome of the General Election. Perrys Chartered Accountants carried out a recent survey wherein 75% of the 1,000 people surveyed said that they still believe that the buy-to-let market represents a worthwhile investment. Interestingly, that figure rose to 83% when only taking millennials into account. It seems as though investment in buy-to-let property will continue to be extremely popular throughout 2020, with the survey finding that the main reasons for this included a better choice of mortgages available for buy-to-let products, followed by the reduction in stamp duty.
With the property market starting off in such a positive way and the interest in buy-to-let investment continuing to be strong at the start of the year, 2020 is setting up to be a great year for investors. According to predictions by Zoopla, city house prices are set to rise by 3% throughout the year. Some of the most affordable cities in the UK are even set to register above average price growth in the coming year, with areas including Liverpool, Belfast and Glasgow all expecting growth of up to 4%.
Richard Donnell, research and insight director at Zoopla, said: “In the wake of the election result, much has been made of the likely impact on the housing market and wider economy. The election result provides an element of certainty for households looking ahead to 2020, but the result changes very little in terms of housing market fundamentals.
“While we expect some pent-up demand to return to the market in 2020Q1, the affordability of housing across the country will dictate the level to which prices will increase in 2020. Lower mortgage rates have already been reflected in higher house prices, which means house prices are set to rise at a lower rate in future – more in line with average earnings. We expect UK city house prices to increase by 3% over 2020.
2020 is shaping up to be an incredibly good year in the property market, and with a final conclusion on Brexit expected early on it will only improve. Now is the perfect time to invest in buy-to-let property, so why not take a look at some of our flagship developments here.