June has traditionally been the month where the UK housing market really gains momentum. It is the time when those in the housing know expect a surge in properties going up for sale and likewise buyers seeking property. However, recent reports from Rightmove suggest a distinctly lacklustre month of inactivity and falling house prices to boot. Add to the mix that this June is the first since 2009 that house prices have fallen and it paints a very gloomy picture indeed.
According to industry experts uncertainty around the June general election is what may have stalled many into a wait and see approach to housing matters. The end result of course has done nothing much to improve things and put this together with continued uncertainty around Brexit and it leaves a rather large politically shaped hole in the UK housing market.
The June figures from Rightmove’s price index show that prices fell in June by 0.4% (between 14th May and 10th June). Their director Mike Shipside lays blame clearly at the door of the political landscape leading to low buyer confidence. Inflation is also having an impact as people struggle with rising household costs and static or diminishing wage packets. Tough times are both here and ahead for UK people.
Figures published earlier in June from the Land Registry showed the biggest increase in house prices since last October for April this year. This left the average UK house price at £220,000 – a £12,000 increase on the previous April. However, figures from last year were skewed due to the introduction of stamp duty on buy to let properties in March 2017 leading to a bumper March and dwindling April figures in 2016. On balance the year on year comparison could be seen as flawed by many.
What the future holds is anyone’s guess as political events continue to pan out. It could be that the housing market continues this stop start pattern for some time to come as buyers and sellers tread cautiously over what path to take in line with external factors.