Let the good times roll. After years of average performance since 2008, this year saw the British property market roar back to life. According to Halifax, prices rose by 7.7 per cent across the country as a whole. In London, the figure was more than 10 per cent. Elsewhere, growth was not so strong – parts of the North and the West Country, in particular, might ask when this economic recovery is going to arrive. But in general, 2013 was a success story for British property. What will 2014 bring? Whether you are a first-time buyer or a foreign billionaire, here is what the next 12 months have in store.
The general agreement is that next year will bring more of the same for homeowners. “It will be another good year for property prices,” says Doug Shephard of home.co.uk. “Increased confidence will no doubt produce extraordinary price rises. Regional disparities that exist will continue to play out, and may well be exaggerated further by the Government’s blanket implementation of Help to Buy.” Savills agrees that 2014 will see a continued increase in prices, with Greater London catching up with prime central London. It expects the commutable area around the capital to increase by five and six per cent, with central London rising three per cent. The rest of England and Wales will see a three-four per cent increase, with Scotland lagging behind at one per cent.
With an increasingly limited supply of properties and ongoing demand, it could prove a popular year for making a change. “We have experienced a 21 per cent year-on-year increase in traffic, ” says Miles Shipside of Rightmove. “With mortgages still historically cheap and interest rates set to remain stable, if you’ve been putting off a good reason to up sticks, it could be opportune to make 2014 the year to move.”