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United Kingdom (UK) - Property Prices

The United Kingdom experienced a troubling housing burst in the latter part of the noughties, when housing sales and property values plummeted. Similar fears were prevalent in 2012 and 2013 due to concerns that the market is still in a tenuous position. Over the past few months, housing prices have been on the increase.

Halifax reported prices rising by 6.9% in the last ten months. The average home in the United Kingdom, a single family dwelling, rose in price to £172,000. According to further statistics, prices in Britain have increased by 25% in the last five years. The expected results for prices in 2014 are an increase of 25% to 30% depending on the area. The South East and East of England are expected to rise by as much as 31% in housing prices, while Northern England, Wales, and Scotland will see only a 20% increase in property prices.

The BBC has stated that those wishing to buy a house in London require on average an extra £150,000 to buy a house compared with the rest of England and the UK. If the median housing price is £172,000 this would mean that at least £300,000 is required to buy a simple dwelling in London.

In Scotland housing prices have not increased like they have in England. In fact prices have fallen by 1.2%, which means a slight reduction on the average UK price. Northern Ireland has seen the highest fall in housing prices in 2013 with a 2.1% reduction. It has been estimated that house prices in Wales will increase by 21% in the next five years. So far in 2013, housing prices overall have declined by 1.7%.

Buying a House for an Investment

Real estate is always a good investment due to the potential of increased value over time. Current housing research states that the coming few years will be good times to buy property in the UK for investment purposes.

The suggestion that the housing market will continue to increase despite some setbacks to lower pricing in Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland makes it clear that there is potential. Projections for housing prices to increase over 30% in some areas means there is a potential of buying a home today and selling it in five or ten years for more than its initial value.

In the last few years investors have purchased many homes and the number of new houses being built dropped after the housing bubble burst. The market is starting to get back on track, making now the optimal time to buy. In two or three years it could well be a seller’s market in the UK.

Expats and Buying in the UK

The UK has a fair housing market system. Legislation is in place to ensure that a transparent buying process can occur. Nonetheless, real estate agents will try to gain as much as possible from a housing sale. Prices will be set at an appropriate value and estate agents will try to get the full value of a property. It will not matter whether the buyer is an expat; the agent is in the business of making money from commissions and satisfying their seller. There is a possibility that an agent might try to increase the price of a house above market value when selling to expats, but all it takes is a little research into current prices to negotiate the appropriate buying price, since prices can easily be checked online and agents know that an unsatisfied potential buyer can simply walk away.

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