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2017 was very much a year of two halves for UK property prices. The first six months were ‘business as usual’ as house prices steadily increased. This growth was very much as predicted with house prices rising on average between 5 and 8 percent.

It was as the property industry geared up for the busiest time of the year that the housing market stalled. From May onwards, as we progressed through the summer months, we began to see subsequent stunted growth with many regions reporting consecutive monthly falls, the likes of which we have not seen since 2008.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors cited - fewer people looking to buy as the predominant reason, coupled with political uncertainty and looming interest rate hikes.

The North-South divide continued to persist with Scotland, North East England and Wales being the only areas where sales picked up, while in the rest of the country trends were either flat or negative. The immediate forecast is for sales to continue to flatline with an overall decrease in property prices for 2018 as a whole.

A more positive view can be found on the horizon of a longer-term outlook with national house prices predicted

to rise by at least six percent over the next five years. This growth has been forecast by Barclays who believe that the UK property industry will return to more buoyant times once we have weathered the storm.

Over the next five years, it is believed that high employment rates, growth in private housing market levels and an increase in rates of average earnings will contribute to rising property prices across the UK.

The South is expected to see the largest annual property price increase over this period, however property investors are looking north for good value for money and income stability.

Over a third of high net worth investors looking to purchase property in northern regions think that property prices are going to rise, with over a quarter who plan to purchase citing ‘strong rental income’ as a reason to invest here.

This positive outlook will be received as positive news for both homeowners and homebuyers and will act as a tonic to the current fears of political uncertainty and looming rises in interest rates.

But, of course, our ‘crystal ball’ is only as good as yours...