The last of the leading agency analysts and business consultancies have now given their predictions for the UK housing market in 2018 - and all of them suggest there will be at least some price growth.
The most optimistic is PwC, the business consultancy known to some as PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which gives a forecast for between three and four per cent growth in the mainstream UK-wide housing market in the next 12 months.
However, it adds a cautious caveat.
“In the final housing release of 2017, data from the Office for National Statistics and the Land Registry shows a weakening in the market from the previous month” cautions PwC senior economist Richard Snook.
“House price inflation fell to 4.5 per cent in the year to October, from a downwardly revised 4.8 per cent in September (originally reported as 5.4 per cent). Whilst the headline rate is still positive, momentum now looks weaker due to the September revision. Prices have declined from £226,200 in August to £223,800 in October, a fall of £2,400 on the average home.
“Continuing the recent regional trends, London is the weakest performer. House price inflation in London fell to 2.1 per cent in October, with prices declining from £488,800 in August to £481,100 in October, a drop of £7,700.
“The headline measure from the Budget on 22 November was to scrap stamp duty for most first time buyers, this is likely to provide a small boost to the market in 2018 but … data suggest that uncertainty linked to Brexit may be leading to a wider market slowdown. Our main scenario for 2018 is for UK price growth of 3.0 to 4.0 per cent, but we consider risks are weighted to the downside.”
The rest of the main agency and consultancy predictions are:
Office for Budget Responsibility: up 3.1% in 2018;
Countrywide: up 2% in 2018;
PwC: annual rises to average 4% until 2025;
Jackson-Stops (London only): no change in 2018;
JLL: up 1% in 2018;
Nationwide: up 1% next year;
Rightmove: up 1% in 2018;
Savills: up 1% in 2018 and 2.5% in 2019;
Strutt & Parker (prime London only): falls of up to 5% next year;
Cluttons: up 3.2% in 2018 and 2.4% in 2019.