UK Relocation: Rents Up, London Prices Slow and the Brexit Impact
Posted by: Nigel Passingham, VP, Sales for EMEA and APAC
Our latest issue of Cartus UK MarketWatch looks at the UK residential rental and sales markets, including property trends identified in 2016, forecasts for the year ahead, and the possible impact that Brexit may have on the housing market.
Renting in the UK
2016 finished with UK renters paying an average £892 per month, with rents increasing for 11 out of 12 regions year on year. In London, rental values remained way above the UK average, 69% more in fact. That’s an extra £616 per month, and organisations should take this into consideration when sending international assignees to the capital. Those looking to rent should remain flexible in their criteria, prepare relevant documentation before the search begins, and, once a property is found, act quickly to secure it. (HomeLet, December 2016)
UK House Price Growth
Annual house price growth ended in 2016 as it did in 2015, at 4.5%. Interestingly, London’s annual house price growth was lower than the UK average at 3.7%. This is the first time this has occurred since 2008. For those getting onto the property ladder, demand continues to outstrip supply, so it’s important for sellers to set realistic asking prices and follow the advice of their local estate agents.
The North was the weakest performing region in 2016, with prices relatively unchanged year on year. Indeed, the gap in average house prices between regions in the north and south continues to widen, now standing at more than £170,000. (Nationwide Building Society, December 2016)
Brexit Impact on UK Housing
It would appear that the UK housing market has settled down since Brexit was announced last summer, although Hometrack suggests that economic uncertainty about leaving the EU may begin to ‘weigh on housing market sentiment, particularly in southern England.’ As no country has withdrawn from the EU before, it is hard to predict the impact that the process will have on the UK housing market. At the time of publication, further details are beginning to emerge about the UK Government’s stance in the negotiating process, but this uncertainty has the potential to create some instability in the housing market, although the extent and duration of long-term trends are currently unclear.
UK Relocation Planning Going Forward
If you’re involved in UK relocation, be sure to keep up to date with information from leading news sources. This is particularly important to ensure all aspects of relocation planning are covered comprehensively. As more details become known about the Brexit process, Cartus will publish further information on the impact on your global mobility programmes.
For a more detailed review of the UK sales and rental markets, read the Cartus UK MarketWatch.