Predictions for the year

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What will the 2018 housing market bring for buyers and sellers?

The housing market has been sending out some mixed messages recently – on the one hand there’s talk of consumers being reluctant to make big decisions amid wider economic uncertainty and a squeeze on their living costs, but on the other hand, house prices have continued to climb in many areas, with reports of a lack of properties to choose from in popular locations. Here’s a look at what the market could bring…

What will happen to house prices in 2018?

In general, predictions have ranged from house prices being flat across the UK to edging up by a few percentage points by this time next year. Economists believe the squeeze on incomes from inflation will limit what buyers are willing to pay.

Does that mean house price growth is expected to be subdued across the whole of the UK? Last year seen been big differences between areas of the UK in how the housing market has performed. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has said pricing in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and north-west England has been resilient compared with some other places.

Will buyers have more opportunities to bag a bargain?

When it comes to sealing a deal, more house sales are now going through at less than the original price sellers had wanted, according to estate agents. For some buyers, they may find there’s more room for negotiation, depending on what the local housing market is like at the time. But the supply of properties on the market is still tight in many places, so sellers in these areas may feel more confident in holding firm on price.

How about first-time buyers?

There are still plenty of mortgage options available for people with lower deposits. Those who have slightly less than a 10% deposit may find quite a “substantial advantage” in being able to access a better mortgage rate if they can scrape together more cash to push themselves into the 10% deposit bracket. In some good news for first-time buyers, Hometrack predicts this sector will make up the largest group of buyers in 2018.

Source: s1homes Lanarkshire magazine

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