Average prices in the UK housing market are expected to rise at a brisk pace in the summer months, ahead of Brexit, according to a House Price Forecast Index by ReallyMoving.
The price comparison site presented its summer forecast, which extended from July to September, and found that, even after factoring in the usual summer outperformance seen in the housing market, UK homes could expect to see a price surge between July and August.
The forecast period covered the months shortly before the UK’s expected departure date from the EU.
Resilience across the country
Price growth across the regional markets was expected to show resilience in the coming months, according to ReallyMoving. Two thirds of the 12 regions they surveyed were expected to see prices rise in the coming three months. Northern Ireland was forecast to see some of the strongest growth of any region.
ReallyMoving pencilled in a projected price rise of as much as 6 per cent in the third quarter for Northern Ireland, but England showed a more varied performance in different regions. Valuations in the North East were expected to re-adjust, with a forecast price decline of 4.8 per cent. The North West was also projected to see a quarterly price decline, of 2.8 per cent.
This predicted summer surge was highly likely to occur, according to ReallyMoving, as they noted that house hunting activity accelerated in May, which they expected to translate into price rises by August, when these sales were likely to be completed.
Brexit deferred but still looming
The Brexit delay was noted as a potential temporary boost to the UK housing market, according to ReallyMoving. They speculated that there had been a slowdown before the original departure date in March.
They went on to add that, as soon as the UK’s EU departure was delayed until October, potential buyers who were tired of waiting seemed to have decided to buy as soon as possible, to avoid being caught out after Brexit.
Rob Houghton, CEO of ReallyMoving, explained: “The chance of us leaving the EU without a deal seems increasingly likely and people are realising that the window between now and the end of October may present their best opportunity to sell. The market has proved itself to be surprisingly stable over the last twelve months, but this could change, if we crash out of the EU on Halloween.”