Relocating to the UK: Property Market Update
Posted by: Rob Abbott, Vice President of UK Domestic Operations
A truly cosmopolitan nation, the UK has long been an attractive destination for relocating employees and tourists alike. One of the world’s most popular expatriate destinations, recent research shows that the UK is also one of the cheapest locations in Europe for expatriates. Our latest UK Market Watch discusses the property market in the UK focusing on sales and rental trends and the upcoming outlook for 2018.
Where to Live in the UK?
With a wide variety of town and city locations, the UK offers great choices for the discerning expatriate or traveller. As might be expected, London and its surrounding areas are in high demand from both the international community and locals. Accordingly, those looking to secure property in the Greater London area should expect to encounter higher than average prices and lower than average availability.
What’s Happening in the UK Market?
Rental prices across the UK continue to follow the general trend seen in Q1/2 2017, with London continuing to exert significant influence on the overall national rental average. The UK average rent, including Greater London, was £904 per calendar month. When London is excluded from the figures, rent reduces to £753 per month; a 1.1% increase on 2016.
With recent legislative changes in tax relief on buy-to-let mortgages, some shift is expected in the rental market – though the full extent of this is, as yet, unknown.
In the property sales arena, house price growth slowed steadily from 4-6% to 2-4% with the average the UK house price up modestly at £225,021 at the end of December 2017.
Changes to Stamp Duty, with the aim of making the housing market more accessible, have seen a shift in the tax bands for existing rates, and the creation of a wider 0% tax bracket.
2018 UK Market Outlook
The current outlook assumes that a further combination of the subdued economic climate of 2017, and the ongoing squeeze on wage growth, will continue to slow the housing market, albeit moderately. Experts have commented that although the national house price growth is slowing, a combination of the ongoing shortage of properties for sale and low interest rates, making mortgage servicing more affordable, is expected continue to drive growth.
For a more detailed review of the UK rental and sales markets, read the Cartus UK MarketWatch and be sure to watch our newest video on relocating to the UK. For information on relocating around the world, view our Resource Hub and On the Ground video series.