Property experts’ damning prediction for UK housing market – ‘cannot go on rising forever’

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The past 18 months has seen the property market boom as buyers demanded more space both inside and out. With more people working from home and spending time in their properties, many homeowners found themselves with excess capital. The stamp duty holiday, which began in July 2020, also drove demand pushing prices up on the process.

However, July 2021 saw house prices fall for the first time this year, according to Zoopla, with property supply at its lowest since 2015.

Despite a lack of property supply, buyer demand has remained strong.

In fact, the availability of housing is down more than 26 percent compared to last year’s average – leaving prospective buyers battling it out for the most in-demand properties.

Total listings are 33 percent lower than they were this time in 2018 and 2019.

Astonishingly, one in 20 UK homes have also changed hands over the past year.

With this in mind, three property experts covering multiple aspects of the industry have shared their predictions for the months and years ahead.

Simon Bath, CEO of iPlace Global, a tech platform helping people move home, said people have paid “over the odds” on property this year.

Buyers have also spent more on moving house as services upped their charges in response to increased demand and a shortage in resources.

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The stamp duty holiday also saw people rush to meet deadlines, giving them less time to shop around for the best deal.

Mr Bath continued: “Now most of the savings made available on the SDLT holiday are long gone, people won’t be willing to pay over the odds for removal men, skip hire and the like, and therefore will wait until the market settles.

“In turn, this will further settle the market – and we expect to see a gradual, consistent decline in demand, and the levelling off of property prices.”

David Hannah, property tax specialist and principal consultant at Cornerstone Tax said the property market reached “dizzying heights not seen for decades” this year.

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But the question is “what’s going to happen next?”

Mr Hannah said the recent rise in house prices seems to “level off” in most parts of the UK except from some markets in the northwest and Scotland.

The property expert said he thinks the market has “stopped rising”.

He added: “Eventually, it gets to a point that even if someone has sold their house for a tidy profit, they have nowhere to move to.”

Chris Ward, CEO of SDLT Compass – a new technology for the conveyancing industry – said “the market cannot go on rising forever”.

He continued: “Not only is it unsustainable in a demand sense, as the same savings are no longer available yet prices are still incredibly high, but also, the people involved in the property market cannot keep up with the demand forever.

“We are running out of homes to sell, and conveyancers have long-ran out of resources and time to take on new customers.

“Inversely, no one wants the opposite and the bubble to burst – and it is our hope that a smooth, consistent curve on the property price ‘graph’ continues, and levels out – and it seems to be going that way.”

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