Five questions on: House prices in 2014

 

What's going to happen? More price rises in London and the South-east while the rest of the country remains relatively flat?

London property prices will continue to dwarf those in the rest of the UK this year, but the rate of growth is expected to stabilise at 5-7 per cent, says estate agent Marsh & Parsons. That's compared to a rise of 10.3 per cent in the last 12 months, with the majority of growth expected to take place in the first half of the year. Chief executive Peter Rollings said: "We expect a strong start in 2014 to drive a rise in prices – but these won't be as spectacular as last year."

Is there anything happening which could hold the market back?

Several. "There are some new factors coming into play in the New Year that could dampen demand for homes and curb prices," warns Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors. "New mortgage market regulations could slow the pace of lending, and make it more difficult to access home finance. Meanwhile, the initial buying buzz inspired by Help to Buy could well quieten down." He says the bank of mum and dad is drying up too, as inflation eats away at parents' savings.

That doesn't sound so positive...

Mr Sexton still predicts that prices across the country will climb by a steady 3-5 per cent.

What else could affect prices?

There's an air of confidence engulfing the market, says David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services. "With the Government's housing plans focused on supply, this should help prevent the doors closing on first-time buyers and prices climbing beyond their grasp. If drastically more homes are built then the resurgence in the market will keep going beyond 2014."

What about beyond this year? There are likely to be increases in interest rates in 2014 ahead of the general election in 2015. For that reason, it could be a good time to fix.

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