The UK Market
The UK property market has a long and established track record of consistant growth over several decades. Despite the recent economic downturn the British love affair with property shows no sign of abating: it is ingrained in the British psyche to want to own one’s own property.
It is this consistancy that makes the UK property market stand out against other property markets and indeed other investment classes. Very few other countries can rival the UK for the consistancy and strength of its growth. It’s true to say that there have been dips in the market, most notably in the late eighties to mid nineties and toward the end of 2008, but the long term trend is strongly upwards; the latest figures have shown average UK residential property prices, as of the end of 2011, less than 10% below the all-time high of early 2008 and steadily increasing.
The UK property market is currently in a period of recovery. In common with many other global property markets the market dipped sharply in 2008 in the wake of the global financial crisis.
The bottom of the market was reached in the second quarter of 2009 at which time the average house price in the UK had dipped by 16% (according to the Nationwide). By April 2010 the market had recovered by 9% from its trough and remained steadily increasing throughout 2011, with properties selling at at average of 7%-10% below the 2008 peak.
The local picture varies considerably, however. In London the property market is virtually back to where it was at its peak in 2008. Prices in prime London have soared once again driven by overseas investors attracted by the devalued Sterling and the relative cheap cost of borrowing. In wider London supply remains an issue and a rising population will inevitably lead to increased demand. Elsewhere in the UK the picture varies widely but the outlook for the UK residential market in general remains robust.