As 2015 comes to a close we look back on five of the year’s biggest developments in the UK property markets. With some major political and economic changes causing a huge impact on house values – and the housing market as a whole – it certainly has been a big year for change. Below are House Network’s selected top five developments:
The Conservative Party victory in the May General Election
Following the majority win in the General Election, the Conservative Party’s manifesto promised many changes. Key points included helping young people get into the housing market. The Conservatives have also promised to build 200,000 starter homes in a bid to help young people get on the property ladder at a 20% discount. Other key features were introducing the ‘Help to Buy’ ISAs to support young people saving for a deposit. They also pledged to invest £400,000 into regenerating brownfield land so that new homes can be built across the country.
Record High London House Prices
This year the average house prices in London soared to record highs. Despite political attempts to help improve the housing situation, property prices in the capital continued to rise. The average priced property hit a record of £500,000, meaning that many people were, and continue to be, priced out of buying in the city; choosing to rent for a longer period instead.
In July, George Osborne’s housing budget unveiled some potentially big implications for the future. The red suitcase revealed that social housing rents were to fall by 1% possibly impacting on landlords’ overall income. July’s budget also made property news UK-wide by planning to abolish the housing benefit for under-21s by 2017 and forcing social housing tenants earning above £30,000 to pay more.
Buy-to-Let Landlords Facing Higher Tax Bills
Plans were also unveiled this year to increase the tax bills buy-to-let landlords and second home owners have to pay. By 2017 taxes could be increased by up to 40% meaning that there could be a surge to buy properties in locations popular with buy-to-let investors. This could again see house prices rise even further over the coming years.
House Prices Stalling in November
Recently it was seen that house prices slowed down marginally across the UK in November, despite relatively consistent higher levels. There was a 0.1% growth in October meaning that the market had slowed down for the first time in months, however demand still remains high.
The above are really just a snapshot of what was quite an exciting year. It only remains now will to see what 2016 will bring for the UK property markets, for the moment though it will be a matter of wait and see.