Its prediction time of year and I thought it might be useful to provide links to some of the more authoritative forecasts (i.e. ones not written by estate agents) that have been released so far.
As you will notice if you click through to them (see links below), there is something of a consensus that 2015 is expected to be a case of ‘steady as she goes’ with relatively minor changes in price, lending, interest rates or transactions. That sounds about right.
There is one major change in Scotland that does not apply to the UK as a whole, the introduction of the new Land & Buildings Transactions tax. You can find more on that here, but it’s properly the subject of a separate post in its own right.
If you don’t want to read all of the forecasts, here’s a quick summary of the headlines.
Remember, these relate to the UK or Scotland as a whole. Prices in your area may not follow the national trend. See my earlier piece on this here.
CML: No forecast
RICS: Price rise of 4% in Scotland but 3% for the UK as a whole
Halifax: Prices will rise by 3% – 5%.
The bank base rate has a huge influence on mortgage costs and these forecasts refer to when it is likely to rise. But as the CML points out: ‘We have seen a material compression in mortgage spreads through 2013 and 2014’. In other words, the gap between what banks pay to borrow money and the amount they charge borrowers can vary – so a rise in base rate does not inevitably imply an identical rise in mortgage costs.
CML: First increase of 0.25% in late 2015
RICS: First increase of 0.25% in August 2015
Halifax: Likely that first rate rise will be in second half of 2015, but could be earlier
Transactions (all UK)
This is a proxy measure for demand and supply. A ‘normal’ market is thought to be around 1,500,000 transactions a year for the UK as a whole, so even the more optimistic forecast from the RICS still implies a relatively subdued market.
Halifax: No forecast