United Kingdom Housing Market Sees Rate of Annual Price Growth Decline

The United Kingdom housing market is experiencing a period with annual price growth in decline. Annual price growth through August 2018 declined to 2% from July’s rate of 2.5%. Additionally, house values on a month to month basis declined by 0.5%, the largest monthly decline on record since July 2012.

What is causing the annual price growth to decline?

The annual price growth is declining due to a number of factors:

  • The UK housing market is coming off an extended thirty-year expansion as economic growth begins to slow.
  • Uncertainty fueled by Brexit has further dampened both the economy and home buyer enthusiasm.
  • In the UK, an increase in stamp duty on second homes to 3% has also hurt demand. Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax on land transactions in the UK arising from the Finance Act of 2003. SDLT is not a stamp duty, but a form of self-assessed transfer tax charged on “land transactions.”
  • The market typically experiences a period of slow activity during the summer months as well, with many people on holiday.
  • The UK housing market currently has too much stock on the market, dampening prices. The market has the highest amount of stock since September 2015. Up to one third of houses have had at least one price reduction, the highest percentage in summer since 2011.

These factors combined are creating a faster rate of annual price growth declines. The declining rate of annual price growth is further hampered by falling UK home prices.

Where are prices declining the most?

London is currently experiencing an economic slowdown. Home prices in London are falling at their fastest rate since the city experienced the pain of the worldwide financial crisis earlier in this decade. London home prices fell 0.7% on an annual basis through June, the lowest rate since September 2009, and fell 0.2% in May. June was the fifth month London house prices have fallen in 2018. The rate of annual price growth has been slowing in the UK since 2016, and has remained below 5% throughout most of 2017 and 2018.

What should employers expect?

Employers should expect that the UK housing market may present favorable conditions for relocations to the UK market, as buyers may be able to obtain good quality properties at better prices. Conversely, employers looking to relocate employees from the UK market may experience longer delays for property sales. They may also experience some transferees not desiring to relocate in the short term due to lower home selling prices.

What should employers do?

Employers should review their hiring plans and determine if there are opportunities to relocate transferees to the UK while the housing market is presenting favorable buying opportunities. Employers should examine their relocation policies to determine if they should be amended to assist transferees looking to relocate out of the UK as the housing market experiences annual price growth declines and home prices decline overall.

Conclusion

Global Mobility Solutions’ team of global relocation experts has helped thousands of our clients with their country-specific employment, visa, and residency requirements. We can help your company understand how to understand and respond effectively to the UK housing market’s impact on transferees and their willingness to accept relocations as annual price growth declines.

Learn how housing markets impact relocations from Global Mobility Solutions, the relocation industry and technology experts who are dedicated to keeping you informed and connected. Contact our experts online or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.

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