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UK house prices to freeze in 2018

British expats in the UAE will welcome the news from the prestigious Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)  that UK house prices in 2018 are likely to flatline. A similar prediction from the Halifax Building Society hedges that house price growth is likely to stand between 0% and 3% at the end of 2018. Not much happening pricewise, in other words – which is great news for UK expats out in Dubai with money to invest. UK property has quadrupled in value since 1984 and, over the last fifteen years, has outperformed the stock markets. Is it time for you to stick a toe in the waters? Whether you fancy taking on the much-maligned UK Buy-to-Let market or simply need a second family home, getting a mortgage back in the UK is easily handled from here in Dubai with an experienced broker with the right connections.

The UK Property Market 2018 – Predictions

The same amount of UK homes are expected to be sold in 2018 as in 2017. 1.2m homes were sold in 2017, according to RICS. The rate of growth in UK house prices stood at 2.5pc in November 2017, down from 4.3pc at the beginning of 2017. RICS predict that “price growth may fade to produce a virtually flat outturn for 2018.” The Telegraph newspaper reports that RICS attribute their predicted freeze in UK house prices for 2018 to “a toxic cocktail of low levels of sales and homes on the market, as well as cautious buyers.” For consumers on the lookout to get into property, the situation is anything but toxic; if prices stagnate, healthy bargains will be there to be had.

What about the UK Government’s efforts to boost the Housing Market?

In last month’s Winter Budget, the UK Government attempted (as we reported on the day) to help first-time buyers with a cut in stamp duty. But RICS say this measure is “unlikely to stimulate activity to any great extent” because any saving in tax will be dwarfed by the house prices involved. The Stamp Duty measure is estimated to save first-time buyers £2k on average; and what’s two grand versus the £234k price tag for an average UK home (HPI figures, October 2017)? Other government measures “to help ease the housing crisis … will not come into effect until 2019-20,” said the Telegraph, with “scepticism over whether they will actually help.”

So how do I buy a property in the UK?

If you’re an expat based in the UAE, you can arrange buying a UK house as well as arranging a mortgage using a variety of professionals back home and out here. Set up your own network of advisors and expert executives. You can put together your network of professionals as you please, in whichever format gives you peace of mind. You may already have solicitors and estate agents back in the UK that you can trust. Excellent! So get your UK estate agents on the hunt for a property, and get them talking to your mortgage broker out here in the UAE who will be able to arrange a competitive mortgage for you with one of the big UK lenders. One of the great advantages of using mortgage brokers is that, despite any fees you might incur, only professional experience can spot potential problems of eligibility and affordability before they impact on your deal (or, even worse, your entire financial picture). Without experience, private consumers simply won’t know what’s happening before it’s too late. When you’re dealing with large amounts of money across international borders, we strongly recommend that private consumers take as much professional advice as they can muster. Don’t go it alone. Check out our 2017 broad overview of buying options in UK property.

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