News from Darren,
February 2019.

A silver lining of the Brexit process had been low interest rates, and the uncertainty of Brexit is helping to keep mortgage rates low and hence the costs of home ownership low.
In August last year the Bank of England raised the base rate to 0.75 per cent from 0.5 per cent, only the second rise in a decade. Mr Carney, Governor of the Bank of England has indicated rates will continue to rise, but slowly.
But what does this mean for house prices in Cumbria?
In the past year house prices in Cumbria were similar to the year before and just 6% up on 2016 when they averaged at £180,780
According to Zoopla estimates the average price for property in Cumbria stood at £200,270 in January 2019. This is a fall of 1.30% in the last three months, since October 2018, and a rise of 0.64% 12 months ago. In terms of property types, flats in Cumbria sold for an average of £152,565 and terraced houses for £132,159.
So, we feel the market here in Cumbria is pretty robust and stable with everything relying on the interest rate staying as it is.
All the hype surrounding Brexit has scared the house market which admittedly has slowed down since the referendum. But not to the extent that things have become critical. With the pound loosing value means that buying property in the UK is very attractive to overseas buyers. This should bolster the market even if buyers at home are being cautious.
Buying a house remains one of the best investments you can make.

Predicted to endure

There is no getting away from the fact that the house market has slowed, but is this due to Brexit, the US sanctions on China destabilising the world economy, or simply the time of year? I personally think it’s a combination of all these factors.
However, reports show that hits to estate agents’ online sites have increased, which means there is still an appetite for buying and selling property even if its not translating into actual sales yet.
New listings on the online agents are actually down by 4.9%, but the high street agents report an increased 8% of new listings.
The most dominant online agent between January 23rd and February 6th remains Purplebricks which listed 2,843 new properties, against 450 listed by its closest rival Yopa. This could be due to the heavy investment Purplebricks have ploughed into their TV advertising.
For investors though, the weak pound and the all-time low house prices is great news and even better news for foreign investors who want a safe haven for their cash.
The last 18 months has seen an increase of nearly 400% in South African investment in UK property. The reason, to protect themselves from currency volatility. The Rand has fallen by more than a fifth (21%) against the US dollar in the face of political and economic pressures.
Many South Africa’s investors have been searching for international investments that can shelter their money from the instability of their domestic currency. Good news for the UK property market.
With the UK property market considered to be relatively stable in these tumultuous times and predicted to endure well in the longer-term, means that to invest in property will remain a good move for us in the UK as well as attracted overseas investors.