UK property prices on the up in 2015 good news for expat buyers

Expatriate and overseas buyers eyeing the UK property market will be encouraged by three of the latest forecasts for UK property prices in 2015 from property specialists Savills, Knight Frank and a poll of 20 experts carried out by Reuters. The average rate of growth for the UK is forecast variously at 1% by Savills, 3.5% by Knight Frank and 6% by the Reuters poll. Set against this is the view of the Centre for Economics and Business research, which is forecasting a drop in prices of 0.8%.

Alongside the views of the property experts, the news that oil prices are set to remain soft for much of 2015 will also encourage house buyers from overseas, thinks expat international mortgage brokers Offshoreonline.org. Guy Stephenson, a spokesman for the company said, “Low oil prices generally means a downwards pressure on inflation, especially in the UK. If low inflation persists throughout 2015, the Bank of England has a strong motive to leave the UK Base Rate at its current historic low, which will help holders of expat and international mortgages.”

The one possible cloud on the horizon is the fact that a general election will certainly take place in May in the UK next year. Current predictions suggest a range of possible outcomes. With the Liberal Democrat party likely to lose much of the ground it gained in 2010, but the Scottish Nationalists generally tipped as beneficiaries from a weak Labour party in Scotland, next year could see a repeat of the current government alliance, if the Conservative vote holds up, or something unheard of, such as an SNP/Labour administration. The implications for the housing market are very different, with the prospect of a mansion tax hanging over a Labour led government or a likely status quo, following the changes to stamp duty announced in 2014, if the Conservatives do stay in office.

“Either way, we are expecting a busy 2015”, said Guy Stephenson. “Fewer clients are now looking for long term fixed rate international or expat mortgages, with many happy to ride their luck with variable rate products, as expectations of a low UK Base Rate environment continue.”

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