House prices: Experts' 2015 property predictions
News > House prices: Experts' 2015 property predictions
09 Apr 2013

To judge the state of the UK housing market it may be best to look beneath your feet.

Carpet and floor fitters say that a buoyant market means more trade and, after a post-recession slump, things have started to pick up.

They say that movers are spending more money on instant refurbishments and stayers are trading up on the quality of their carpets.

So, does this experience match price predictions for the UK housing market in the coming year?

Not quite.

Analysts are suggesting slower growth in 2015 than was the case in the year just gone. Somewhat rarely, there is near consensus among them on what that growth in property prices will be - about 4%.


Last year remembered

The UK housing market saw a spring and summer boom in 2014, particularly in London and the South of England, before activity dropped away a little towards the end of the year.

Recently published figures from the Nationwide Building Society - the first to record the annual change over the whole of 2014 - suggest that UK house prices rose 7.2% during the year.

This is based on the Nationwide's own lending data and masks some significant regional differences. For example, prices in London rose by 17.8% over the course of the year, according to the lender, compared with 1.4% in Wales.

Another survey, by rival lender the Halifax, says that prices rose by 8.5% over the year, although its official house price index data has not yet been published.

The rise in prices and activity is reflected in the number of people buying carpets. Wilf Walsh, chief executive of Carpetright, says that the outlook is "mixed", but there are signals of pent-up demand being released.

Ian James, president of the National Institute of Carpet and Floorlayers, says that business is "still a bit slow in the North East" of England, but has been picking up elsewhere.

"The last five years have been pretty poor," he says, explaining that many fitters could not find enough work from independent carpet retailers.

"But we can see the shoots of recovery. We had our biggest trade show in years. There is a trend of [consumers] going back to carpet instead of cheaper laminate flooring."

House prices: Experts' 2015 property predictionsHouse prices: Experts' 2015 property predictions

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