Property price growth in Europe set to be led by Portugal, the Netherlands and Ireland

Property price growth in Europe set to be led by Portugal, the Netherlands and Ireland
10/02/2018 , by , in INTERNATIONAL

Property markets in Europe are likely to see some softening this year and next with mixed fortunes for many countries and the UK facing Brexit risks, according to a new analysis.

Supply shortages will help keep momentum going in some markets, particularly in Portugal and the Netherland which, along with Ireland, will lead property price growth, says the S&P market report.

It predicts that all the main nations will see house price growth in 2018, 2019 and 2020 but to a varying degree. In 2018 annual price growth is forecast to be highest in Portugal and Ireland, both at 8.5%, followed by the Netherlands at 7%.

It also forecasts annual growth of 3.5% in Spain, 3.4% in Belgium, 3% in Germany, 2% in France, 1.8% in Switzerland, 0.6% in Italy and 0.5% in the UK.

In 2019 Portugal is likely to lead price growth at 7%, followed by Ireland at 6%, the Netherlands at 5.3%, Spain at 3%, Germany at 2.7%, Belgium and France both at 2%, Switzerland at 1.9%, and Italy and the UK both at 1.5%.

Looking ahead to 2020 the forecast is for annual price growth of 6% in Portugal and Ireland, growth of 3.6% in the Netherlands, followed by 3.5% in the UK as the expected Brexit effect lessens, then a rise of 3% in Spain, 2.5% in Germany, 2.3% in Switzerland, and 2% in Belgium, France and Italy.

In Belgium the report says that house price growth will slow due to a deterioration in housing affordability and a slowdown in demand due to a slower rate of job creation. It also predicts a less favourable mortgage tax regime and a rise in interest rates.

After an exceptionally strong year in 2017 for sales in France, the market is heading for a soft landing as affordability continues to deteriorate. Transactions reached a record high of 958,000 in the 12 months to October, and 15.6% above the previous year’s level.

But, while the rise in house prices was the strongest since 2012, the report says there are early signs that the trend is now levelling off and first time buyers are reporting increased difficulty in entering the market. Prices are forecast to continue rising but much less than last year and mainly in the nation’s largest cities such as Paris.

In the UK is it predicted that prices will suffer from Brexit headwinds, compounded by reduced buy to let activity resulting from the stamp duty surcharge on additional homes and a less favourable tax regime for landlords.

The report says that overall the UK housing market activity continues to broadly stagnate and a very limited number of properties on the market continues to underpin prices while affordability is set to remain extremely stretched in some areas, especially in London.

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