As 2022 gets underway, we reflect on the strength and resilience of the UK property market. With property prices and rents hitting double digit growth in some areas of the country, the post-pandemic property boom has seen many investors looking for their next investment opportunity. So, what are the 4 property trends smart investors are watching for in 2022?
#1 Prices will continue to rise, but momentum will ease
We expect prices to continue to increase, but not at the speed witnessed throughout 2021. Rightmove have predicted that the frantic pandemic property market will ease and return to ‘closer to normal’ this year[i]. They expect the national asking price of a property, which is currently at £342,401[ii], will rise by 5% in 2022, meaning an increase of around £17,000[iii].
#2 The Midlands and the north will continue to outperform
We expect Prime Minister’s Levelling Up policies to continue closing the north-south divide. JLL’s 2022-2026 UK Residential Forecast report[iv] explores the top performing regions and cities, considering social, economic and market factors to create the most accurate forecast. At 7% growth, West Midlands is expected to lead UK house price growth during this period, 2% above the national average. Scotland, Yorkshire, and the Southwest are expected to see similar growth levels. Meanwhile London is expected to see the slowest growth, only 3%[v].
#3 The private rented market will continue to display buoyancy
We expect to see continued strength in the UK rental market. According to Zoopla, the private rented sector is expected to rise by 4.5% in 2022[vi]. Their UK Rental Market Report shows that average UK rents were up 4.6% in the year to October 2021, after climbing 3% in Q3 as demand soared in city centres. Rent increases have hit a 13-year high as demand for property doubled in major city centres[vii]. A third of millennials are expected to rent their entire lives.
#4 Sustainable eco living will gain centre stage
With climate change high on the agenda, this year we could see binding targets on homeowners to improve the energy performance of their homes. Homes in the UK made up 15% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018. The government recognises that to achieve Net Zero, we need to have largely eliminated emissions from our housing stock by 2050. As a result, in July 2019, it published its Green Finance Strategy setting out its intention to grow the market for green finance products to support home energy performance improvements.
In summary, while the 2022 UK housing market is likely to remain buoyant due to a structural shortage of housing and pandemic-related trends, we believe the market will be less frenetic and more stable than in 2021. We believe this renovated trust in the resilience of UK property will strengthen the market further, leading to more development and investment activity. Us and others in the market see Birmingham and Manchester as prime investment locations for 2022[viii], both with both cities seeing some of the strongest house price and rental growth forecasted of all UK cities in the next five years. Both cities are also well-established investment hotspot with a skyline evolving as rapidly as its rental growth.
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[i] Source: https://bit.ly/3eDwKM4
[ii] This figure varies depending on the source, with the Nationwide House Price Index and Land Registry showing slightly different figures.
[iii] Source: https://bit.ly/3qAUuWL
[iv] Source: https://bit.ly/3pBac56
[v] Source: https://bit.ly/3mHw7FN
[vi] Source: https://bit.ly/32zxtvp
[vii] Source: https://bit.ly/3EDR6zF
[viii] Source: https://bit.ly/32MhkT5