Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, comments: “2017 will almost certainly be another year of big house price increases. The final month of 2016 saw a 1.4% jump in house prices, setting the tone for the year ahead. A 7.2% annual rise in values in 2016, what could at the very least be considered a tricky year for the economy, is not the sign of a healthy market – it is a symbol of a national failure to build enough homes to meet demand. Interest rates are at record lows, and yet young people cannot afford to get onto the ladder, because prices are rising much faster than incomes.
“Despite all of the government’s housing policies in the past 7 years we are still not yet seeing the breakthrough in supply that could dampen the seemingly unstoppable rise in values across the country. This month’s Housing White Paper included some sensible policies to nudge local authorities and developers into delivering more homes for both sale and rent, but it was simply not radical enough to reverse the trend of young people struggling to afford housing. As an industry we need to think much more about how we can speed up delivery, as we clearly cannot rely on government alone to get the job done.”