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main copy.qxdHouse prices in the South East will see an increase of seven percent over the course of next year while the cost of renting a home should rise by a further two percent. This growth is being driven by the acute imbalance between burgeoning buyer demand and sluggish supply with new instructions to estate agents close to stagnating.

Although significant challenges remain to achieving a sustainable economic recovery, 2014 may well see the nascent pick-up in activity gather pace and this will be reflected in the housing market. In addition to rising prices, the number of transactions should also see a further increase, moving up to 1.2m (from 1.05m in 2013). Although this represents an improvement, to put this in context, total sales in 2006 were well above this at 1.67m.

With the shortage of homes coming onto the market a key factor behind the price rises, some comfort may be drawn from a likely twenty percent jump in new starts in England over the next year. That would push the total towards the 155,000 mark compared to 125,000 this year and only around 100,000 in 2012. While this is an encouraging trend, it is still insufficient to address the more rapid growth in population and will leave significant shortfalls in all tenures.

Across the UK, all parts of the country should see prices rise next year. Predictably, the biggest increases are to be seen in the capital, where the cost of a home will jump by around eleven percent. It remains to be seen what impact the recently announced increase in capital gains tax for overseas vendors will have on the prime central London market.

Meanwhile, the North East and Northern Ireland will experience the lowest rises with prices increasing by five percent and four percent respectively.

2014 UK housing market at a glance

UK REGION GROWTH

East of England ——————10
East Midlands———————10
London—————————-11
North East————————-5
Northern Ireland——————-4
North West————————-7
Scotland—————————7
South East————————-7
South West————————-7
Wales——————————7
West Midlands———————-7
Yorkshire and Humberside———–7
UK———————————8

• Cost of renting to grow by two percent
• Transactions to increase to 1.2 million
• Housing starts to edge up to 150,000 in England

Peter Bolton King, RICS Global Residential Director, commented:
“The cost of a house is now picking-up right across the country and next year should see more of the same. We expect all areas of the country to see prices increase with London, predictably, recording the biggest rises. The improving economic picture aside, this is largely down to the fact that buyer numbers considerably outweigh the amount of homes on the market. While the number of new homes being built is now on the rise, it still won’t be anywhere near enough to meet demand and we expect the problem of insufficient housing stock to be the main driver behind price increases over the next twelve months.”

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Eastgate_House_open_day_140913 More than 1,200 people took the opportunity to have a look around Eastgate House, Rochester during Heritage Open Days (12 to 15 September). The scheme celebrates England’s fantastic architecture and offers free entry to historic buildings that normally charge for admission or are not usually open to the public.

This was the last chance for visitors explore all four floors of the Elizabethan town house before work begins on a Heritage Lottery Funded project to conserve the building and transform it into an exhibition and community space with improved access. The house is due to re-open in 2015. Read More

The Electoral Commission has called on the Government to change the law so that voters are never again refused the opportunity to cast their vote, as happened at some polling stations during the last general election. More

Eastgate House: picture: Simon Kelsey

If you’ve resolved to volunteer in 2012, or to get involved more in the local community, there’s a chance to do just that at Eastgate House next week.

The historic building was awarded a development grant of up to £80,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund in February 2011, as part of a £1million grant application to restore the building and transform it into an exhibition gallery and community space where all kinds of events can be held. More

Lancasters Removals, one of Kent’s leading domestic and commercial removal firms established for over 50 years, has been taking the strain for families moving home for over half a century.

Being a family-run firm, Lancasters understands that for many customers, the personal touch is more important than the corporate approach when it comes to taking care of people’s beloved belongings when moving home. More

Great Expectations is one of Dickens’ best loved novels. But what happened afterwards? Well two versatile actress/singer sisters present their ideas in a musical in September. More

The County’s biggest wildlife event, the Festival of Wildlife, organised by Kent Wildlife Trust, returns to the beautiful lakeside and woodland setting of Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve and visitor centre on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st August – open from 10am-4pm. More

Find out how to research your family history and uncover the secrets of your ancestors’ past at an exhibition and two special talks being held at Eastgate House over the next two weeks. More

National Stop Snoring Week 19 – 24 April 2010 More

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