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Connells ended 2017 with slowing sales but higher house prices, the agent has revealed.

The group – which spent much of last year battling Agents Mutual at the Competition Appeal Tribunal on behalf of Gascoigne Halman – hasn’t provided any hard figures but said sales activity dropped at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017 but overall house prices at completion were up by 4% across its 600 UK estate agency branches.

The agent is now predicting house price growth this year of up to 3%, which goes again the grain of other analysts such as Nationwide, which has forecast a flat market with growth at around 1% at best.

David Livesey, group chief executive of Connells Group, said: “At the start of 2017 we predicted that house prices would rise by 3.5% when most were predicting a year of lower increases, and some predicting that prices would fall.

“Despite a more challenging market, particularly during Q4 2017 where sales activity faltered, we ended the year with overall house prices at completion up by 4%.

“There is still a shortage of property for sale, low interest rates, lenders with appetite to lend, Stamp Duty that supports first-time buyers and a continued demand for homes.

“We therefore see a similar outlook for the market in 2018 and, with positive signs in the first three weeks of business, we predict that house price inflation will continue to increase and potentially up to 3%.”

Source: Property Industry Eye

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