2011 And Beyond - Two Years Of Price Falls, Warns Carter Jonas

Another estate agency is warning of two years of price falls in the mainstream housing market across the UK.

Carter Jonas, which specializes in mid- to top-end properties in the country and London, says there will be a 5% fall in average prices next year “as job losses intensify”.

Catherine Penman, the firm’s head of research, then says there will be more bad news: “With austerity measures and public sector cutbacks set to firmly take hold over the next year, UK house prices are expected to fall further in the short-term.

Inevitably, isolated bubbles of activity will buck the trend although overall we predict a fall in values of circa 3% in 2012.”

Like several other agencies, Carter Jonas foresees the emergence of a multi-tiered market. The top end generally, especially in London, will continue to do well thanks to a lack of reliance on mortgage lending and at least some overseas buyers.

“’Best in class’ product is currently achieving in excess of 2007 prices although potential purchasers remain very price sensitive and there is a widening price differentiation between the best and the rest. Pricing will become increasingly sensitive as we move into the seasonally busy spring market and we anticipate London house prices to increase circa 5% during 2011” explains Penman.

Carter Jonas has not hitherto been a forceful ‘pundit’ of housing market activity, and this high-profile prediction for the next two years is a welcome move, especially as it is so forthright.

The firm merged with Drewett Neate in May 2009 and is still rationalizing its staff and offices – it has revamped its marketing and PR, and promises further news on new offices next year.

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