Could the property bubble burst in 2017?

A London property crash could have serious repercussions for the UK property market

A London property crash could have serious repercussions for the UK property market

Top economists are predicting that 2017 could be the year the UK property boom comes crashing down - particularly in London.

A Times survey of leading thinkers revealed that many thought the capital's bubble would burst, despite forecasts of an overall three per cent rise in house prices across the UK.

Online estate agent eMoov has speculated that a London crash would have a major knock-on impact on the markets elsewhere in the country - as happened when prices plummeted in 2007-8.

Londoners lucky enough to own a home could see it fall in value by over £800 per week.

“Although the UK property market as a whole is faring very well, there are signs that the London market, particularly the prime central end, is running out of steam heading into 2017," said Russell Quirk, founder and CEO of eMoov.co.uk.

“Even so, it is unlikely that we will witness a market crash as monumental as the one we experienced a decade ago, so homeowners should rest assured that this research acts as a warning of what the worst case scenario might look like with London homeowners losing £858 a week in property value.

“However, it is a warning none the less and one that the majority of homeowners should heed. A turbulent year for the property market has seen many buyers and sellers back off from their sale or purchase and batten down the hatches to wait out the storm.

“Whilst the market itself remains resolute, it will inevitably stutter to a halt without the buyer-seller activity it needs to operate. Those considering a sale now would be wise to act before it’s too late, as a reduction in asking price of a few hundred pounds in the current market climate, is a lot easier to stomach than a loss of up to £80,000 a year or so down the line should the market crash.”

With house prices once again reaching a dangerously inflated level, eMoov looked at the decline in values between the end of 2007 and beginning of 2009 (21 months) across each region of the UK, before applying that percentage decrease to the current average house price to highlight the loss homeowners could experience this time round.

At the end of 2007 when the market was on the cusp of a meltdown, the average UK house price was £189,424. Property values then went into freefall until 2009, falling by 16.7 per cent (-£31,618).

If the same 16.7 per cent drop in values was seen today on the current average UK house price of £217,928, homeowners across the UK would see £36,393 wiped from their property price, £399 a week over 21 months, bringing it down to £181,535.

It is, of course, in London where homeowners stand to lose the largest sum should the market crash again in 2017.

During the last market crash, homeowners in the capital saw their property depreciate by 16.3 per cent, a loss of £48,421. However, since then the average London house price has soared to £481,648 but the same percentage decrease would result in a loss of £78,267 or £858 a week over 21 months, returning the average house price in the capital to just over £400k (£403,381).

Despite Londoners suffering the largest monetary loss, the capital didn’t see the largest percentage decreases during the last crash.

These were found in the South East (-17.6 per cent), the East of England (17.4 per cent the South West (17.2 per cent), the East Midlands (16.8 per cent) and the West Midlands (16.5 per cent), with homeowners in these regions seeing their property value fall by between £24,000-£42,000.

Although a market crash in 2017 would mean a smaller monetary loss than London, these homeowners would still be in line for a substantial hit, the lowest being a loss of £29,656 in the East Midlands resulting in the average house price falling to £146,868, climbing to £55,146 in the South East where the loss would reset the average house price to £258,188.