House prices could fall by an average of as much as £30,000 by the end of this year as incomes fall as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, according to a new report. The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) said a squeeze on incomes "has a tremendous potential to disrupt the UK's housing markets". Although the scale of the crisis means it will affect the entire country, the impending loss of jobs and incomes won't be evenly spread, the CEBR warned. Yorkshire and East Anglia are expected to be the hardest hit with house prices dropping 16.5% this year. Next come the North-West and West Midlands with 16% falls. The CEBR forecast that a lack of transactions, high uncertainty and falling incomes will lead to a sharp fall in prices. The CEBR said owners of rental properties are more exposed to the economic downturn as the larger proportion of younger tenants have a higher likelihood of losing their jobs. “Even a temporary reduction in incomes could lead to tenants becoming unable to pay their rent, making the private rented sector the catalyst of the impending housing crash,” it said.
Daily Mail (13/04/2020) The Scotsman (13/04/2020) The Daily Telegraph (13/04/2020)