The question comes up often in discourse around property trends and house prices in the UK. Data does show that there are some areas in the UK where house prices have doubled since 2013. However, these areas don’t reflect the average house price spike across the whole country. While there could be a possibility that your house now is worth double the value it was valued at 10 years ago, there’s also a chance that it’s not. It depends on where you live, the economy’s impact on the local housing market, general mortgage lending trends and other mitigating factors that are difficult to judge.

The areas where we see the biggest change in house price are within commuter towns and there’s no surprise there. With the cost of living in the capital putting a strain on incomes, more and more workers in the city look to sell up and move to a smaller town where they can commute or work remotely. Towns all around London have seen a change in house value over the past ten years – and Eastbourne is no different.

But in answer to the question – no. House prices don’t double every 10 years. There’s no proof in the statistics to suggest that house prices will be double what they are now in 2034.

Debunking The 10-Year Doubling Myth

The housing market doesn’t follow consistent trends. If it did, it would make life easier for estate agents as we constantly monitor and analyse the market so we achieve the best results for our clients. We can’t use the past ten years to accurately model the next, just as back in 2013, we wouldn’t be able to predict the fluctuation in the market over the past few years. When we look over the past 50 years, you could say that property prices have, on average, doubled every 10 years but that’s not to say that this will continue in the future. Many factors influence property prices, which we’ll go into, and there is a chance that rise in house prices may slow down.

According to the ONS (The Office of National Statistics), the average UK house price in August 2013 was £175,982 and in August 2023, the average jumped up £292,882. Going by this figure, we can see that it rose by over 100% – therefore doubling.

However, using the same statistics they have gathered, we don’t see the same trend between 2005-2015. January 2005 the average property prices were £150,633 and in January 2015, they were £190,665. So going by this, we can safely say that it’s incorrect to believe that property prices double every 10 years. Just because it’s been the case for the previous decade doesn’t make it so across every 10 years.

Where have property prices changed the most in the UK over the past 10 years?

Judging from the statistics, the biggest changes have taken place in the South East which isn’t a surprise with London driving the economy. Other cities around the UK have seen a huge climb including Bristol where house prices jettisoned up by 105% over the past decade.

In the South East, Hastings, Thanet and Medway rank in the top 10 places where there has been the biggest increase in property prices.

What factors influence house price growth in the UK?

The UK property market fluctuates often though there is a clear trend to show price growth over the past decade. Understanding the different factors that influence the market can help you to feel more confident when you choose to enter the market yourself as a buyer or seller.

Location

The most fundamental aspect of what drives the costs of property is the location. Desirability and demand impact the cost, making a small terraced house worth far more in one location compared to a less popular one. What makes a location more desirable as a place to live? It truly does depend as affluent rural communities and city centres see high house prices but are attractive to buyers for different reasons. Generally speaking, you will see much greater demand on housing in close proximity to economic hubs, hence why London is so expensive as it is a global city. Nearby suburbs within commuter distance have seen a huge spike over the past decades as more and more people choose to move closer to where the highest paying jobs are.

Economic Conditions

The state of the nation’s economy absolutely influences the cost of housing as when the economy is doing well, the demand for property rises. There are more buyers with the economic means to purchase property and apply for mortgages, which raises the cost of housing as supply works to meet the demand. During instances where the economy slows down or stops altogether, as we have seen in the past during 2007, housing costs drop as fewer people have the means to get on the property ladder.

Supply and demand

At present, the UK suffers from quite a substantial housing undersupply. In fact, reports indicate that there are millions of properties missing from the market, putting great pressure on the Government to supply new housing to make up for the deficit. Hundreds of thousands of houses are needed per year to make up for the backlog, a task that will take at least half a century to achieve.

As a result, supply struggles to meet the rising demand. Without new construction helping to increase an area’s property inventory, competition drives up the prices for houses that are for sale. This huge pressure on the housing market has since driven up the cost of rents and house prices across the country but is the most critical in built up areas where there is limited space for new builds.

Interest rates and mortgage availability

Over the past 10 years, the economic uncertainty in the UK has led to high rates of inflation – impacting every industry and not just the housing market. Inflation causes a raise in interest rates which impacts buyer habits as the cost of borrowing money puts more and more off entering the property market. Mortgages become less and less viable for first-time buyers especially. If it’s harder for people to fit the requirements that banks have for mortgage availability, then there are fewer people in a position to buy.

Are interest rates rising?

At present, the Bank of England has frozen the rate at 5.25%. However, this may change in the foreseeable future as forecasts show that inflation will fall below 2% within the next few months. As inflation falls, interest rates will fall with it. As the economy further stabilises, interest rates may continue to fall after being at its highest level since the financial crisis in 2008. While this fall in interest rates is good news for aspiring buyers as mortgages will be more affordable as a result, it does mean that housing prices will rise as more competition kicks.

Will property prices rise in the UK in 2024?

The latest data showed a drop in house prices in 2023 which may indicate that prices will continue to drop as interest rates drop and the cost of borrowing brings in more buyers into the market. According to which.co.uk, property prices dropped by 1% last year. The change in prices is negligible down that things are looking to stabilise. However, the economy is so sensitive to change so we can’t safely say what will happen to house prices.

This time last year, the property market was bracing for a crash, but the market stabilised. The main reasons that kept prices level was the drive towards lowering interest rates, no sudden increases in unemployment and the incomes on average increasing. Now, we are in a position where prices are actually starting to flatline.

This is great news for aspiring buyers with the joint news that borrowing for a mortgage comes with a lower interest rate and prices will not be surging upwards as they have done.

How do interest rates affect house prices?

High interest rates affect mortgage payments which put off potential buyers looking to move and get onto the property ladder. Interest rates have been at their highest since 2008, but the good news is that they will be dropping this year due to a forecasted decrease in inflation. Low interest rates means that more first-time buyers will be in a position to get a mortgage, bringing more buyers into the market. This drives up the competition, which is both a good and bad thing. There isn’t the housing supply to meet the demand, which can raise house prices especially in built up areas like in London. This is great for sellers as competition gives them more success with a higher offer, however it’s a little of a double-edged sword for buyers. While the cost of borrowing will be cheaper, they will have to take out larger mortgages to cover more expensive properties. It’s difficult to judge exactly what impact interest rates have directly on house prices.

What government policies have impacted house prices the most?

Over the past few years, the UK Government has set out some policies to directly help the property market. Some of these will have affected house prices as they assisted more buyers entering the market. They include:

  • The Help-to-Buy scheme set up in 2017 to help first-time buyers. This scheme ensured equity loans for more new buyers, increasing a demand for new homes. This led to a price increase at the lower end of the market where smaller properties were being sold quickly to make up for the demand.
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax changes may have affected house prices when higher rates were introduced for people owning multiple properties.

Is now a good time to invest in the UK housing market?

With things looking a lot more promising with the housing market now that interest rates are dropping, now is a very good time to start looking at buying – especially as a first time buyer. It’s a huge life step to take and there are many things that you have to consider before embarking on the property ladder. For businesses and landlords, now is also a good time to make the most of the market while prices level off, however we understand that huge investments take a lot of consideration.

At Town Property, whether you’re a first-time buyer or an investor looking to buy-to-let, our team have over thirty years experience of buying and selling property in Eastbourne. We’re the longest established estate agent in the town and have kept up with all the changes that the market has experienced – through the financial crash in 2008 and most recently the COVID pandemic. We keep on top of trends that affect the house prices in the area so if you have any questions about what we forecast for the next five or ten years, we should have an answer.

Find out more about house prices in Eastbourne

Just like with most towns in the South East, Eastbourne experienced large rises in house price over the past ten years. If you live in Eastbourne, now may be a good time to see how much your house can be valued at. There could be an opportunity to make the most of the current market climate. Arrange for an online valuation here.

If you would like to view one of our properties, we’d love to hear from you. You can email us on info@town-property.co.uk or call on 01323 412200.