Will Brexit break the 18-year house price boom cycle?
According to Fred Harrison, the property market operates in an 18-year cycle. Prices grow steadily for six to seven years, correct a little, then increase for another five to six years. A crash then brings prices down, with a four to five year recovery period preceding the next steady growth phase.
Harrison’s theory has proven to be correct over the past 70 years or so. Prices crashed, or at least slumped significantly, in 1953-54, 1971-72, 1989-90 and 2007-08. Based on this cycle, we’re currently due a correction, then another period of strong growth. Prices in London and the South East certainly seem to be correcting at present, which indicates the period to around 2025-26 should bring growth, but could the UK’s departure from the EU finally break the cycle, triggering an earlier crash? Surrenden Invest’s MD, Jonathan Stephens, thinks not.
Savills, too, believes that Brexit won’t be enough to break the cycle. That company’s Autumn 2018 Residential Property Forecasts report paints a positive picture of house price growth over the five years to 2023, with compound growth of 14.8% nationally. The report also supports the correction part of the 18-year cycle theory, showing a 2.0% drop in London prices for 2019 followed by a year of nil growth in 2020, before prices rise again in 2021. The South East and East of England, meanwhile, show as prices flatlining over the course of this year, before rising again in 2020.
Brexit aside, if the 18-year house price cycle proves correct once again, property owners can look forward to at least another six or seven years of booming prices before they have to worry about an impending crash!