As another year draws to a close, many potential first-time buyers, as well as those looking to move to a bigger house or downsize, will be wondering what opportunities 2016 will throw up. It’s a market that can change rapidly and even experts are often surprised by it, but here are some suggestions of what we can expect next year:

Average house price to break £300K mark?

As of this month, the average price of a UK home is £287,000. This follows a 0.8% rise in October and has homebuyers wondering whether they will soon be expected to pay close to a third of a million for somewhere to live.

This looks especially likely when considering that year-on-year price increases seem to be getting greater by the month. October’s figures showed a rise 7% higher than that of the same month in 2014, compared to 6.1% and 5.5% year-on-year rises in September and August respectively.

Indeed, should rises in the area of 0.8% continue over the next few months, the average will have topped £300,000 by the summer of 2016.

Steadiness outside the capital

Though the rises may give cause for concern for buyers, most analysts expect that increases will be less notable in the North and Midlands.

This offers encouragement to those looking for a home outside of London and the South East, whether they live in such locations at the moment or are looking to relocate to them.

Stamp duty increases

It was revealed in Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement that landlords of buy-to-let properties, as well as people looking to buy more than one home, will soon need to pay an increased stamp duty rate.

As of April, a 3% surcharge will be applicable for those that fall into this bracket in England and Wales.

All in all, it looks set to be yet another exciting, if challenging, year to purchase a home in the UK.

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