Countrywide expects house prices to be flat in 2017, but to pick up in 2018, according to chief economist Fionnuala Earley.
Speaking at the Mortgage Strategy Leaders Forum on the economic forecast for the UK, Earley added that the effect of the Brexit process was still uncertain but that it would impact on the economy.
Brexit’s effect on the labour market and inflation levels are critical, Earley said, but that Countrywide did not expect any big hikes in the immediate future.
She says: “There is so much uncertainty about hard Brexit and how it will effect the economy and the jobs market.”
First-time buyers were doing well from regulatory and tax changes effecting landlords, Earley went on.
“First-time buyers have an edge”, she says, and added that this category was finding it easier to buy homes because of landlords selling properties.
First-time homeowners were also benefiting from schemes such as Help to Buy, Earley added.