What will happen to house prices in Sheffield during 2018?
House prices in Sheffield will rise very slightly over the next 12 months as uncertainty continues to grip the nation, estate agents have predicted.
Property values in the city are forecast to increase by one or two per cent this year, with Brexit negotiations and global tensions expected to dampen growth despite a strong housing market in the region.
That was the general consensus from three Sheffield estate agents - Stuart Goff, director of Hunters in Sheffield; Linda Crapper, director of Saxton Mee; and Maz Iqbal, managing director of Sheffield Residential - who gazed into their crystal balls to set out their expectations for 2018.
Mr Goff said: "I think prices will remain fairly stable in Sheffield, with any rises roughly in line with inflation at around one or two per cent.
"The most popular areas like your S10, S11 and S17 postcodes will probably do best, with rises of three or four per cent possible there, while for the less desirable neighbourhoods like Page Hall, Fir Vale, Darnall and Tinsley it's hard to see any increase.
"Confidence is affected by the political situation worldwide and by negative comments in the UK media about Brexit, despite people in Sheffield having voted leave.
"People think it's a bit daft that what's happening in North Korea or what Donald Trump's saying can affect house prices in Woodseats, but confidence is a powerful thing."
Ms Crapper agreed that potential buyers and sellers are 'holding fire' to see what happens with Brexit, which she does not believe will go ahead.
She expects prices in the city to remain flat or rise by one or two percent, though she said Walkley, Hillsborough and Crookes could do better thanks to relatively good schools in those areas and reasonably priced homes, especially for first-time buyers.
She claims the biggest priority in Sheffield should be to build more homes on brownfield sites, using compulsory purchase powers to free up land if necessary.
"There are lots of brownfield sites which people are sitting on and doing nothing with which could be used to provide much-needed affordable housing, and I think more should be done to promote the Help to Buy scheme," she said.
Nationwide building society's latest figures show house prices in Yorkshire and Humberside rose by 1.8 per cent last year, which was below the national average of 2.7 per cent.
The estate agent Savills predicts a similar rise of 1.5 per cent in the region during 2018, which is slightly higher than the UK average, though the figures are dragged down by an expected two per cent fall in London.
Mr Iqbal believes Savills' forecast for Yorkshire is about right.
He expects south west Sheffield to remain a hot spot when it comes to price rises, with demand increasingly driven by catchment areas for the city's best schools.
And he believes 2018 could be a good year for more first-time buyers to get on the housing ladders.
"With regulatory and financial pressures for buy-to-let landlords combined with the abolition of stamp duty for purchases up to £300,000 for first time buyers, they will have more opportunity to buy their dream home!" he said.