House prices are set to rise next year - though at a slower pace than previous years.
The average house will increase by one per cent in 2018, driven by a shortage of homes for lower and middle income earners. The increase is a slowdown from this year, which saw house prices increase by 1.2 per cent.
First-time buyers will be among the worst hit, with the cost of the average starter home set to increase by three per cent, according to research by Rightmove.
Second-stepper properties are set to get two per cent more expensive. Top of the ladder properties however are predicted to fall by an average of two per cent, as a result of ongoing re-adjustment in London and its commuter-belt.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said demand for starter-homes and owners moving to homes with good nearby schools is likely to hike up prices.
He said: “The mass market remains robust, with around 85 percent of transactions involving first-time-buyer and second-stepper properties. Demand is driven by many factors but two are key and override the backdrop of uncertainty.
“Firstly, the desire to get onto the housing ladder, which is financially influenced by the bank of Mum and Dad, the rising cost of renting, and the limited time window between the effective zero-rating of first-time buyer stamp duty and prices increasing in response.
“Secondly is the need for space and schooling for growing families which is hard to postpone. Demand for the right property in these sectors will nudge up prices, with the more buoyant northern half of the country seeing most of the price rise hotspots.
“In contrast many sellers in the upper end of the market will struggle unless they price more aggressively to tempt wealthier but more hesitant buyers."