The UK economy has been under much scrutiny ever since the 2008 financial crisis, as has most of the Eurozone. Now, however, with the hint of a housing boom, relocation trends and an indication of positive growth, the UK is beginning to establish itself again in the employment market and regaining strong international competition.
Inflation is currently down to 2.7%, a more convincing figure considering that in September 2008 inflation was at a staggering 5.2%. Whilst inflation is stabilising, interest rates are still at a reluctantly low level which won’t be raised by the Bank of England until unemployment rates have improved significantly. Although currently we are in brighter times for unemployment rates, Mark Carney will not alter the interest rates until unemployment falls to a rate of 7%. Particular employment sectors such as finance and retail have witnessed substantial growth in new job vacancies, implying that these services are growing, and in turn resulting in sustainable recovery for the overall economy.
With regards to relocation trends, international corporations are continuing to transfer employees to the UK and in particular to London as they have confidence in the growth of the markets and quickly identify skills and resource gaps. Standards of living in the UK remain high which, in most regions, consequentially sees the cost of living rising too, however this does not seem to deter international assignees choosing to live temporarily or permanently in the UK.
Most relocation programmes begin with a rental property for a fixed period of time before thinking of a more permanent move. Rental prices increased by a marginal 0.3% in August, with London fuelling the rise with a jump of 1.7% whilst most regions experienced slight declines or stabilisation. London is establishing itself as a separate market to the rest of the UK, with the average rental asking price at £2,192 compared with £1,159 in the south east and £893 in East Anglia. Whilst the property market seems to be buoyant again with house prices rising and an increase in sales activity, the rental market continues to be in high demand as residents are struggling to retain fees for a deposit and mortgages to purchase a property.
The housing market is said to have driven the economic recovery, and before the threat of a housing bubble concedes, the economy needs to takes advantage of these confident times.