What will happen to house prices in 2017?

We round up the experts' predictions

English suburban house with a 'For Sale' sign outside a row of houses, in the suburbs of a city, United Kingdom.

Property experts are having a hard time predicting which way the market will go this year - but are expecting tiny rises in house prices for most.

With economic uncertainty greater than it's been for decades, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors says it believes that the last five years' steady rise is coming to an end.

It's expecting an average rise of 3%, with East Anglia, the North West and the West Midlands likely to do a bit better.

The London market, it says, is likely to stabilise as foreign buyers snap up properties that are, thanks to the weak pound, bargains for them.

House prices to keep on rising... but half as quickly

Nationwide sees a similar picture, predicting a 2% rise over 2017.

"Like most forecasters, including the Bank of England, we expect the UK economy to slow modestly next year, which is likely to result in less robust labour market conditions and modestly slower house price growth," says the company's chief economist, Robert Gardner.

"But we continue to think a small gain (around two per cent) is more likely than a decline over 2017 as a whole, since low interest rates are expected to help underpin demand while a shortage of homes on the market will continue to provide support for house prices."

This could cause UK property prices to crash in 2017

Savills, though, is more pessimistic, saying it expects prices to remain completely flat through 2017, and rise by just 2% in 2018.

"The effect of Brexit is complicating a natural shift towards the later stages of the housing market cycle, when the strongest growth is seen beyond London and the South East," says Lucian Cook, Savills UK head of residential research.

"What is clear is that the housing market does not like political and economic uncertainty and this points to a lower growth, lower transaction market across the board."

London property bargains for 2017

All agree that low interest rates are protecting homeowners from a fall in the value of their property. However, with people under more financial pressure than they have been for years, few will be in a position to take on more borrowing - so there's no chance of a property boom.

This, of course, is good news for first-time buyers. However, Savills believes that these people will be finding it even harder to raise a deposit, and says sales are expected to fall 15% from 325,000 this year to 275,000 in 2018.

And, says the firm, "Tougher lending criteria will also constrain mortgaged home owners looking to trade up."

UK's most expensive houses

UK's most expensive houses