2016 was a year of surprises with Brexit for the UK and Trump for the USA. Both could have triggered a change in buyer sentiment but while there were brief moments of hesitation, the national housing market has mainly continued to be quite buoyant with a continued shortage of supply and high demand given the easily available mortgage money to finance those moving house.
However, in contrast, the top end of the London market has been hit by a continuing decline in house prices driven by the new stamp duty charges and less confident buyers. Outside London, according to Home.co.uk, one of the strongest rises in average house prices in the last month was the East Midlands at 0.3% and the same figure applied to the North West. Home.co.uk also cited the East and West Midlands and North West as having the shortest supply of property on the market in the country.
Lucien Cook at Savills forecasts “no significant upward pressure on house prices over 2017 and 2018” and anticipates a “pick up in economic growth and confidence from 2019” to be followed by rising interests in 2020 and 2021 which will then limit any growth in house prices.
Last year passed in a flash with a continuing upward trend in house prices locally, although this increase slowed marginally in the second half of 2016. We saw houses in most price ranges seeing competing bids by buyers keen to secure a purchase with a limited availability of stock.
Our average selling price last month was £217,500 compared with £194,258 for the East Midlands according to Rightmove’s House Price Index. Our average selling time last month was 28 days (this was distorted by one property which took a long time to sell, otherwise it would have been 17 days) which compares more than favourably with 67 days according to Rightmove’s national average selling time in November.
However, as predicted in my last newsletter, price growth locally has slowed although not yet come to a halt. Buyer confidence remains strong and prices remain firm. I do think we have seen such significant growth locally over the last few years (largely in anticipation of Rushden Lakes and commutability factors) that the inevitable slowdown cannot be unexpected. Price growth may be slowing but buyer demand remains strong and the market remains buoyant on a local level.
Our job is to get best price for our clients and we continue to achieve record sale prices where other agents have failed. There is a steady flow of clients who have used internet agents (and paid the mandatory fee) who come to us when the low-cost service has failed to secure a buyer. A strategic marketing plan to achieve best price combined with a wide range of marketing tools to maximise every selling opportunity means that we can deliver a committed buyer within an efficient timeframe.
For more information on our unique and unrivalled service to homeowners, whether you are thinking of selling or renting your property, please give me a call on either 01933 313600 or my direct line 01933 354178.