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1st September 2017

Market Comment – August 2017

As I write this, I am mindful that in a few days’ time the children will be back at school and for many of our clients the summer holidays will be coming to a close. The reason I mention this is, many people always say August is a quiet month for this very reason and things pick up in September. I firmly believe now with information and technology, this is not the case, our figures support this and August being a quiet month is now nothing but an old myth.

Turning to statistics, it was interesting to read that the average price of a semi-detached house in Croydon is £419,422 compared with greater London at £553,657 and England and Wales significantly lower at £203,595. Obviously this varies within the areas we operate in with our Crystal Palace office prices being significantly higher with the average semi-detached house in the last 12 months being £482,815. I am pleased to report that prospective applicant levels were maintained through August and remain by and large unchanged from July, but there was firm and serious activity from the owner occupier market across the board from the smaller apartments to 4 and 5 bedroom detached houses. Although we all read that the housing market has slowed down in Central London, it is important to bear in mind that house prices in the last 12 months have risen 4.9% to June and defying expectation the rate of inflation remained at 2.6% in July. On a very positive note, transactions for property in the United Kingdom were at their highest level in July since March 2016 according to recently related data from HMRC. To be more specific, there were 104,760 transactions which completed in July this year up 1.3% in June. The RICS concur with my sentiment that buyer demand has not changed and as I have mentioned many times, Croydon which includes Crystal Palace, Coulsdon, Purley, and South Norwood remains in my view outstanding value for money.

Turning to the residential lettings market, private rents increased by 1.8% across the UK according to the latest ONS index, however broadly speaking we have seen little increase across our operation and offices in the last month or so. Tenant demand remains very solid with their being 6 to 7 tenants for each property and much as I predicted at the beginning of the year, rents have risen 2.6% according to the ONS in the last year.

Exciting times ahead for our company with the addition of another flagship office at 25 High Street, South Norwood, which if you know South Norwood it is one of the most visible corner properties which has traditionally been an Estate Agents for more years than I care to remember. We are very excited as a group opening this office, it links our Crystal Palace and Addiscombe operation very neatly up and we are looking forward to meeting new clients and customers that perhaps we haven’t spoken to in the past. It’s in my opinion that South Norwood is underrated and has some beautiful Victorian properties together with ultra-modern properties such as The View which overlooks one of South Norwood’s hidden gems – South Norwood Lakes. Most of you will know the connectivity from Norwood Junction station to Central London is superb and I think South Norwood has some way to go for capital appreciation, being sandwiched between Crystal Palace and Croydon. We anticipate opening on September 9th and the new team can’t wait to take occupation and get stuck in! In early October I will report to you the progress of our exciting new office.

Turning to New Homes, it would be no exaggeration to say we have had a very steady month, a slight increase in enquiry’s for the previous month but the investor enquiries across many spectrums from Land to Buy to Lets remain strong and solid.

I look forward to reporting to you further trends and figures later this month.

Gary O’Hare

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