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2nd February 2017

Market Comment – February 2017

Both house prices and activity in the areas we operate in defy predictions and also defy the gloom mongering pundits.

There were mutterings at the end of 2016 that the sales market would slow in 2017 amongst other things due to European and global uncertainty and a question mark over an economic recession. I have now had time to analyse the figures from all over our group, from new registration enquiries both from prospective purchasers and tenants and new properties of all sizes coming to the market. These statistics equate to a solid, steady and confident property market, whilst heady political wins whirl around us.

The good news is that new prospective purchaser registrations were up 6% from December 2016 to January 2017 and new prospective tenants were up 4% across the areas in which we operate in. I also noticed that the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors have confirmed house prices are still rising across the UK despite a slowdown in transactions.

Interestingly we have not experienced a slowdown in transactions and our transaction levels in January 2017 are up 5% on the same period last year in sales and 3% in residential lettings.

There has been a new underlying 2017 interest in regard to investment to our areas with Boxpark firmly established, the first occupiers of Ruskin Place moving in and many awaiting imminent news on the Westfield/Hammerson shopping centre.

All indications based on new enquiries both in the sales and lettings market in January lead me to believe that the first quarter of this year is going to be stronger than even I predicated both in the new homes and second hand housing market and also in residential lettings.

In a nutshell, I am delighted to inform all that the appetite to buy and to sell and or relocate in our areas has surpassed my expectations and as I have mentioned, I fully expect this to continue into the first quarter.

As I write this report, the Bank of England have kept interest rates at an all-time low of 0.25% and the economy is expected to grow at 2% instead of the banks forecast figures of 1.4% in November and 0.8% in August.

I look forward to reporting to you in 4 weeks’ time.

Gary O’Hare

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