Market Comment – January 2017

GaryFirstly, I trust everyone had a happy Christmas and I would like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2017.

Finishing off 2016, there was no slow down across our offices in December and now it is nothing but a myth that December is the quietest month of the year. Those amongst us who have been estate agents for 30 years plus, before the internet was around can remember those days but Rightmove, year in and year out report that Boxing day is their busiest day for internet traffic and it is the second busiest internet site in the United Kingdom.

We were open 4 days in between Christmas and the New Year and this was the busiest we have ever been with new registrations and market appraisals in the interim period at this time if the year and I note that a report by ITV news that house prices across the UK did rise in December amid relative stability in the property market.

I predicted at the beginning of the year that house prices would go up between 4 – 6% and overall across the UK, house prices went up by 4% with the average UK property worth £205,898 in December. With London house prices having grown by 3.7% with an average of £473,073.
It was interesting and encouraging to read so many positive reports about the impending housing market in 2017 and by and large the commentators expect housing markets across the UK to rise between 2-3% this year and most importantly even amongst the normally negative commentators there was nothing but an air of confidence expected. Obviously most of our offices are in the London Borough of Croydon and the impending Westfield Development still makes Croydon and the surrounding areas, the borough of choice and opportunity.

I have spoken to many investors and developers over the Christmas break who are just as excited as I am about 2017 and the Brexit fears seem to have evaporated completely.

Turning to the Buy to Let market which was dominated by the April stamp duty change, it would be fair to say that sales across our group from Crystal Palace to Croydon rocketed in the run up and slowed afterwards but that confidence is back and here to stay in 2017.

The lettings market remains robust with 6 tenants for every property and although I expect rents to rise in 2017, I think this rise will be more modest than in previous years but we will still be in a position where our landlords have a pick of the tenants.

Once again, happy New Year to all our clients and look forward to reporting to you in February.

Gary O’Hare