Market Comment – January 2022

I hope everyone had a great January – the worst weather and darkest nights are now behind us.

I have to confess, I got slightly caught off guard with how busy it was from the 4th January. Whilst we were still in the depths of Covid restrictions, our enquiries in the first two weeks both for lettings and sales spiked at between 8% and 9% higher than the previous year. I have subsequently read that Nationwide concur with this view and state it has been the strongest start to the year since 2005. Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief communist, states housing demand has remained robust and I completely agree with him.

Many forecasters predict the market may cool later in the year with household finance being hit by sharp increases with inflation as we speak at 5.4% and rising. It is little secret that the mechanism to curve this inflation is to raise the cost of borrowing. All of that aside, I think the housing market will soldier on with a solid performance.

Many parts of the UK have seen the amount of stock levels low and we are perhaps lucky in that, with 8 offices, managing over 1600 and having traded in this borough for 34 years, we have a very loyal and valued customer base and on that note, we are constantly reviewing clients portfolio, whether it be 1 property or 25 and this is a free service, whereby we are happy to provide an up to date valuation at no charge, to any prospective customer, which doesn’t have to be this year – you may just want to know the value of your home which is likely to be your most valuable asset with no intention of putting it on the market yet, but we are happy to help at any stage. We revisit many people on a regular basis to help them access the value of their portfolio.

Lettings continues to go from strength to strength, with a record high January in the registration of new prospective tenants. We were delighted to take over a portfolio of 121 properties in South Croydon in January, which has only changed hands once since it was built.

New Homes continues to be the new bed rock of our business. We are delighted to welcome our new recruits in January and we will continue to invest in this sector of our business.

I have no reason to believe that February will be any different to January and I look forward to reporting to you at the beginning of March.