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3rd April 2018

Market Comment – March 2018

Despite a number of reports throughout March describing the housing market as subdued, sluggish and slow across our group, I would describe March as being solid. I cannot argue with the statistics that house prices were down 0.2% from the previous month, but let’s put that in to perspective in that it is not enough to significantly dent confidence and whilst I realise it’s bad new sells, house prices overall are significantly up on the last 4 years.

I read with interest an article in the guardian with the headline “London weakest region” however the article then goes on to say “London house prices were down 1% compared with a year ago”, hardly show stopping headlines and the same article goes on to say that the nationwide expects house prices to rise 1% in 2018.

Whilst our figures across the group and house sales were very much as I suspected strong and solid, the encouraging news was new prospective purchasers registering were at their highest levels in 2018 as were our clients asking for market appraisals, so the facts speak for themselves in that there is clearly an appetite to look and buy as well as sell and move on and I am looking forward to the rest of 2018.

Turning to the Lettings market, again this was very solid and when I scrutinised the figures there was a shortage of our managed portfolio that came back on to the market in march and this is because Landlords with existing tenants are not putting up their rents and keeping the same tenants. Rents were much in line with what I predicted, in that March was another month we have seen no increase, but very much like the sales market the number of registrations for prospective tenants registering in March can only be described as very strong.

Our New Homes division secured two landmark plots of land in Croydon and I look forward to announcing the schemes on these in the coming months. Reservations on our New Homes were slightly better than expected and predicted, and we were pleased to secure our final reservation at River View Mews.

So to conclude, March was a solid and stable month and I am anticipating with the lighter evenings, April to be even better and look forward to be reporting to you in the coming weeks.

Gary O’Hare

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