Market Comment – November 2017

Gary 4x3As our thoughts turn to the end of the year, Christmas and 2018, we saw some important changes to the housing market this past November.

On the 1st November the government published its “tenants fees bill” which if passed in to law will make it an offence for Landlords and Tenants to charge upfront fees. This draft bill will now have a 6 week consultation period and most importantly in the chancellors budget, stamp duty has been abolished on homes costing less than £300,000, with reduced rates of up to £500,000 for first time buyers. I think this is a fair decision, great news for first time buyers struggling to get all the deposit monies together and I predict a good boost to the housing market across the UK.

Turning to our figures and statistics this November, going in to December we experienced our second highest month in 2017 in registering prospective purchasers and there has been a real sense of the market goes on with owner occupiers, deterred by some of the gloom mongering proper gander and taking advantage of the fantastic value for money that our offices operate in, no doubt there was an extra boost with the Westfield Hammerson final confirmation coming through that the Whitgift centre in its current format will be open for two more Christmases, with work starting in early 2019. All be it this is a little bit longer than many people had expected, these are confirmed timescales by Westfield.

The spike in our prospective purchaser registrations is under pinned by property transactions in the UK were up 9.2% in October and as the same month in 2016 to £105,260 with inflation remaining at 3% in October, this being widely thought as now peaking and is expected to return to its target level of 2% in the new year. House prices in the UK rose another 0.2% in September taking annual rate of growth to 5.4% up from 4.8% in August and although the north west showed the strongest increase, London still showed a 2.5% increase.

We finish the year with some interesting statistics in that the average price of a semi-detached house in Croydon over the last 12 months is £432,618 compared with greater London at £568,188 and England and Wales at £209,005 with a dramatic difference to our Crystal Palace office 2.3 miles away from our Addiscombe Croydon office with the average semi-detached house over the last 12 months at £582,713 – slightly over greater London at £568,188.

Turning to the lettings market, average rents across Great Britain rose 1.5% in the last 12 months across the UK, with the East Midlands continuing to see a strong rate of growth followed by the South East and across our offices, where we have seen rents increase 3.2% over the last 12 months. The latest RICs survey suggests a report that tenant demand across the UK will be fairly stable in the last quarter of 2017, however studying our figures carefully we have bucked the trend and I suspect tenant enquiries in the last quarter may be our best quarter.

In November, we have been instructed to sell and let some very exciting developments, including exclusively 34 luxury apartments to let at Jessop Lodge, Croydon and a luxury apartment at Wandle Mill, Beddington to sell. We are also on the cusp of securing a very large instruction of over 100 apartments in Crystal Palace, coming to the market early 2018.

Which only leaves me to thank all our clients in 2017 and wish all of our clients both past and present a very happy Christmas and a happy new year.