Sensation sells! The press is having a field day with all sorts of Brexit-related headlines and claims about how the current state of confusion is negatively impacting on the housing market. The reality is that latest figures published by respected sources support our own view that it’s not quite a buyers’ market yet, even though, according to the Nationwide, house prices are just 0.4% higher than this time last year.
The latest Propertymark Housing Report found that NAEA members report a 2.3% monthly drop in the number of house hunters registered per branch. Yet, in the same period, property supply fell by 14%. So although there would appear to be a softening of activity, demand continues to significantly outstrip supply. So any talk of a property crash is substantially misplaced. Anyone thinking of selling this spring would be well advised to bring this forward asap!
Interestingly first time buyers now represent a record 50% of the market (source Halifax). FTBs have of course been encouraged by the government’s Help-to-Buy scheme as well as SDLT concessions. Nevertheless, the market has historically been fed from below, and people who sell their property to a first-time buyer often become second time buyers themselves, prompting further up-line activity. This activity is likely to be further stimulated if up-line sellers become increasingly willing to accept a lower offer on their property.
Rents continue to rise, with around 26% of tenants experiencing a rent increase in January alone (source ARLA), making home ownership an even more attractive alternative.
This is supported by the latest English Housing Survey from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) who report a slight rise in the home ownership rate, which now stands at 63.5%. More people owning means more people buying and selling.
Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA MIRPM
Chief Executive Officer
Continue reading this piece on the Oakfield Estate Agents Blog.