Martin Robinson, National Sales Director offers his view on the year that’s been and what to expect during 2017.
The two questions on everyone’s lips are; firstly, what was the effect of Brexit on the property market in 2016? Secondly, what, if any, will be the effect on the sales market this year as the politicians start to navigate our way out of the European Union? History and data give us the answer to the first question - just prior to and just after the EU referendum the number of sales instructions nationally slowed as the nation sat back and took a ‘wait and see’ view of things. However, the pause was short lived in most places and it was soon back to business as usual and we experienced a much stronger last quarter, significantly up on 2015 for new instructions and sales, with the exclusion of the London market where activity moves with extremes more easily.
The year resulted in a steady and manageable 4% increase in average sale prices, despite a pretty static London market, which was still going through a readjusting period on the back of three year’s substantial growth. The introduction of the new Stamp Duty Levey Tax (SDLT) in 2016 is another factor to bear in mind.
As the saying goes ‘The past is a foreign place’ and so we look towards this year and the answer to the second question. Our predictions are that the market will be very similar to 2016 in the number of second hand properties coming to the market. With a short supply and strong demand, certainly house prices will not remain static. With the current strong economy and a confidence to spend, as illustrated by some of the major high street retailers’ recent reports of strong sales results, we can see the signs for greater confidence and positive sentiments for the immediate future.
This, along with the ability for buyers to borrow money at favourable rates, balanced against a shortage of second hand properties coming to the market, is likely to mean that price growth will be similar or perhaps slightly higher than the 4% in 2016. The factor that is likely to stop the prices getting over heated is in the prospect of increasing housing supply. There are more new homes being built as the local planning policies are relaxed to keep up with the Government’s pledge to build one million new homes before 2020.
In summary, 2017 seems a good year to buy or sell, just make sure you take an informed decision and seek sound advice from the right people.
Hunters agents can offer a knowledgeable view of the market in your area – contact us for a no obligation chat. You can find your nearest branch here.
Following the Hunters story? You can read all about that year that was 2016 here and how we were delighted to open another 30 new branches across the country for the third consecutive year.