January 2020 Market Comment

January 11, 2020

As we predicted, the end of December proved to be one of the busiest in estate agents’ living memory. The apparent end of three years of Brexit confusion, prompted by the definitive general election result intensified buyers’ feeding frenzy between Christmas and New Year. We were open for business during that time and our clients are now reaping the rewards, with a number of sales having already been agreed.

Those buyers and potential sellers who understandably adopted a wait-and-see approach during those politically uncertain times are now expressing their pent-up desire to move and the brakes are off.

This does not however mean that prices will suddenly rise. This is because the increase in new buyers entering the market will be more or less matched by the number of new sellers entering the market between now and Easter. So activity and transaction volumes will rise, which is good for those buying and selling as the additional fluidity provides greater choice and faster moves.

House prices themselves, which are notoriously difficult to foresee, are generally predicted to rise by modestly in 2020, of around 1.5% to 2.5% – effectively keeping up with inflation. Regional variations will be huge of course. In fact, over the past decade, although the average upturn has been around 27% this is very much an average with wide regional variations ranging from +101% (Waltham Forest) to -8% (Aberdeen) with all points in between. So beware averages in both reported figures and predictions!

Rental investments may however be excellent performers in 2020. Supply is down by 7.8% since the same time last year yet demand continues to rise, promotion a doubling in rental yield growth in the past year alone (source Hamptons).

The key message to sellers is that as long as you are not unrealistically ambitious on your asking price, then you WILL sell. This is a time of renewed hope and optimism. We are a stable and prosperous country that has definitively moved away from uncertainty – and we are passionate about home ownership!

If you’d like to take advantage of the opportunities of the moment, then please feel free to call us on 01323 412550 for a free marketing proposal and suggested asking price valuation of your property.

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