Summer Market Review - 02/08/19
It’s a ‘topsy turvy’ market out there all right with conflicting reports coming in from left, right and centre, so it’s no wonder buyers and sellers are confused. Some reports suggest homeowners expect prices to grow in next 6 months but the RICS warn that prices and stock levels remain flat. However there is a real North/south divide developing and for once, us Northerners, are benefiting!
According to a survey by Zoopla, around four in five home owners, or 81%, remain optimistic about house price growth in the next six months, although the picture varies across different regions. Those in Yorkshire and Humber and the North West are the most optimistic about their local property market, with some 91% of in both areas expecting house price rises up to 4.5% throughout the rest of 2019. But Londoners - where house prices have been in decline recently after years of stable and steep increases - are the least optimistic, with only 67% of people expecting rises.
Average UK house price growth has slowed down, remaining below 1%, but again the picture differs greatly depending on the region. Yorkshire and the Humber again showed the highest annual growth, with prices increasing by 3.6% in the year to March, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics and the Land Registry.
However there is a still a distinct lack of stock and according to the monthly RICS UK Residential Market Survey, the lack of homes on the market in our region continued to decline, with agents reporting a modest average of 32 homes on their sales books. Comparatively, in May 2016 – one month prior to the referendum poll – agents had an average of 53 homes for sale on their books. The curse of Brexit strikes again but it does show it’s still a great time to sell and we are seeing positive signs of this with large numbers of offers and sales being achieved in the last 4 weeks across all our offices.
In the lettings market, tenant demand slightly decreased surprisingly and at the same time, landlord instructions declined – a persistent theme over much of the past three years. We feel this is a result of adverse tax rules now affecting buy-to-let landlords and all the new regulations which is bringing uncertainty, meaning a large number of landlords are now selling up.
Rightmove reiterate reports that resilient property markets in the north of England have helped push up the national average price of a newly marketed property by 0.3%. They say, despite Brexit jitters dampening house price growth in the UK over the past year, the average price of a property coming on to the market was £309,348, close to June 2018's record high of £309,439. However these figures are based on asking prices, rather than selling prices,
We agree with Mark Manning, director of Manning Stainton who says that “the market in the North seems poised for further growth over the coming months as the sheer weight of buyer demand continues to push prices ever higher across our region”. In our postcode areas, we still feel houses up to circa. £175,000 are continuing to perform the most strongly, particularly three bedroom semi detached and townhouses, although demand for detached properties in certain areas up to £300,000 is also strong.
Separate research by Hometrack, a data consultancy run by property website Zoopla, again re-iterated a distinct north/south divide when it comes to asking prices. Generally, in the north of England, homes are selling for about 3% under the asking price, while in the south it’s 3-5%. At Robert Watts, we achieve 98% of asking prices across the board.
In conclusion, there are some confusing reports out there and Brexit is still like a black cloud on the horizon, but houses in the North are performing strongly within a resilient marketplace and at Robert Watts, houses that are priced realistically are generally selling well.