June is bursting out all over – so said the words of a famous song. For the property market this might be a slight exaggeration as the market is active but not setting records in terms of volumes of transactions.
Spring is always one of the better periods for activity with the improved weather helping show property at its best and a strong desire amongst many families to secure a home move before the September school catchment intakes.
With interest rates looking set to stay low for some time ahead, the urgency in the market is somewhat subdued although more choice is enabling committed buyers and sellers to secure good transactions at sensible prices.
Despite various Government interventions in the lettings market making investment in this sector look slightly less appealing, particularly for those who are highly geared. The reality is that gearing amongst landlords is general low or non-existent and therefore reducing tax breaks are not having as much impact as perhaps anticipated.
Certainly there has been a significant growth in the number of first time buyers entering the market. The additional 3% on stamp duty for investors and the reduction or removal of stamp duty for first time buyers has moved the goalposts, as intended by Government, in favour of home ownership and the opportunity is being taken by many more to do so.
House building is increasing, albeit slowly, and again, with Help to Buy and stamp duty changes favouring first time buyers, a greater volume of transactions is resulting.
The lettings market remains positive with sensibly priced property being sought after and good levels of interest from quality tenants. Rental values have certainly calmed but eth best returns for landlords have always been achieved by keeping a property let, well managed and devoid of voids and major repair issues.
This summer will see the World Cup dominate our TV screens and we are obviously keen to see England do well. Should we do well then the “feel good” factor will undoubtedly benefit all aspects of life and all areas of the economy.
All in all we see a “steady as she goes” market where motivated sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants can transact on a sensible basis and where good experienced advice, quality marketing and professionalism can help people achieve the results they are looking for.
As always, the team and ourselves are here to assist.
Chris Harper and Darren Murphy