As we enter July, we await the outcome of the Tory party leadership contest which will result in either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt emerging as our new Prime Minister.
With Brexit to the fore there has been little mention of domestic housing issues from either candidate although Mr Hunt has pledged to deliver 1.5 million new homes for the “so called” generation rent” over the next ten years, apparently over and above the current Tory Party plans to deliver 300,000 new homes every year.
Mr Johnson has been generally quiet, possibly working on the basis that with a commanding lead amongst MPs and pollsters, he would only potentially damage his chances of winning the highest office by saying too much. Keeping a lower public profile may be seen as actually being the better policy and of reducing the risk of a “foot in mouth” moment!
In the past Boris has, as one would expect, favoured home ownership over renting but he has also indicated that he favours reduced regulation and intervention from Government, something that landlords, in particular, might welcome, given the track record of the Government during recent times.
Talk of regulation, in the meantime, means we have seen the introduction of the Tenant Fee Act which, on new tenancies, has removed the ability of agents and landlords to charge fees to tenants. This may see greater flexibility for tenants to be able to move home as the cost of doing so will be less, although all anecdotal evidence suggests greater stability of tenure is wanted. The burden of essential costs associated with a tenancy – referencing, registering deposits, drawing up agreements, inventories etc will now fall on landlords and their agents. We expect to see some upward movement in rental values as costs are recouped in a market which generally sees greater demand than supply.
The sales market remains challenging although there are clear signs of life and people being prepared to commit themselves to moving. Overall transactional volumes in 2019 will, with the exception of new homes sales, be down on 2018 and this is keeping values fairly steady as the balance between supply and demand remains reasonably constant.
As always, experienced advice as to the pricing and marketing of a property are key ingredients to a successful transaction, as is the ability to revolve issues and communicate with all parties during the sale process. A successful sale is not simply dependent upon putting a property on Rightmove and waiting for the phone to ring, it is often as much down to the proactive work done progressing the transaction after a sale is agreed as it is to finding a willing and able purchaser in the first place.
The summer period sees properties often at their best photogenically with gardens in full bloom and the long days making it easier for prospective buyers to view in daylight. Whilst many people take a break during this period to go on holiday, there remain many who need to make a move and who are serious about their intentions. It is not yet too late to buy and sell in order to get into new school catchment areas by September although time is moving on rapidly.
By the time you read this, over half the year will be behind us but, looking positively it means there is still nearly half a year yet to come!
As always, we are here to help you with any questions and to assist with your moving plans
Chris Harper and Darren Murphy