As we edge ever closer to the end of the year we naturally start to look towards 2020 and what lies ahead in the property market.
This year that forward view is complicated by a General Election which is, as we write, just a couple of weeks away, and the Brexit cloud that, hopefully, will become clearer, whatever your views, as a result of the aforementioned General Election.
The property market has actually shown remarkable resilience although transactional volumes have been hit as confidence has waned a little and many would be buyers and sellers have sat on their hands.
The lettings market has been characterised by increasing legislation which has seen some landlords withdraw from the sector and, dependent on the new political landscape after December 12th may still see some further adjustments.
The underlying metrics are however pretty solid. Interest rates remain low and employment levels are at record levels. Short term confidence for the aforementioned reasons is perhaps lower than we would like to see but overall housing demand exceeds supply and property prices and rental values have generally held up strongly. New home building whilst still falling short of required numbers is at its highest level for several decades and incentives such as Help2Buy have encouraged greater numbers of first-time buyers to commit to a purchase.
In general, those who are motivated and committed to moving are achieving their goals and, on the basis that property purchase and investment should be seen as a medium to long term scenario, the future prognosis is good.
The private rental sector, despite legislative changes and proposed legislative changes, again looks solid in the longer term although this may result in greater upward pressure on rents if the number of landlords and supply reduces.
The killer of investment value for a landlord is void periods and obtaining and retaining a quality tenant is key. This is best achieved by providing well maintained and well managed accommodation that will be sought after by the best tenants.
In terms of looking into a crystal ball, we believe that 2020 will be a year that a number of lines get drawn in the sand that will reduce or remove the uncertainties we have been experiencing. This will slowly see confidence increase and we expect volumes to improve as the year progresses.
As always, for those thinking of moving in 2020, now is a great time to start. Getting a property into the market at Christmas may seem mad but the period between Christmas and the New Year is always the best for online activity with record numbers of viewers looking almost before the last of the turkey sandwiches have been finished!
May we take this opportunity of wishing you and your family and friends the very best for the festive season and, together with the team, look forward to discussing how we can help you realise your moving goals for 2020.
Darren Murphy & Chris Harper