Whether you’re buying, letting or selling your home, you’re probably interested in what’s happening in the wider property market right now. In which case, this guide could help you. Our latest biannual report looks at the south east’s housing market over the past 6 months and gives us a better idea of what to expect in 2020. By identifying trends, we’re able to help you make the best decisions going forward.
Housing market overview
The delivery of Brexit appears to have shrugged off much of the uncertainty around the housing market as we recorded a rise in the average house price during the second half of 2019. It seems like the Boris Bounce after the general election proved to be the unexpected Christmas present we all needed, with pricing peaking in December.
Sales were still strong across the regions although, interestingly, buyer demand dropped, which echoes statistics from a leading high street building society, but those who were interested in buying still forged ahead with their plans.
The strongest price rises were throughout November and December. Rightmove predicts a further rise in house prices this year. More details can be found in our full report.
We saw an uplift in mortgages in the last half of 2019 – perhaps the public was tired of Brexit’s uncertainty? Homemovers made up the majority of our mortgage business with First-timers following close behind despite the slow start to the year. Our report suggests that many probably wanted to take advantage of the attractive government Help-to-Buy schemes.
Word on the grapevine: apparently… 100% lending could be making a comeback.
The Buy-to-Let market remained modestly steady. It appears that changes in the law have investors feeling the pinch. Will Boris and his recently reinforced government address what’s increasingly seen as an unfair war on landlords? Let’s see.
It seems that those with plenty of equity have taken advantage of 5-year lending lows. The report highlights how those not wanting (or needing) to move have taken advantage of some of the best rates in lending history.
Roll on 2020 because things are looking promising for the year ahead.
Land and new homes
It’s been a challenge for land and new homes throughout Q3 & Q4 thanks to Brexit. But, trading has been resilient. Reservations remain stable, cancellations were reduced and our stock is looking healthy, with generous average house prices.
Part-exchange and assisted move proves to be a key factor for 2020 – assisted moves are up, part-exchange dipped. Help-to-Buy proves to be the star of the show. Although new changes will roll out in 2021, buyers are still depending on this scheme to get on the property ladder and this demand will generate those new home sales for investors.
Changes in Legislation in the last half of 2019 mean that Tenants have very few start up costs which has resulted in a big jump in activity.
Landlords on the other hand are feeling the pinch. Whilst there are signs that rents are starting to rise, many landlords were still reluctant to do so for fear of upsetting good tenants. Additional changes throughout 2020 will mean that Landlord Yields become more marginal so this might not be the case as we move forwards.
However we are optimistic. New Landlords looking for long-term investment and wanting to take advantage of some very attractive Buy-to-Let mortgage deals on offer can benefit from our help and advice. For more details, please refer to the report.
Other features in the report include a busy diary for law makers in the world of Lettings. On the calendar are:
• Court of Appeal case reviewing Right to Rent checks.
• All periodic tenancies will be covered by the Fitness for Human Habitation Act 2018.
• Expansion of EPC minimum standards and mandatory electrical testing could be imminent.
• Renters reform bill is likely to be passed. What does this mean for non-fault evictions?
• What are life-time deposits?
• Rogue Landlord register
As you can see there’s lots of change over the last period and it’s likely to continue throughout the year.
Get in touch and see how we can help you move forwards
Want to learn more about the current state of the housing market? You can download the full report below: