Agents’ predictions for the property market in 2017
2016 was a strange year for many reasons. Not only did we lose many of our best loved celebrities, but unless you’ve been living in a hole for the past year you’ll know that Brexit and the election of Trump has sent the political and economic worlds into a spin. Add to this the changes in Stamp Duty laws and it’s easy to see why so many people have been nervous about buying a home.
Here are a few factors which have affected the property market in 2017 and are expected to continue to do so this year:
Prices have been steadily growing for a while, with an overall average increase of 6.9% across the whole of the UK. While this is good news for anyone who was involved in property flipping (buy low, sell high) countless others have been left out in the cold. An austerity induced hike in the cost of living and a good dose of Brexit anxiety have both added to the problem, and it’s now trickier than ever to get that first step on the property ladder.
Assetgrove says “The changes to stamp duty have also had a big impact on the overall cost of buying, and thousands of people are now seeing rental as their only option.” Countrywide, the biggest estate agency group in the UK, have predicted a further drop in sales this year as the average family struggles to make ends meet.
There was a significant drop in sales of high end homes in 2016, and the changes to Stamp Duty mean that this is likely to consider in 2017 and beyond.
Whilst UK buyers are twitchy about committing in the wake of the Referendum, there’s been an increased interest from sellers from overseas looking to take advantage of the weak pound. Kubie Gold Associates says “High end properties have seen quite a drop in sales from UK buyers during the last year, and we don’t expect to see much of a change this year either.”
Buy to Let
Also significantly impacted by the Stamp Duty crisis have been buy to let landlords. Already lenders have noticed a drop of almost 50% in sales to landlords over the past 18 months, and more stringent affordability checks are also putting people off.
Our population is at its highest ever and that’s not looking likely to change any time soon. The government’s target of building 300,000 new homes this year may not be reached as global and local economic issues continue to rock us all, and as Plaza Estates says, “There’s a good chance that only half the planned new builds will happen this year due to fears about the uncertainty of the market.” Although it may not be the best way to start the year, property still remains one of the most rewarding investment methods out there so it’s not all doom and gloom. The key is to keep your eyes open for bargains, do your research and shop around.