Estate agency trends for 2022

There can be no doubt that 2021 was a busy and hectic year for the UK’s property industry. Estate agents from across the country have had to adapt with the market and react quickly in order to keep up with the incredible levels of demands for both buying and selling property. 

Thankfully, this has been a big positive for the industry in spite of the challenges that have been faced. However, there have certainly been drastic changes to the industry both in what is expected from estate agents and how companies are able to keep up with their competition, and move with the times. 

Here we take a look at some of the key trends for estate agents in 2022, what to expect from the industry and what businesses can do to stay ahead of the game. 

Landlords prioritising short-term lets

It is part of the job of estate agents to understand movements in the market, and it does seem likely that in 2022, there will be a shift towards landlords prioritising short-term lets over the transitional longer contracts that they may be used to, and that estate agents are more used to seeing. 

“One of the major advantages of short-term lets is that it gives you the chance to regularly evaluate the value of the property,” is part of the advice offered to landlords by chartered accountants Wellden Turnbull “That means you can always get a rental yield that is sensible for the area. If you are locked into a long-term contract and the local area rises in popularity, this can mean that you are missing out on income.” 

Given the changeable nature of the current market it is easy to see why it would be the case that landlords might be interested in pursuing this line of strategy. Longer term lets have typically offered landlords predictable income over a specific period. However, that predictability comes at the potential price of properties becoming functionally undervalued. 

Older buyers still dominate the housing market

It is certainly the case that while younger people are interested in buying property, it is the older generations who are doing the majority of the spending. Of course, a part of this simply comes down to where the wealth is and buying property is still considered one of the safest financial investments available. 

One of the major causes of older buyers being the major players in the housing market is the fact that it is buoyant. Rising house prices have been a very beneficial thing for investors, and those who already own property. But there can be no doubt that the fact that house prices are rising higher than the rises in earnings makes it very difficult for younger people to get on the property ladder in the first place. 

“Lots of people – and not just the wheeler-dealers who clutter the Sunday Times rich list – have become very wealthy from residential property,” says Philip Inman in The Guardian “Shares in housebuilders have soared since 2012 when then chancellor George Osborne propped up the market for newly built homes with his help-to-buy scheme.”

Recruitment challenges

It is expected that in 2022, estate agents are likely to continue to have difficulty recruiting experienced staff. This is actually a problem across many industries, especially those that were able to have success during the pandemic. The fact is that in thriving industries there are many examples of there being more jobs than there are experienced people to fill them.

It is an employee’s market, meaning that talented estate agents can demand higher wages and better benefits in order to bring their skills to a new firm. Ultimately, this will lead to some estate agents having to change their hiring practice and offering a better compensation package for their staff. 

House prices are expected to continue to rise

Last year truly was a phenomenal year in terms of the rising costs of homes. Recent research from Halifax revealed that across 2021, house prices rose faster than in any calendar year since 2004. And, while it is unlikely that 2022 will see higher rates of growth, we can still expect the market to continue to grow.

The fact is that property is still considered to be a very safe investment, and for as long as that remains the case, there are going to be people willing to put money into the market. We might not be able to expect a record breaking year, but estate agents should expect to continue to see gains. 

The growing popularity of new builds

New build property is another area that estate agents should look for in 2022. This could be an area where we see a dramatic upswing in interest and sales. The energy-efficient nature of new build homes, as well as their lower maintenance costs are considered to be two key areas that make them valuable and desirable for potential homeowners. 

Estate agents should look for this and the other insights above to be the key trends affecting business in 2022.