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Market Update - May

Wednesday, 4th May 2016

Categories: Lettings Market Analysis Sales

Author: Tony Ryan

Spring is always a prime time for the property market with lighter evenings making viewings easier to undertake and gardens and outside spaces starting to look at their best. With many people looking ahead to school intakes in the autumn, the spring market is always a busy time.

2016 is proving no exception and, correctly priced and well marketed properties are attracting good interest from buyers keen to take advantage of continuing low mortgage interest rates and secure a loan ahead of any uncertainty that may be caused by the outcome of the European referendum in June.

The lettings market also remains buoyant and the availability of property to rent has increased slightly following the recent rush by investors to acquire property ahead of the stamp duty hike on second properties. The balance between supply and demand remains generally in the landlord’s favour and good rental levels continue to be achieved.

Overall the market is positive although affordability is an increasing factor and properties that are placed on the sales or lettings market at too high and initial price are beginning to meet with some buyer and tenant resistance. Good prices and rents are being achieved but through generating strong interest at the outset and creating urgency and demand, testing the market at too high an initial price can lose the initial activity one gets when placing a property in the market and result in the asking price being “chipped” downwards in order to secure a transaction.

Utilising our professionalism and experience has never been more important. Our team know the local market and the people operating within it. Selling or letting a property is not simply a question of putting some information and pictures on the internet and waiting for the phone to ring. It is matching the individual features and benefits provided by each property to the individual circumstances of the prospective buyer or tenant.

As we look forward, we anticipate that the next few weeks will see the market continue in this vein. Noise around the aforementioned European referendum on June 23rd will undoubtedly increase and the degree of uncertainty with it. A stay vote is likely to see the property market and economy react positively as we move forward on more of a status quo footing. A vote to leave may create some unrest and end up posing more questions than it answers. We shall simply have to wait and see.

Irrespective of the outcome, with housebuilding numbers still well below that required and a continuing imbalance between supply and demand, we expect to see good activity continuing and prices continuing to rise, albeit at much more modest levels than recently.