Traditionally September marks the start of the last ‘mini wave’ in the property market. September & October are consider great months to put your house in the market for sale as the sun is (more or less) still shining and things still look good under the Autumn light.
Now post Brexit & post Summer…. Will this be a different Autumn?
Let’s do a recap of the most interesting news of the past weeks plus some observations from a London buying agent perspective:
1. Average house prices defy Brexit
Nationwide house price index shows that the Brexit vote has had no apparent effect on UK house prices. Actually, average house prices rose 5.6 in August. This growth has been the strongest since March (remember March was ‘gold season’ as people were rushing to buy buy-to-let properties ahead of stamp duty increase). YET this is a flawed way to measure the estate of the market. Asking prices do not truly reflect the estate of the market, only Land Registry records do. What is interesting to note is no matter what the asking price is, and where the property is, roughly 50% of all properties fail to sell. The reason may well be that either they were overpriced to begin with or there is some issue with the house that is apparent to everyone but the owner (or the estate agent who pitched for the business).
2. Yet lending is at lowest level in 18 months
Mortgage borrowing has been the lowest since January 2015 yet it was still stronger than in between 2009-2013.
And although there is evidence (particularly in Central London) that prices have come down from historic highs… The decline in demand appears to have been matched by weakness on the supply side of the market. Surveyors report that instructions to sell have also declined and the stock of properties on the market remains close to 30-year lows. This helps to explain why the pace of house price growth has remained broadly stable.
3. The Basement Tax
The Evening Standard brought a smile to a cloudy Friday with their headline that rich homeowners face up to £8000 tax for digging up a basement in Westminster. New regulation passed by the City of Westminster means their residents will have to pay up to £8k for digging up a basement. This measurement is to be soon adopted by Kensington & Chelsea and Camden (Primrose Hill). Now, we know that Westminster gets 150 applications annually to dig basements, but in the scheme of things, £8k will not stop anybody of digging a basement as the numbers still work in the owners advantage (especially on a high stamp duty environment).
If the City of Westminster or any borough will truly want to stop basements from happening it will have to increase this levy significantly.
4. Super Prime Property
81 homes sold for more than £1m in July, according to the latest batch of Land Registry price paid data, with London accounting for 339 of those deals. But the month saw no super-prime £10m+ transactions being lodged at all. And most agencies are reporting a significant drop in sales across all price bands.
It may not be normal (as we know it) BUT
As shown above, despite the uncertainty, the property market remains in good shape and so Autumn should see its traditional flurry of activity. Granted, some people will just be after a bargain.
And if you want to find your ideal property to buy or to rent or just to bounce some ideas, give us a call. There are many good deals to be had, a few of which are totally off-market (as more and more people do not want others to know that they are selling or renting their properties and what prices they are achieving).
For honest & professional advice, call Address Property Consultants.
#Londonproperty #londonpropertymarkets #offmarket #westminsterproperty #superprimeproperty #centrallondonproperty #stampduty #bargainproperty #addresspropertyconsultants #buyaproperty #rentaproperty