August Market Comment 2019
By lucmin on 20th August 2019
Here we are, mid-summer holidays, and the market is generally regarded as subdued. However, due to the continued lack of stock, we are still securing some excellent prices locally. Certainly, volumes are down but ask any buyer or seller and they are less concerned about “the market” and more interested in their own situation. This usually revolves around a single property, so volumes are irrelevant!
We are acutely aware of the personal requirements and emotions behind every sale, so we handle each property as if it were the only one on our books. The summer holidays are almost an annoying inconvenience to buyers who are keen to find a property and get on with their lives.
The good news for today’s serious sellers is that some less-serious sellers made the mistake of withdrawing their property for the summer holidays a month or more ago. Activity among serious buyers remains stable, but they have a smaller selection of stock from which to choose. This supports the likelihood of a sale, and a higher price, for those sellers who remained committed. Contrary to popular opinion, the summer is actually a great time to sell! It’s no coincidence that the busiest day of the year for removal companies is the last Friday in August!
We are also finding that property investors are starting to re-emerge. Certainly, tax reforms, tighter lending criteria and regulatory changes did hit confidence levels, denting supply, earlier this year. Indeed, according to a survey of 827 landlords by BVA BDRC, the number of PRS properties is estimated to have grown by an almost negligible rise of 0.2%, compared to over 3% in 2015!
However, stable prices and rising yields of around 4.5% mean that there are opportunities for investors. Average monthly rents have hit a new record high of £896, with rental growth at about 1.3%pa. This looks set to increase further as wages rise ahead of inflation giving tenants more price flexibility.
Considering the daily media-driven scaremongering, the property market is actually holding its own and proving once again how resilient bricks and mortar are as an investment and, of course, a home!