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UK Property Sales Market Update

Winkworth take a look at how the property sales market has fared around the UK so far in 2018 post Brexit, general elections & SDLT changes.

While the UK property sales market has had a turbulent few years with Brexit, elections, SDLT increases and, as a result, general uncertainty, it would appear that things are now beginning to stabilise, and we are seeing a return to a more ‘normal’ market. Stock levels are high although applicant levels are, at this stage, generally lower than they were in 2017.

‘This year has seen more traditional trends resurface, with the first uninterrupted spring selling season for three years.’ says Dominic Agace, CEO of Winkworth. ‘As normality has returned to the market, activity has continued to grow in Central London. Increased realism around pricing has also started to offset the tax burden of the additional Stamp Duty that was introduced in the autumn of 2014, which dampened activity. Across our markets, we have seen that where prices have been adjusted downwards, activity has picked up as affordability subsequently improves.’

The Rightmove House Price Index for May 2018 shows that asking prices are up by 1.1% annually. The current average asking price of a UK property stands at £308,075. However, house prices are rising much more slowly than before the 2016 referendum decision to take Britain out of the European Union, which hit consumer confidence and spending. As a result, the variance in regions across the country is dramatic. Market activity has indeed weakened across the country, but strong price growth continues for many areas. In Hove, for example, the market remains strong; ‘Asking prices are still increasing, albeit very slightly, and achieved prices are remaining positive; within 94% of the asking price,’ says Toby Powell, Director of Brighton and Hove. As we see interest rates increase, mortgage payments will also rise (though slowly) and this will put pressure on many households. However, recent falls in inflation have led to real wage rises for the first time in a year.

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‘The market is relatively buoyant for us. There is still demand and we have found that our level of instructions have grown. There are plenty of landlords offloading stock, probably due to the increased legislation and removal of mortgage interest offset against income tax,’ comments James Hathaway, Director of Winkworth Reading. ‘Prices are more competitive and have probably shifted negatively up to around 5% this year, but demand is similar and stock has increased.’

Overall, 24 London boroughs have seen sale prices fall over the year, and nine have seen them rise. Perhaps surprisingly, Kensington and Chelsea properties are beginning to rise in value again, having suffered the greatest price drops of recent years. With a significant increase in the number of properties for sale across the capital, up 16.4% in the last year, buyers now have far more choice, with the average London home now taking 67 days to sell.

To the south east of London, the outlook is similarly positive, albeit due to different factors. ‘New buyers registering this year are down 15% on 2017 levels, although sales volume and viewing levels are up 15% on 2017. Demand for 3 and 4 bedroom family homes has been very strong, particularly in the £500k-£1m bracket, with prices in some instances slightly on the increase. There has also been more activity and positive pricing achieved on the few homes that have been listed on the market to £2-£3m’, says Steve Brown, Branch Manager of Winkworth Blackheath.

On the other side of London, Shepherds Bush is also experiencing a more buoyant market. Applicant levels are down here also, but the buyers who are looking are serious and taking advantage of the good range of properties available. ‘Demand for flats is down as many landlords are leaving the Buy-to-Let market and that is causing a temporary over supply – particularly in the two bad sectors. However, family houses are holding up well, with many almost achieving close to what they would have in the previous peak of 2015. Pricing is, of course, key as buyers have plenty of choice, but well presented homes offered at the correct price are selling’ says Simon Waller, Branch Manager of Winkworth Shepherds Bush & Acton.

We look at some properties currently for sale in our area...

Sinclair Road, W14 - £3,650,000 Freehold

A superb Victorian townhouse arranged over five floors, offering in excess of 4000 sq ft of accommodation.

Batoum gardens, W6 - £725,000 Leasehold

A substantial three bedroom maisonette, arranged over the upper floors of an end of terrace Victorian house.

Netherwood Road, W14 - £575,000 Leasehold

A stylish two bedroom, two bathroom flat on the raised ground floor of a mid-terrace Victorian house.

Sinclair Gardens, W14 - £450,000 Share of Freehold

A charming one bedroom flat with sizable private garden on the lower ground floor of a mid terrace Victorian house.

Are you looking to buy, sell, rent or let?
Book your free market appraisal


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