Sales and Lettings Overview of 2017 with Market Predictions for 2018

At the beginning of a new year we can always expect to hear many opinions on where the property market will go over the next 12 months.   We, at Royston & Lund, ended 2017 needing more stock as there continues to be a high demand for properties in the area.  We are therefore, anticipating that house prices will rise during 2018 due to the high levels of demand and we expect to still see predominately a sellers’ market. 

Nationally house prices increased last year by 5% according to House Price Index which is in-line with the increase which we have seen locally in West Bridgford and the surrounding areas. 

The local developments of new homes are giving more choice and in turn aiding the market in stabilising; there are likely to be more properties coming to the market as many buyers begin their search with upsizing and in some cases downsizing. 

It’s not all doom and gloom for first time buyer’s as regardless of the increase in interest rates, mortgage rates are expected to remain favourable, with any further rises expected to be minimal over the next 12 months.  Buyers are increasingly taking advantage of the Help to Buy Scheme as well as Shared Ownership Schemes and therefore this is expected to continue to drive the market forward.

In addition to this, the abolition of stamp duty for first time buyers on all properties up to £300,000 was announced in November, this move is expected to save the average first-time buyer £1,660.  We feel this may provide additional motivation to those considering making 2018 the year to become a homeowner again adding strength to the market locally and nationally. 

Due to the facilities on offer along with the wealth of employment in the wider south Nottingham region, West Bridgford is still a magnet for buyers who know Nottingham, as well as people relocating into the area.

Gary Lund said, “We expect the market to follow a similar pattern to that of 2017, while there is still some uncertainty given the current political climate, the number of buyers still outweighs the level of available properties and as a result house prices are expected to continue to rise.”  This was echoed by the RICS forecast for 2018 who have suggested that nationally we will see similar numbers in activity as shown in 2016/17 with property transactions reaching approximately £1.2 million.

Stephanie Caine, Head of Lettings says, “During 2017 a shortage of property to let in the area has left many tenants feeling disappointed and frustrated. There has been huge demand for all types of property and we have seen an increasing number of properties being snapped up as soon as they are listed and in some cases before they can be actively marketed. This demand has been consistent over the last 2 years and stock levels have remained low, especially during certain months

We have also seen an increase in monthly rental rates for new tenants of approximately £65.00 pcm compared to the end of December 2016. During 2017, we have seen tenants’ expectations raise significantly in terms of requirements for modern décor, fixtures and fittings and this has helped us to advise more landlords to invest in their rental properties to raise the standards of rental property in general. 

With the continued legal obligations being placed on landlords within the private rented sector the industry is becoming more and more regulated. During 2017 we have seen the changes in tax exemptions and stamp duty for landlords/investors, Legionnaire risk assessments as well as The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations 2015 becoming mandatory.

2018 is likely to be a challenging year for letting agents, as we still await confirmation of when the Tenant fee ban will be in place. Changes to EPC regulations in private rented properties is pending for April and there is talk of electrical periodic inspections becoming a legal requirement on all private rented properties, {which as a professional agent we do agree with and actively discuss with landlords we work with}.

It’s likely that as we move into 2018, tenants will continue to see rent increases as supply starts to reduce, high demand continues, and legislative changes increase costs for landlords.

We are delighted that we have retained our position as top Lettings Agent in the Rushcliffe area for 2017. Figures produced by Rightmove.co.uk show we gained the most Lettings Instructions and Lets Agreed throughout 2017 which we put down to our expertise and professionalism.”