Romans Property Market Update September 2017

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15 Sep 2017

Romans urge movers to question ‘fake news’ about the property market

Author: Antony Gibson

“Yes, the rate of property price increases have slowed in recent months, but we are not seeing anything that you would not expect,” explains Romans Sales Director, Antony Gibson.

When talking about house prices, many media outlets are failing to look at the bigger picture and as a result, are making attention grabbing statements alluding to doom and gloom for the UK property market.

During the credit crunch, prices fell sharply, this was followed by a steady, prolonged period of price increases. Having recovered, the market has been experiencing a much slower rate of growth and there is now increasing, sustained evidence of prices being placed under pressure in certain areas and price ranges.

This slower rate of growth is brought about largely by the changes made by the government which include; stricter mortgage lending criteria for all buyers, larger deposit requirements, increased stamp duty, and the removal of tax relief for investors.

Antony adds: “This slowdown does not indicate doom and gloom for the property market, in fact it’s quite the opposite! Stability is what we would want to see and will enable earnings and inflation to better align with property values.

Now is actually a good time to move if you are ‘upsizing’ as the price gap has stopped growing. The same can be said for those who are downsizing, who can not only profit on the capital growth but also purchase their next home at a competitive price.”

To help put homeowners’ minds at rest, we want to dispel some of the headline making comments by discussing the real issues the property market is facing and what buyers and sellers can do to counteract them… 

If the market predictions and comments are the only thing standing in the way your move, then you are possibly perpetuating the problem by not acting.

Every year, there is a natural seasonal slowdown in the summer months as some buyers and sellers are more focused on summer holidays than moving. Compared with this time last year, both Rightmove and our own internal data show that the number of sellers coming to market is largely the same.

This year, the commentary about confidence in the property market is counteracted by high demand, low unemployment rates, and low mortgage rates. 

Data from the NAEA shows that in June, 4 out of 5 properties sold below their asking price and just 2% sold above. With buyers’ budgets determined by income, deposit size and lending criteria, ‘correct pricing’ and good negotiation skills are key ingredients to a successful sale.

Buyers are spending an average of 70 hours on property portals before making an offer. This increase in time spent researching online is reflected in our own internal data, which shows buyers being more selective over the homes they eventually view before making an offer.

With buyers doing much more research upfront and attending fewer viewings, sellers must get the price and presentation right at the start to maximise their property’s exposure.

Despite there being an increase in time spent researching online, one in three buyers do NOT find their property online - highlighting the value of using a local, high street agent.

There’s no one in a better position to advise you on an accurate, evidence based price than a local agent who lives and breathes property, has a good relationship with buyers and sellers in the local area, and understands the trends and fluctuations in the local market.

A big criticism of the housing market today is the lack of supply, 89% of those surveyed by Romans reported that finding a new home was harder than selling their existing one. 50% also reported that they wouldn’t put their existing home on the market until they had found a new one.

Antony adds, “It’s a vicious circle. Homeowners who want to move, are not putting their houses on the market due to the lack of suitable property available for them - but, by not offering theirs, they create demand in the market and do not add to the supply - causing the market to become gridlocked.

If everyone who wanted move started by putting their current home on the market, more and more people would be able to find the home they want and a lot more people would move.”

If you are thinking for selling or buying and would like to find out more about the local property market contact Romans on 01344 985 666.

Town Average property price What will affect property prices in the future?
Aldershot £296,721

The planned town regeneration will no doubt increase the demand for property. Bringing with it new employment opportunities and amenities making Aldershot a more desirable place to live.

Demand will also be increased by the fact that property in Aldershot is priced lower than neighbouring towns. We predict that property prices will gradually rise and that it will remain an affordable alternative to London and other major towns in the South East. 
Basingstoke £306,728

As buyers are priced out of London we are seeing more and more commuters seeking property in Basingstoke.

The regeneration of Festival Place will continue to have a positive impact on property prices. As will the new homes developments, which are already attracting interest from both first time buyers and investors.

Beaconsfield £365,957

Beaconsfield is a hot spot in South Bucks and always in high demand from people moving out of London. Buyers will continue to be attracted to the area by the highly sought-after school catchments and excellent transport links into London.

We are still finding low stock levels, meaning prices are remaining at a steady level. A number of new homes developments in the area are being discussed which may help ease the demand on the market.

Bracknell £365,957

The Lexicon development will bring with it new employment opportunities and new demand on the market which is likely to increase the value of property.

Many new schools are being built on new housing developments which is creating new catchment areas and giving certain patches a boost in popularity - it is likely that prices will continue to increase as a result.

Burnham £414,233

Price rises have steadied when compared with the surge we saw last year, but with Crossrail opening in 2019 buyers are still keen to invest or move to the area.

Local schools have great Ofsted reports, as does the town’s grammar school. This coupled with the great transport links to the M4/M40/M25 and the trading estate offering ample job opportunities will continue to attract working professionals and families to Burnham so it’s likely that prices will gradually increase.

Camberley £395,634

The ripple effect of the London market has reached Camberley and property values have steadied.

Camberley is home to a number of outstanding primary and secondary schools. With a low supply of family homes in the area and demand continuing to rise, we predict buyers will regain confidence in the property market as the summer slowdown comes to an end.

Caversham £432,340

Caversham continues to be one of the most desirable parts of Reading to live and is currently awaiting confirmation of a new, much needed school. The new school will no doubt attract more families to the area and with the increase in demand, the prices are likely to rise.

The current redevelopment of the shopping precinct and the new pedestrian river bridge providing an easier access to walk to Reading railway station along with the new Crossrail station will see demand for property continue to rise. 

Crowthorne £502,000

Buyers will continue to be drawn to the area by the village feel, its excellent state and private schools including Edgbarrow School, and Wellington College.

People are drawn to Crowthorne for its village lifestyle with many of the high street shops being locally owned businesses that have been there for generations.

New homes developments are set to bring an influx of new buyers along with investors and businesses which will increase the demand for homes in the area. 

Farnborough £330,124

Farnborough is hugely popular among both families and professionals due to the fantastic commuter links, (including its three train stations), proximity to the M3, and Farnborough Airport.

Compared with London, property in Farnborough is much more affordable and with the fast train into London, the town is becoming a hot spot for commuters – something we predict will continue.

The current town regeneration project and new homes developments are bringing new life into the town, further increasing property prices. 

Farnham £566,233

The Farnham schools are still the biggest attraction for people wanting to move to the area, mainly from London as Farnham sits on a main line rail link direct to London. As a result, Farnham’s popularity continues to grow.

The East Street development launching in the next 6 – 12 months will be a huge redevelopment for Farnham, bringing circa 260 new apartments and a new shopping centre.

Fleet £441,585

Voted most desirable place to live 4 years in a row, demand for property in the area continues to rise. The ‘Blue Triangle’ remains one of the most popular areas for homebuyers and is home to some very impressive, period detached properties located down private roads.

Several new homes developments in Fleet are helping to satisfy the growing demand for affordable property attracting competition from first time buyers and investors.

Commuters will continue to be drawn to the area for its excellent rail and road links -the M3 is just a five minute drive away, and trains to London Waterloo take less than an hour!

Gerrards Cross £863,120

This small suburban town receives on-going positive press, describing it as a sought-after place to live, keeping the area in high-demand with buyers.

Buyers move to the area for the highly sought-after schools, the easy, 24 minute commute into London Marylebone, and the stunning properties the town can offer. With many buyers coming from London, prices have steadied recently but demand remains high.

Guildford £545,605

With more and more people leaving the Capital for the countryside, the demand for property in this affluent town is ever-increasing - although limited buyer affordability has capped the increase in property prices.

The local schools are a huge pull factor for many families moving to the area and, when the market picks up after the summer slowdown, we predict that prices will climb steadily.

Henley-on-Thames £796,879

Henley will always have a very insular market where people want to move within the vicinity as once living here there is no desire to move elsewhere.

Buyers limited affordability has led to prices steadying however, the town will always attract buyers from London looking for second properties as it offers excellent access into the capital either by railway or motorway.

The Henley regatta and the Henley festival continue to put the town on the map on an annual basis - the positive press will continue to increase the demand for property in the area, gradually pushing prices up in years to come.

Lower Earley £369,866

The town remains popular amongst families. After seeing a surge of interest last year from investors looking to capitalise on Crossrail, price increases have slowed but not stopped.

Next summer we will only be one year away from Crossrail, a new station will be opening in Green Park, along with the new homes development coming to the surrounding area all of which are likely to get people interested in the Lower Earley property market once again and prompt prices to steadily climb.

Maidenhead £524,683

The town has undergone as transformation in recent years, this coupled with the fantastic local schools is a big pull for growing families and buy-to-let investors hoping to capitalise on the growing demand for rental property.

With Crossrail getting ever-closer, we predict residential buyers will overtake buy-to-let investors as they relocate out of the city to the more affordable commuter towns ahead of the opening of Crossrail. This increase in demand will most likely cause prices to steadily climb.

Reading £389,781

After seeing a surge of interest last year from investors and buyers looking to capitalise on Crossrail, price increases have slowed but not stopped - a trend we predict will continue in the coming months.

Looking further into the future, we predict that interest in the Reading property market will pick up as more new restaurants and bars come to the area, Crossrail will only be one year away, a new train station will be opening in Green Park and a number of new homes developments will complete, all of which are likely to lead to a price increase.

Sandhurst £373,678

Sandhurst prices are steadily climbing at the moment, with many people relocating here from London looking for more affordable housing in a commutable area.

Families, in particular, are attracted here because of the excellent local schooling and as the summer slowdown and political uncertainty come to an end, we predict price rises will continue.

Sunningdale £738,841

There is a steady demand for property in the area thanks to the great transport links, excellent state, private and international schools. Since the announcements of the expansion for sought-after Charters school, we predict prices in the area will continue to rise as demand outstrips supply.

A number of new homes developments are coming to the area which will help ease the demand on the market and attract more first time buyers and investors to the town.

Tilehurst £350,837

Tilehurst continues to offer value for money, irrelevant of the general market conditions and often bounces off the back of the Reading market.

After the surge of interest the announcement of Crossrail and the new Ikea store bought, the market has levelled out. We predict that prices will steadily climb as the M4 motorway access to both London and the South West attract interest from buyers.

Uxbridge £465,789

Uxbridge offers residents fantastic commuter links being just a 16 minute drive from Heathrow Airport, a mere five minutes from the M40, and sitting on both the Metropolitan and Piccadilly lines of the London Underground.

Demand for family homes remains high and as demand outstrips supply, and property in Central London becomes more and more unaffordable, Uxbridge’s popularity is likely to rise as will property prices.

Warfield Dept. £471,588

The Warfield market is largely linked to the Bracknell market and the regeneration of Lexicon has bought new demand to the area - hence the increase in property values.

Many new schools are being built on new homes developments in the local area creating new catchment areas, giving certain patches a boost in popularity. We predict that prices will experience a moderate rise if mortgage rates stay low as the publicity from the new town centre increases demand.

West Drayton £347,301

West Drayton is currently experiencing a surge in popularity due to the planned arrival of Crossrail in 2019 and Heathrow’s new runway. The improved transport links and new job opportunities are likely to boost the value of property and we predict that prices will continue to rise. 

Winchester £539,082

Lack of the supply of homes for growing families with limited affordability has caused the Winchester property market to pause as moves are put on hold for the time being.  

With pockets of new developments coming to the area along with the large Bartons Farm development, we predict the market gridlock will ease, the summer slowdown will end, and more people will find their next home.

Windsor £584,907

Being one of the most desirable areas to live in the UK, renowned worldwide for Windsor Castle – the property market in Windsor is likely to bounce back as confidence in the market grows after a year of political uncertainty.

Working professionals will continue to be drawn to the town by the excellent employment opportunities and commuter links into London and the M4, and with demand already outstripping supply, prices are likely to increase.

Wokingham £477,511

Wokingham has previously been voted as the best place for families to live in the country thanks to its excellent transport links and abundance of character. Buyer affordability and government changes have meant property values in Wokingham have dipped marginally.

The town continues to be a draw for families and commuters hoping to move into the catchment area of the town’s nine outstanding primary and secondary schools so demand will remain high and as the market recovers from the seasonal slump, prices will steadily climb.

Woodley £378,261

Voted second best place for families to live in the UK, Woodley is a popular alternative to Reading and London and demand for property in the area remains high.

After a surge of interest from buy-to-let investors after the announcement of the Crossrail, prices have stabilised however, we predict that as more and more professionals are priced out of the capital, the quiet pace of life and excellent local schools will draw people to Woodley and prices will continue to gradually increase.

Yateley £385,803

Lack of supply on the market has meant that prices have continued to increase at a higher rate than many other towns in the South East.

The demand for property will be eased by the new homes developments being built in the area. With the new developments, we predict an influx of new employment opportunities which will increase the desirability of Yateley and is likely to result in a steady increase in property prices.


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