Category Market Insight

Green shoots in the Housing Market…

Recent reports from the Office for National Statistics confirm that we are now starting to see some positive increases in the market.

Momentum is building across the UK housing market as spring approaches. The ONS (Office for National Statistics) report average property prices are rising in every region of the UK for the first time in nearly two years.

Property price growth is currently strongest across Yorkshire and the Humber and the East Midlands, with price growth across the capital at its strongest level since October 2017.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Rightmove report there has been a notable increase in buyer demand in January with both the HMRC and Rightmove citing sales volumes are on the rise.

Both market appraisals and new instructions are on the up, according to both RICS and Rightmove although demand currently outpaces supply. Prospective vendors are well advised to contact their local agent.

Sharp increase in new buyer enquiries reported by Rightmove

  • There have been 1.3 million new buyer enquiries in the month since the election (13th December to 15th January), a 15% increase year-on-year according to Rightmove.
  • A 2.3% monthly increase in the price of properties coming to the market was also reported, the biggest monthly surge ever recorded for this time of year.
  • There certainly seems to be more optimism in the market. Provisional figures from the HMRC suggest a 6.8% year-on-year rise in sales volumes in December while house prices across the UK are rising at their strongest level in a year according to the official UK House Price Index. 
  • As a new dawn approaches with the UK set to leave the EU this Friday and a Budget planned for March 11th, will the Boris bounce keep bouncing?

Government pledges to continue to support First Time Buyers with new initiative..

  • Nearly half a million (464,700) first-time buyers have benefitted from over £1.1 billion of tax duty relief since the First Time Buyers’ Relief was introduced following the Budget in November 2017, each saving on average £2,387.
  • Zero tax is charged to first-time buyers on property purchases between £125,000 and £300,000, which account for 77% of benefitting purchases. The standard 5% SDLT (stamp duty land tax) is charged between £300,000 and £500,000. Properties purchased under £125,000 are exempt from taxation for all purchasers.
  • 62,800 first-time buyers benefitted from the scheme in the final quarter of 2019, the highest quarterly number since its inception, as first-time buyer numbers hit record levels in 2019.
  • Across Wales all purchasers purchasing a property with a value of less than £180,000 are eligible for Land Transaction Tax Relief. This will undoubtedly include the vast majority of first-time buyers, as the average price of a first-time buyer property across the country is £149,000.
  • The government have recently announced plans for a First Home Scheme, whereby local buyers would benefit from a 30% market price reduction on the price of their first home.

Buyer boom sets scene for new house price records this spring..

We are pleased to report some very positive stats from Rightmove’s most recent House Price Index which indicates some promising potential for the Spring 2020 housing market. The price of property coming to market rises by 0.8% (+£2,589) this month, just £40 short of a new all-time high as momentum builds ahead of the spring market

Visits to Rightmove surpassed 150 million for the first time on Rightmove in January, making it the busiest month ever recorded as home-hunters looked to take advantage of a more certain political outlook.

 There were over 152 million visits to Rightmove in January, a 7% increase on January 2019. The previous record for the busiest month was last set back in May 2019.

 The top five busiest days ever on Rightmove were all between 21st and 29th January, with Wednesday 29th topping the list. There were over 5.7 million visits on that day, up 9% on the previous record set back on 24thApril 2019. 

 Time spent by home hunters on the site was up 4%, with people spending a total of 1.17 billion minutes. 

 The number of sales being agreed by agents was up 12% compared to the same month in 2019, the biggest year-on-year jump in any month since July 2017. London saw the biggest uplift, up 26% year-on-year, followed by the East of England, up 20%.

  • The price of property coming to market rises by 0.8% (+£2,589) this month, just £40 short of a new all-time high as momentum builds ahead of the spring market
  • Boom in buyer activity outstrips rise in number of new sellers, building upwards price pressure:
    • Rightmove monthly traffic up by 7.2% on prior year to new record of over 152 million visits in January, indicating strong pent-up housing demand
    • Demand already feeding through into number of sales agreed, up by 12.3% year-on-year nationally and 26.4% in London
    • New seller numbers fail to keep pace though finally starting to recover, up by 2.1% this month compared to the same period last year, which is the first year-on-year rise for 13 months

Market momentum continues to build ahead of the spring moving season, indicating that there is likely to be a series of new price records in the coming months. The average price of property coming to market rises by 0.8% (+£2,589) this month, just £40 short of a new all-time high. Upwards price pressure is being driven by a post-election release of pent-up housing demand, and while there is a long-awaited and welcome recovery in the number of new sellers coming to market, this is being out-stripped by a surge in demand from buyers.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst comments: “There is a boom in buyer activity outstripping the rise in the number of new sellers, which we expect to lead to a series of new price records starting next month. The average price of newly-marketed property is just £40 below its all-time high from June 2018, with the typically busy spring market still to come. This means that spring buyers are likely to be faced with the highest average asking prices ever seen in Britain. Buyers who had been hesitating and waiting for the greater political certainty following the election outcome may be paying a higher price, but they can now jump into the spring market with renewed confidence. After three and a half years of Brexit uncertainty, dither, and delay, many now seem to have the 2020 vision that this is the year to satisfy their pent-up housing needs.

Rightmove monthly traffic is up by 7.2% on the prior year to a new record of over 152 million visits in January, indicating strong pent-up housing demand. Momentum is still growing, with traffic in the first week of February up by 9.2% on the same week in 2019. Importantly, this increased interest in property is already feeding through into the number of sales agreed, which is up by 12.3% compared to the same period a year ago. London, an important barometer of the health of the national housing market, has sales agreed numbers up by 26.4% on 12 months ago, which was admittedly a time when buyer activity was at a low ebb. Nationally, new seller numbers are failing to keep pace with the jump in sales activity, although they are finally starting to rise, with over 110,000 properties coming to market in this reporting period (12th January to 8th February inclusive), up by 2.1% compared to the same period last year. This is the first time that we have seen a year-on-year rise in new supply for 13 months.

Shipside adds: “It’s the first time for over a year that we have seen any sign of a return of seller confidence, albeit lagging behind the surge in numbers of early-bird buyers. Owners coming to market this spring face the best selling prospects for several years, with good demand for the right properties at the right prices. However, sellers should be careful not to get carried away with their pricing, as this is still a price-sensitive market with stretched buyer affordability. Those who over-price risk missing out on the window of increased activity that could run at least until we approach the next Brexit deadline at the end of the year. Now could be an excellent time to get on the market and sell, seizing the opportunity of achieving a quick sale at a decent price.”

For home-movers funding their move with a mortgage, there are some of the lowest fixed rates ever available. Many lenders have access to cheap wholesale money and the combination of this liquidity and increased competition to lend means they are offering some very tempting fixed-rate deals to help buyers to get onto or trade up on the housing ladder.

If you are considering selling your property this year and would like some initial pricing advise and an overview of the marketing process please contact the Taylor Hill & Bond team to book a free valuation and marketing consultation now: http://www.taylorhillandbond.co.uk/book-a-free-valuation.html

The new homes market is booming..

Just over 174,000 new homes were completed across England in the year up to June 2019, up 8% year on year, and this trend continued throughout the rest of 2019 according to new data released by the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government.

New home completions rose over the year across all regions except London, where completions were 9% lower than the previous year. The Welsh Government report 5,800 new homes were completed across Wales over the same time period, 5.6% lower year on year.

In terms of regions, the North West witnessed the largest surge in completions, up over 4,000 year on year. However southern regions, London, the South East, South West and East of England, together accounted for over 75% of all completions.

Figures are in line with household projections, which estimate household numbers in England to increase by 159,000 per year (2016 – 2041). However, numbers remain below the mooted figure of 300,000 new homes required annually for affordability pressures to ease.

Lettings Market Snapshot for January 2020

We bring you the latest trends in the rental market, with a detailed focus on South Hampshire.

Over the last 12 months, the average rent achieved for properties let in South Hampshire was £888 per month. This is a +4% change on the previous 12 month period.

The rate of annual rental growth across the UK remained unchanged in December at 1.4%. Value growth across London continues, average rents 1.2% higher than a year ago with growth at its strongest level in over 2 years. 

The government has announced an overhaul of the model tenancy contracts, including making it easier for responisble tenants to have a well behaved pet. At present just 7% of tenancies allow a pet, with a survey by the Property Academy finding over one third of tenants (35%) would be prepared to pay a rental premium in order to keep a pet.

How green is your neighbourhood?

Across England and Wales, properties located close to parks, gardens, playing fields and other publicly-accessible green spaces generate a price premium, according to research conducted by the Office for National Statistics.

Houses and apartments located within 100 metres of public green spaces are on average, £2,500 more expensive than those located more than 500 metres away, equating to a premium of 1.1%.

Public green space has the greatest impact on the price of detached house. These homes attract a 1.9% premium if they are within 100 metres of a public green space, in comparison, the impact on apartment values is lower.

It’s not just property value that is affected by green space, The Thriving Places Index found that in areas with more green space, fewer people have severe mental illnesses, and people rate their feelings of anxiety as less severe.

What can we expect from the government’s key housing policies?

After a night of drama Boris Johnson has returned to Number 10 with the largest Conservative majority since Margaret Thatcher in 1987.

The markets reacted positively to the news, the value of Sterling rising against both the US$ and hitting its highest level since July 2016 against the Euro. On the stock market the FTSE 100 share index rose 1.8%, while the FTSE 250, which includes more UK-focused shares rose 4%, hitting a record high.

A poll prior to the election by YouGov indicated 14% of people considered housing a ‘top three’ priority in the election, with housing considered more important than education, defence and welfare benefits.

Key Conservative housing manifesto pledges include increasing housebuilding, supporting first-time buyers and maintaining ‘Right-to-Buy’, leasehold reform and reforms to the rental market including ending no-fault evictions and the introduction of so-called ‘lifetime’ deposits. Non-UK resident purchases may now face a 3% additional taxation levy, up from the 1% mooted by Theresa May.


Getting from Sale Agreed to moving day can take longer than you think..

That’s why here at Taylor Hill & Bond we utilise the innovative View My Chain software to help our clients move faster.

Nine in every ten home sellers expects to complete their property transaction within three months of their property being ‘Sold Subject To Contract’ (SSTC), according to results of the 2019 Property Academy Homemovers Survey. In reality, just over half (55%) met that timescale.

Research by proptech company, View my Chain, suggests the process from SSTC to completion takes 120 days. Obtaining a mortgage typically takes five to six weeks and the exchange and completion process over three.

In addition they calculate just over a month is spent organising and waiting for the return of searches, and another month to sort enquiries between vendor and purchaser.

Further to consultation initially carried out in 2017, the government published proposals earlier this year to improve the home selling process and make it “quicker, cheaper and less stressful”. Reservation agreements trials were due to take place in the new year.

To find out how our cutting edge approach can speed up your move check out our case study here: https://viewmychain.com/case-studies/taylor-hill-n-bond-reduces-time-to-search-ordered-by-61-percents

Can PropTech transform the home buying process?

The government has announced an initiative to use proptech (property technology) to “digitally transform house-buying”, helping to speed up how we build and sell homes.

However, research by KMPG suggests just 58% of real estate companies have a digital strategy in place.  Most companies use prop tech to streamline processes and reduce costs but 40% cited customer engagement as a motivation for adopting proptech solutions. Findings from the Property

Academy HomeMoving Trends, Landlord and Tenant Survey, analysed by Dataloft and based on 15,000 responses, suggested that using technology has and will have a positive impact on the experience of buying/selling and letting. Easing paperwork, aiding reference checking, and creating options for virtual viewings were all seen as positive ways in which technology can aid the move process. Using tech solutions to share local market knowledge was highlighted by over one third of respondents.

Here at Taylor Hill & Bond we utilise many different types of technology to assist us in delivering a great service to our clients. To find out how we can best assist please feel free to get in touch: