2018 Predictions

17th January 2018  |  12:00am

2018 Predictions

So, what do we think will happen this year in the local property market?

Before we give any opinions, let’s briefly look at what happened last year locally. 

2017 proved to be a difficult year for the local property market. The year started well, with good levels of buyer and seller activity.  We then had the snap election in April, coupled with the ongoing Brexit situation and negative media reports, this all impacted on the local market through the second half of the year.  Prospective buyers ultimately have lacked the confidence to commit and some sellers have withdrawn, choosing to extend rather than move.  As such, prices have been affected with many sellers having to adapt their strategy accordingly in order to secure a sale on their property.

We expect 2018 to continue on a similar trend to 2017 with prices remaining on a plateau following a slight dip seen in the last quarter of 2017. Recent Stamp Duty reforms should encourage first time buyers to enter the market and mortgage products remain available in high volumes and at very competitive rates, meaning the tools are there for motivated buyers. We are experiencing fewer investment buyers, which is starting to create more openings for first time buyers.

Early indications are positive.  The first Rightmove Price Index of 2018 shows that early January activity is up by 9% on the same period the year before, averaging over 4 million visits per day.

There is often a spike in pricing in January and February, however, some of this can be attributed to a certain degree of price flattery by some agents and not necessarily market growth.  Indeed the same Rightmove Price Index shows price growth month on month for January is up by a modest 1.2% in the South East and on average a house is taking 67 days to sell. 

The market, moving forward, will be as price sensitive as ever and buyers are looking for properties that offer good value for money.  Initial pricing of a property is the key to achieving opening interest and indeed subsequent offers. 

Simply advertising a property on the likes of Rightmove, Zoopla or Primelocation will not be enough this year and the need for expert guidance will be essential.  We believe there will be a good market for motivated buyers and sellers who are brought together through expert sales management.  

If you are considering a move and would like advice on the current value of your property, the market and your options, as experienced local agents we would welcome the opportunity to come and discuss these with you.