After a period of unrest following Brexit, the first quarter of 2017 has been pleasantly surprising with market activity far higher than we could have expected. To try and put this into context, I have compiled a brief comparison against the same period of 2016; the general market commentators deem this comparison as significantly distorted due to the fact that in April 2016 a 3% stamp duty surcharge was introduced on the purchase of second homes. This saw a rush of buyers looking to complete on properties before the tax changes and a rush of sellers looking to take advantage of the demand.
However, I feel that the comparison demonstrates a strong local market as both properties, entering the market, and house sales have only reduced by 7% from Q1 2016. In turn they increased by 59% and 35% respectively from Q4 of 2016. Whilst buyer numbers have reduced by 20% from Q1 2016, they have increased by 52% from Q4 2016 which suggests that confidence is growing in the housing market and, that customers looking for property, are keen to transact and move.
With the LSL/ Acadata House Price index showing 39 of the 108 regions and counties in England & Wales set new peak prices in March and the UK showing a monthly change of +0.5 % and an annual change of +3.3%.
The average house price now is at £301,278 and it would seem that, with consumer confidence strong, interest rate increases seemingly on hold and mortgage supply and pricing remaining favourable, the housing market remains as solid investment.
As we go into May, we look forward to the traditionally busy Spring Market.