The heat is on! Or rather, it has been for the past few months of the glorious summer we have been enjoying. But is the heat on, or off the property market? Here at Oakfield Estate Agents we have seen consistently strong sales over the summer, although the national picture seems confused. It all depends who you speak to!
For example, according to the government’s official house price index, UK house prices have increased by 3% over the past year – the lowest level of growth since 2013. This was, however, skewed by a 0.4% decrease in London values. However, we know that the government’s figures usually trail behind current reality by up to six months, and the Halifax reports annual growth at just 1.8%.
Interestingly, new analysis from Price Waterhouse suggests that house prices are unlikely to exceed 3% until 2025. Although we are passionate about securing high prices for our sellers in Hastings, Bexhill and Eastbourne at a national level, such price stability would be a good thing. Indeed, there has even been a suggestion from think-tank IPPR that the government should freeze house price inflation for five years, and then peg it to inflation at 2% thereafter (although history has shown that it is usually best for the government not to meddle with the market).
Overall, property has fared reasonably well since the Brexit referendum and anyone thinking of moving need not be deterred by the negative news headlines. It is encouraging to note that bricks and mortar tends to outshine the stock market during times of uncertainty (even long-term, the FTSE100 capital price index has only risen 9% in the past 18 years!) PWC predicts that the UK will be the strongest performing G7 economy until 2050, and MFS revealed that 77% investors think that Brexit is unlikely to affect their long-term investment strategy. More than half of these said they prefer traditional asset classes such as property as a safe and secure investment – as proven by the 6.6% rise in property values since the referendum.
For most people, a property move is more about adapting to a change in lifestyle than poring over investment figures. Life’s too short! If a move helps you with your commuting, your family, your finances or your relationships, then surely these motivators should always take priority. Why not call your local branch to see how we can make a move work for you? We’re here to help.
Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA MIRPM
Chief Executive Officer