Well the dust has well and truly settled since the General Election forgotten a bit like Wimbledon or last year’s football season, the market is now taking its summer breather so, we can get back to a more normal property market, or that is what the London based ‘Fleet Street’ journalists would lead you to believe.
I do find that their opinion is often tainted by the market in central London focused on the high end. I get my local information from much more reliable sources. I talk to many fellow property professionals in Surrey; solicitors, conveyancers, mortgage brokers and, one the best sources of information, the chap who puts all the estate agent and letting boards up in the area. Each of them tell me the same story – they didn’t see any real change in the couple of months that led up to Election itself on the 7th May, and since then the only thing that changed is that more multi million pound homes have hit the market, but they are not being bought at the rate they are coming to the market.
I am of the opinion that, in the upmarket areas, the market went into spasm with the prospect of a Labour/SNP pact with their Mansion Tax for properties over £2,000,000, but, in the suburbs and the surrounding villages, the markets for most people has been steadily rising all year.
In a nutshell, the General Election didn’t really have any impact on people’s confidence to buy property in Surrey other than for those spending millions. I also believe that things are starting to change in the way people in Surrey in fact the whole of the country as I talk to other agents buy and sell property. Back in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s the norm was to buy a property as soon as you left home and do it up. Meanwhile, property prices had gone up, so you traded up to a 2 bed semi, then 3 bed semi and repeated the process, until you found yourself in a large 4 bed detached house with a large mortgage.
In the last 10 to 15 years people’s attitude to home ownership itself have changed. The pressure for youngsters to buy when young has gone as renting, not buying, is considered the norm for 20 to 30 something’s. This isn’t just a Surrey thing, it’s a national thing, as I have noticed that people buy property by trading up (or down) because they need to, not because ‘it’s what people do’ the increased moving costs and complexed mortgage market have put pay to this. This does means there are a lot less properties on the market compared to the last decade.
A by-product of less people moving is less people selling their property. My research shows there are a lot fewer properties each year selling in all our trading areas compared to previous decade. For example, in Weybridge there were 400 properties resold in 2015 compared to 592 in 2014. It’s a similar story in Addlestone where there were 402 properties resold compared to 532 in 2014. I repeated the exercise on different sets of years, and the results were identical if not greater. In Weybridge pre credit crunch of 2008 there were consistently over 650 completions annually. So what does this all mean?
Demand for property has changed and with fewer properties for sale, it means property prices are continuing to rise. Stable, consistent and steady growth of property values in Woking, Weybridge and Addlestone are anticipated to continue, year on year, without the massive peaks and troughs we saw in the late 1980’s and mid/late 2000’s.