January 2020 – Property Market Update – Sales
A big Welcome to 2020 from all the team at James Pendleton – we’re really looking forward to having a stellar year!
2019 was something of a difficult year in the property market. The word which came up time and again was ‘uncertainty’. Uncertainty was putting the brakes on buying and selling decisions throughout South West London and more widely across the UK, with RightMove reporting an 8% drop in properties listed on the market. Whilst to a certain extent, this was mitigated by people deciding that they had to move come what may, a lot of moves were put on hold due to the uncertainty surrounding first Brexit, then the General Election. That said, we have seen a huge impact on our marketplace immediately following the election result of December last year.
Since the outcome of the election was announced on 13 December 2019, a large portion of the uncertainty was drained from the market. It seems that Brexit will be going ahead at the end of January, and that, with a large Conservative majority in Parliament, there is now a ‘road-map’ for our exit from the European Union.
James Pendleton had their best full week preceding Christmas on record. We agreed 14 new sales in the week commencing 16 December, the last week before Christmas, a week historically where sales tail off for the year, as people get into Christmas mode. Our highest number for this same week in previous years was 5 sales agreed.
We have also seen a significant increase in the numbers of buyers registering to find a new property with us. Ordinarily, we register c. 5,000 new buyers per year. We have registered 1,322 new buyers since the election result to 7 January 2020, so to see this number in such a short period is quite honestly astounding.
We believe that these are just two of the signs that the significant latent demand in the London property market is now becoming active and the confidence that the worst is behind us is flowing back into our buying audience. All of this time waiting has frustrated buyers longing to benefit from the attractively low borrowing rates to buy their home rather than rent long term. Many of our monthly payment comparisons see property owners paying far less in monthly mortgage payments than the equivalent rental payment for a similar property. There has also been a lot of coverage in the media that house price growth has slowed to a 7-year low, leading latent purchasers to want to make the most of better perceived value for money. The election result could very well be the proverbial cork pop moment to allow the market to flow freely in 2020.
In addition to this we have 232% more property evaluations booked for January so far than we saw in December a sure fire sign that sellers are ready to dip their toes into the market to see whether they can finally make the move they have been planning for such a long time.
While we predict a huge upturn in activity in the first three quarters of this year we remain reserved about our long term predictions. There is little or no doubt that, should no agreement be made with the EU by the end of 2020, Brexit concerns will return as we approach the hard deadline set by our new government. What impact, if any, this will have upon pricing is far too difficult to predict following three years of unprecedented uncertainty, therefore we recommend that if you are keen to make a move now is the perfect time to be exploring your options.