28th January 2020

Residential Property January 2020

So here we are rattling through a new decade with a new political era for Great Britain looming at the end of January.  We can now take a look back at the residential property market for December 2019, following publication of the RICS UK Residential Market Survey.

The unusual December General Election provided a decisive result and, arguably, provided some certainty to the market.  As a result, many of the metrics moved into positive territory.  Most UK regions saw un uplift in enquiries, this includes London and the South East where there has been a trend of negative readings.

Agents expect sales volumes to rise over coming months with even greater results expected by the end of the next twelve months.  New instructions also picked up slightly; for several months now, agents have been lacking stock to sell.  Near term price expectations have been revised higher across all parts of the UK. No doubt this will lead to further rises in stock coming forward for sale.

The lettings market saw tenant demand pick up modestly, although supply from landlords remains very much in decline, an indicator that has been stuck since 2016!  As a result of this imbalance, rents are expected to rise over the next five years.  As we have noted before, the changes to landlord’s tax and increased compliance continues to drive landlords out of the sector.

Here in Cheshire we still see a buoyant market and shortage of supply.  As valuers the lack of good sales evidence can hamper us completing valuations; we rely on a decent volume of sales to confirm the value of properties we are inspecting.  Whilst we acknowledge that much of our work is with rural and higher value properties, we have now seen much reduction in demand; there are, of course, certain areas where demand is patchy.

Graham Bowcock MRICS

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