Support, Advice and Experience within the Property Market

Looking Forward to 2017 – Robert Ulph

From admin on January 17, 2017

Many have said that 2017 has a lot to live up after the events of 2016 and the major talking point going into the year is triggering Article 50 to begin the process of Britain’s exit from the EU. We know political change brings economic and financial uncertainty, but I do feel 2017 is a year to look forward to.

I’ve reflected before that 2016 brought in a number of changes to the property market, and the buy to let sector in particular, and some of this has caused confusion all round. I have always been a supporter that the industry needs real regulation but it has felt an odd way to go about it.

At times, we could be forgiven for thinking that the Government was against the small-time, private landlord with the increased stamp duty, mortgage relief taxation changes and the surprise announcement of a ban on tenant fees late in the year. The initial reaction, we at Pennington saw, to this was prospective tenants thinking they could delay committing to a property until the ban is in place. With the confirmation that this wouldn’t be until April 2018 at the earliest, due to the legislation required, was probably too late for some as the confusion had been caused meaning some tenants lost out on their next home.

So while 2017 may start as 2016 finished, with a number of people working within the uncertainty the predictions for the property market are good.

There is a general view that property prices will continue to rise – albeit it marginally in 2017 – returning to sustained price growth in 2018. Interest rates look set to remain at very low levels for the foreseeable future and there is always hope that the Chancellor will take the opportunity to rethink some of the above policies in his Spring Budget to give the housing market the boost it needs.

The Government must do something if it is to meet its commitment of one million new homes as demand continues to outstrip supply. The upward pressure means competition will be high in 2017 and prices will rise. According to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) 80% of letting agents expect rent prices to increase.

While we have seen some blips in 2016, aligning to the major events of the year, recent reports show the local buy to let market is thriving and this is positive. As recently summarised by David Cox, managing director of ARLA and Mark Hayward, managing director of NAEA in a joint statement “We believe that the UK housing market is resilient, as is the supply chain that drives it.”

I look forward to 2017 with optimism and to keeping you informed on what is happening with our local property market through my articles here or as always please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like any further discussion. It just leaves me to wish you all the best for a happy, healthy and prosperous year from myself and the team at Pennington.