Values in Stevenage are 7% higher than they were 12 months ago according to Land Registry statistics.
Yet, I would take those figures with a pinch of salt as they reflect the sales of Stevenage properties that took place in early Spring 2017 and now are only exchanging and completing during the summer months.
The reality is the number of properties that are currently on the market in Stevenage today has decreased by 1.4% in the last month. It is unclear if the cause of this uncertainty is Brexit, political uncertainty, stamp duty changes or squeezed household incomes which have led to dampen buyer demand. While this effect has quickly seen values in the local property market temper in Stevenage as we head towards 2018 we believe this effect will be short-lived.
What is, however, clear is that if you a homeowner or landlord, and you are planning to sell your Stevenage property in the short term pre Christmas, it is crucial, that you realistically price your property when you bring it to the market to ensure you get a buyer in a reasonable period of time.
With this view, you have to remember that this talk of price changes is only a paper profit or loss. Most people that sell, are buyers as well So whilst you might not get as much for your property, the one you will want to buy won’t be as much, (swings and roundabouts as Mum used to say!)and hopefully, a smaller stamp duty bill to pay.
However, even with this recent change in the property market, we believe the Stevenage property prices will remain stable in the medium to long-term. This is because the number of properties on the market today is still way below the peak levels experienced a few years ago.
Today’s lower supply of Stevenage properties for sale combined with a realistic belief that demand for property will remain relatively constant will keep prices long-term stable …and they will continue to stay at these levels for the medium to long-term.
The reason for this is predominantly fewer people are moving than a few years ago, meaning less property is for sale.
Fewer properties for sale mean property prices remain stable and this is because of a number of underlying reasons.
Firstly, buy-to-let landlords tend not sell their properties as often than owner-occupiers, consequently removing the property out of the housing market selling cycle. Secondly, Stamp Duty is much higher compared to 10 years ago (meaning it costs more to move). Next, there is a dearth of local authority rental housing so demand for private rented housing will remain high.Probably the strongest reason is that ease of commuting to London. Prohibitive London house prices place Stevenage as a viable and affordable option for Commuters. Additionally, the improvements planned to the rail infrastructure at Stevenage in 2018 providing direct access to St Pancras International, Farringdon, City Thameslink should only increase demand.
Then we have the UK’s maturing owner occupier population, meaning these older people are less likely to move (compared to when they were younger).The last reason is the lack of new homes being built in the country and finally, the new mortgage rules introduced in 2014 about how much a person can borrow on a mortgage has curtailed demand.
Some final thought’s whilst Homeowners who have enjoyed strong rising prices for the last few years should get used to slower rates of growth we believe that the property market will invariably have short periods of rise and decline but over the course of the next couple of years will ultimately remain stable.