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Our CEO Richard Palfreeman’s Insider Views of the Property Market September 2013

12 Sep 2013
The holiday period is over, the suntan is fading and the kids are back at school.  We’ve enjoyed one of the hottest summers on record but it’s not only been the UK weather that has heated up over the past few months.  The property market is never far from the headlines in the UK.  Every blip, dip and twitch is analysed to death. But for a change, the media are actually being positive, with constant reminders of increases in house prices, increases in mortgage lending and forecasting further growth over the next few years. The market is in better shape than before the financial crisis And right now we’re in “growth” mode.  Property analyst Hometrack said last week that marked improvements across all key indicators in August mean the sector is now in its best shape since before the financial crisis. Rightmove have reported a 13.8% year-on-year hike on the average property asking price in Ealing, while Bank of England data showed mortgage approvals for house purchases hit their highest level since the financial crisis. With mortgage market conditions set to remain favourable and the economy showing further signs of life, the resulting uplift in consumer confidence continues to revitalise the housing market.

House prices are not the most important figures in the market now

But the focus on prices is perhaps wrong. Because it’s the actual number of people moving home that might matter most to the rest of the economy. Why? Because selling your house and buying another isn’t just a sign of confidence in your own financial future, as well as the bank’s confidence in you, it kick starts a whole chain of other purchases. A new house nearly always means new furnishings – whether you’re trading up to make room for new additions to the family, re-locating for work or other reasons, or even downsizing and discovering your old furniture no longer fits. And that’s not counting the money spent on paints, carpets, renovations to the new home or changes to the garden to make it suit your tastes. Horn lane two bedroom luxury flat for sale in Acton W3
Not all properties will be as sleekly renovated as this two bedroom apartment in Horn Lane Acton that we currently have for sale, so investment in DIY might be necessary
Britain’s recent housing market revival has helped retailers enjoy their best sales growth for six months in August amid a surge in demand for home wares, according to BDO’s monthly high street tracker.

First-time buyers are surging back onto the market

First-time buyers accounted for more than half of all house purchase loans taken out in London in the second quarter of this year, new data show.  Lenders advanced 11,200 mortgages to first-time buyers in the three months to June, the largest quarterly number since the end of 2007, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

What that means for the lettings market

Many of these first time buyers have been renting and their move into buying is seeing rental values stabilise as supply and demand become more equal. The rental market remains strong but landlords are, as we have been suggesting they should for some time, paying more attention to the quality of tenant and length of tenancy rather than just the last pound or two of rent.
St edmond's terrace two bedroom flats for let in NW8
Well presented properties like this two bedroom, two bathroom apartment for let in NW8 are seeing results in the lettings market
The rental market is moving quickly and tenants are having to make an offer quickly when they see a property they like.  Good properties are being snapped up and as ever, the properties that are best presented are letting most quickly. However, we’re regularly receiving plenty of new instructions, so we currently have good stock levels.

Autumn is the time to get a move on

I believe that the autumn period will prove to be a very strong one for the market with many people who have been holding off moving in recent years seeing the opportunity to do so now. We are family run, independent and enthusiastic about the future and would be delighted to help you with any property matter. Our staff are here seven days a week, ready to help anyone thinking of buying, selling, letting or renting.  Just call us on 020 8840 6666 or e-mail us at for details on properties, mortgages and conveyancing.