Emma Vidler Blog: Property Predictions for 2017

Emma Vidler Blog: Property Predictions for 2017


DIRECTORS BLOG

As we settle in to 2017, we begin to explore and imagine the year ahead and those in the property sector, whether you are an agent, landlord, tenant, seller or buyer, there will always be some apprehension as to what the year holds, especially as property is one of the largest purchases to make. The government, demographics as well as supply and demand will all help shape the future of the property industry and therefore here are some of my predictions for 2017.

Although the market has built up some momentum, which we would expect to continue, the uncertainty and increasingly stretched budgets will continue to weigh on house prices. Providing there are no more major policy changes, we can perhaps expect the market to soften. Historically the property market doesn’t respond well to uncertainty, having said that, landlords and letting agents are becoming more aware of their own risks within the market and can make more informed decisions due to the amount of knowledge and legislation that now surrounds the sector.

Miles Shipside, Director of Rightmove

“For the housing market the uncertain outlook has meant a head start in tug of war between ‘stay put’ and ‘carry on moving’. After a pause the mass market seems to have opted for the latter in most parts of the country.”

As far as demand is concerned anyone looking to move will continue to do so, however the changes to the tax system will see higher priced transactions. In regards to supply, there appears to be minimal change year on year, even with Brexit, builders are committed to the same volumes as last year. This year we may see fallen transaction numbers, however this will most likely be due to the fact that numbers were skewed last year when the Stamp Duty Land Tax was introduced in April 2016.

House Price Predictions

  • Rightmove “2% house price growth nationally”.
  • RICS “Modest improvement with confidence gradually recovering”
  • Halifax “Annual house price growth rises to 6%”
  • NAEA “Sales to first time buyers at highest level on record”

Buy-to-let may slow, however this is not to say that the buy-to-let industry is not rewarding, we will also see the growth of the Build-to-rent sector as we have to accommodate a new generation and their demands. This year, similar to last year we will see the governments ‘War on Landlords’ but there is a way of channelling money into house building and in return increasing the supply of rental properties which is similarly a government agenda. There needs to be some serious recognition for the contribution that landlords make to the industry, rather than being punished at every opportunity.

Proptech will continue to make its mark on the property industry, as more companies invest in order to develop their businesses. Rather than Proptech transforming businesses, we should look to the property apps and add-ons to software and practices that could save time, money and provide a higher level of customer service. Improving the way we operate as an industry, encourages confidence to be experts in our field. Proptech to research in to this year (if you haven’t already), in my opinion, would be FixfloDocu-SignMy Property File and Valpal.

So what’s in store for 2017? The property market may get tougher, but there is a whole new era of technology with innovation and support services to sustain and improve the property sector and to elevate businesses. Whilst supply and demand can change and offered in different methods (e.g. Buy to let Vs Build to Rent) people will ultimately always need property, and therefore what happens this year is only a small reflection on the ‘property cycle’ as a whole.

Published: January 5, 2017

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