As 2017 draws to a close, national estate agents Leaders has described it as a busy and positive year for both the sales and lettings markets.
Allison Thompson, managing director at Leaders, says there have been ups and downs in both the sales and lettings sectors, but the overriding picture remains upbeat and there are plenty of reasons for optimism ahead of the new year.
She was speaking after the National Association of Estate Agents revealed figures that showed the number of sales agreed per branch peaked in February and June at 11, compared with 2016 when March provided a high point with 10.
In addition, the Association of Residential Letting Agents reported the average number of properties available to rent per branch was 188 in the first 10 months of 2017, up from 180 in 2016.
Allison explains: “While the property market has undoubtedly faced challenges in 2017, there is ample evidence to support our own findings that it remains in a position of strength.
“Demand for properties both to buy and to rent is incredibly high, with 425 buyers registered per estate agent branch compared with 380 last year. With demand so great, sellers and landlords have enjoyed regular rises in house prices and rental values, making selling or letting an increasingly attractive prospect.
“The rental market is performing extremely well, with more properties coming to the market and being secured by tenants quicker than ever before. Our own figures show it took us just 4.6 viewings to let a property this year, compared with the industry average of six.
“2017 has been an interesting year with demand continuing to outweigh supply and rents rising, which we expect to continue in 2018, helping landlords to enjoy a great return from the buy-to-let market.
“We also forecast a bright future for the sales market, with the abolition of stamp duty for first-time buyers sure to have a tremendous impact in 2018. This will cut the cost of getting on the ladder by thousands for many young people and should get the whole market moving, as first-time buyers securing a home allows more second steppers to move on.”
Supply of properties for sale remains at an average of 39 per branch, as it was in 2016. While this is helping to fuel rises in house prices, it is also restricting growth of the number of completed sales.
Allison adds: “Sky-high demand will not change all the time not enough new homes are being built across the country, so sellers and landlords can expect to benefit from plenty of interest in their properties when they go on the market.
“2017 has shown people are still keen to move and this, combined with a lack of supply, will keep prices high in both the sales and lettings markets.”
For more information or advice on selling or letting contact your local Leaders branch.