Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Is the Canterbury Property market holding its breath over the General Election?

Has apathy hit the Canterbury housing market as sellers await the outcome of the general election and stricter mortgage regulation suppresses buyer demand? Rightmove reported the number of homes registered for sale per estate agent fell to its lowest level for five years in December, with available stock 10% lower than in the same month a year earlier.
 
Looking at Canterbury, in the summer of 2014, each estate agent in Canterbury had on average 20 properties on its books (as there were a total of 540 properties up for sale in Canterbury at the peak in the summer just gone). Our research shows that number plummeted to 15.7 per agent in December.  While the lack of new properties coming onto the market in the later months of 2014 in Canterbury pushed asking prices up slightly from November to December, traditionally a quiet season for the housing market, property sellers will need to work hard in 2015 to complete a sale.
The length of time a property takes to sell has ever so slightly increased over the last few months. Two bedroom properties in Canterbury are now taking 49 days to sell, three bedroom 46 days, four bedrooms 38 days, but here an interesting figure, one beds are taking on average 102 days to find a buyer.
2015 will be the year of the selective mover.  With only 518 brand new properties a year being built in Canterbury since the turn of the Millennium, this woefully low and insufficient number of new buildings in the City over the past few decades and a systemic change in the type of properties homeowners want (with families splitting etc so we have too many larger houses and not enough smaller ones), buyers are becoming dissatisfied with, and therefore dismissive of what is up for sale.
The heat has gone out of the Canterbury property market and I anticipate a moderate reduction from the high transaction volumes seen in 2014, but it most certainly isn’t icy cold. That might mean Canterbury landlords could bag a bargain during this period of uncertainty, especially if the financial markets do not like the election outcome. Markets and buyers do not like uncertainty, but savvy Buy to let landlords know buy to let is a long term game, and irrespective of short term apathy, reduction in the quality and quantity of stock for homeowners to buy  or the election, if people don’t buy property they rent.
The Council aren’t building anymore properties, the council house waiting list is decades, not years for the better type of property .. the only other place to get a roof over your head .. rent a property!  Good old Bricks and Mortar! In fact with less properties coming on the market in Canterbury, that will keep prices quite stable.
Therefore, if you are considering buying a property for investment in the near future, I am always happy to give you my considered opinion on which property to buy (or not as the case may be) to give you what you want from your investment. Email me on david.anthony@martinco.com