Is the property market up or is down? This month, more than ever, the answer depends on who you speak to.
For example, according to the Land Registry, a total of 850,281residential properties were sold during 2017, which is a clear 14.6% fall on 2016 (although still 30% up on the low-point of 2008). In respect of properties listed as flats, terraced, semi-detached or detached, London was hardest hit at -27% and so was Manchester, supposedly the new kid on the “where to invest” block at -24%.
However, the problem with relying on Land Registry data is that it is seldom a true reflection of what is actually happening today. The recorded data is published at up to a month after registration of completion, which can be up to two months after actual completion, which is usually a month after exchange, which is often two months after the sale was agreed. That’s a total of up to six months after the sale was agreed. That’s a long time when the market can turn on the slightest change in public confidence based on a host of economic and/or political indicators!
Yet the latest data from Lloyds Bank suggests the market has turned. They state that the number of people moving is up 2% on this time last year. These figures are a more likely indicator of the current appetite for a move as they are based on the number of people identified as currently “active” in the market.
The continued climate of low interest rates, and a “let’s just get on with it” attitude to Brexit seem to be showing themselves in a new confidence towards the property market. We have certainly noticed a healthy increase in the number of people wanting to talk to us about marketing their property – especially the confidential, or “off-market”, sales for which we are known.