UK property market 2013 assessed
Wednesday 28th November 2012
As 2012 draws to a close, national estate agent Strutt & Parker looks forward to what is in store for the property market next year and its agents predict an increase in migration to counties outside of London as sellers in the capital take advantage of one of the widest price gaps between London and the country in history.
The expected influx of foreign investment in London, particularly from France and Italy, whose own national housing markets are looking less and less stable, will keep prices in the city high. Some of the eye catching prices that London sellers will be able to obtain next year, compared with the relatively low prices in the country will be too hard to resist for those who have been considering making the move.
Last year Strutt & Parker predicted the "year of the great north south divide", however this materialised into a more fragmented picture across the whole of the UK with hotspots areas that are doing well and other areas where the market is less resilient.
James Mackenzie who heads up the Strutt & Parker Country Department said: "We are heading into 2013 with increased viewing numbers, while the number of new applicants registering with us is also up. This has lifted estate agents' spirits and vendor and purchasers' moods have lightened. There is a general murmur in the market place that there may never be a better time to move to the country in terms of value for money, and I believe next year we will see even more families flocking to the countryside, especially in commuter belt areas."
The economic outlook remains challenging, and forecasts for growth are still sluggish for the next two years. This inevitably impacts the residential housing market. It is hard to see any significant short term economic boosts for market growth across the UK however as confidence creeps up, so too will activity.
Mackenzie believes the steady improvement in market figures is down to realistic pricing as buyers and sellers aim to find common ground in the market. He said: "Buyers are not fools. They are educated, wise and know exactly what the last three comparable properties sold for because they most probably saw them. Vendors are realising that if they quote an asking price which sets the bar above reason, potential buyers won't even come and see it."
Demand for refurbishment projects has weakened steadily during 2012 and this looks set to continue into 2013. We now see most buyers showing far more interest in properties that are offered in excellent condition leading to a bottle neck effect on green, modern and open-plan living homes.
Mackenzie said: "Environmentally friendly, modern homes that require no work are replacing the Old Rectory as the new 'dream home' as people's priorities change.
"Eco-sensitive houses and properties that are extremely cheap to run with new energy saving systems in place will do particularly well in 2013.
"We will see increased demand from both ends of the market - downsizers looking for the perfect home to move into with no additional costs, and families looking to move up to the next run of the ladder."
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