Happy 2017 - Thoughts about the New Year Property Market

The 2017 property market in Lincoln has begun much as the old year ended. Lots of general buyer interest, plenty of viewing appointments already booked and a flurry of valuation enquiries as people start the process of moving home. But what will the New Year hold for those thinking of selling, buying or both?

There is sure to be continued uncertainty about  the effects ‘Brexit’ will have on the economy as a whole and although the direct effect on foreign investment, in bricks and mortar, is more likely to impact upon the London market, the level of  economic confidence (or lack of it) will have an effect locally. Whether that will be a direct, proportional effect on supply and demand or an indirect effect caused by a tightening of mortgage supply , for example, is the leading question.

It is equally certain that a percentage of people will still want, need or even have, to move home. If seller confidence levels fall resulting in a reduction of the already sparse supply, in some areas, without a corresponding fall in demand, we shall see property prices escalating.

Alternatively, prices in the market for certain types of property (but not all) have already substantially increased since the beginning of 2015. We may see an increase in the level of supply as sellers determine to take ‘profit’. However, if the level of demand is reduced by lack of confidence or reduction in mortgage supply we shall see property supply increasing and a likely fall in values. It appears that the £300,000 plus sector of the market is already affected by an imbalance of supply over demand.

2017 should be a busy year in the Lincoln property market but if agents continue to over price properties this will lead to fewer transactions and a general slowing-down in the process. Properties sell for their highest prices within the first few weeks of marketing and, generally speaking, the longer a property takes to sell the lower its eventual sale price.

The continued growth of call centre based marketing (or online) agents, pretending to be estate agents and claiming to save you thousands of £s, is also likely to add to the confusion and slowing of the market. These companies have little or no negotiating experience, sparse, if any, after sales service and negligible back-up if the sale falls through. Little wonder that transaction times are unacceptably long.

We would all like a perfect property market. A plentiful supply providing lots of choice, year on year gently rising prices, price uniformity across the country and plenty of cheap finance.

If there is one thing I can be certain about, 2017 will not be perfect.