2016: A year in Review
As the year draws to a close, now seems an ideal time to reflect on the changes encountered by the housing market during 2016. Some might argue that June’s referendum result on our membership of the EU will be the defining issue, however as yet we have experienced absolutely no negative effect; albeit with Article 50 yet to be invoked. The year began full of optimism; fresh off the back of a positive end to 2015 with increased transaction levels and a sustainable upward climb in terms of asking prices locally; however, the previous Autumn Statement made clear that changes in stamp duty for those buying second homes would come into effect on 1st April. Thus, throughout the first three months of the year we saw a surge in activity for those looking to complete on their investment purchases before the deadline; in order to avoid paying the additional 3% surcharge. The vote on 23rd June caused a temporary blip in confidence levels in the immediate run-up; however once the pound began to recover and the markets started to climb rapidly following the shock result; the housing market followed suit and is currently continuing on it’s upward trend.
This return to confidence, coupled with historically low interest rates cut even further by the Governor of the Bank of England over the summer; has fuelled the current optimism in the housing market. However despite all of these positives, estate agents (and therefore buyers) have experienced an ongoing issue throughout this year; that of a lack of fresh instructions coming to the market. Those looking to sell have benefitted from this due to artificially increased property prices thanks to supply and demand; however this remains an ongoing concern.
According to the latest Rightmove House Price Index; average house prices are expected to increase by around 2% nationally in 2017, representing the seventh consecutive year of house price growth. Whilst this is in fact a deceleration from the 6% encountered this year, it is an increase nonetheless and this can only be seen as a positive. 2017 will herald the inauguration of President Trump, the activation of Article 50 and a number of elections throughout Europe and with so much uncertainly it really is testament to the UK and Norfolk housing markets that confidence levels remain high.
Lastly, on behalf of my fellow directors and the whole Musker McIntyre team, I would like wish you, your families and loved ones a very Merry Christmas and peaceful and prosperous New Year.« Back to Latest Monthly News