Our monthly residential market review is intended to provide background to recent developments in property markets, as well as to give an indication of how some key issues could impact in the future.
The Conservatives’ general election win and increased certainty on the direction of Brexit have led property experts to predict growing confidence in the housing market in 2020. However, their optimism is cautious, according to researchers at Savills who have predicted a 1% rise. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors gave a more confident prediction of 2%.
Nitesh Patel, Yorkshire Building Society’s strategic economist, commented: “Sales to first-time buyers are buoyant and now account for around half of all house purchases. A strong jobs market and low mortgage rates are likely to support the market, but concerns around affordability may limit the number of people wanting to move home.“
On 2 January, Rail fares increased by an average 2.7% across the board, meaning that commuters could be paying up to £132 more for their season tickets this year.
Your location can have a huge impact on your travel costs, as recent research from property website Zoopla has shown. The study combined the average cost of a season ticket with the average yearly mortgage repayment, to reveal the most affordable commuter towns to live in this year.
For commuters to London, Grays in Essex is officially the cheapest commuter town, with mortgage repayment and sales ticket costs totalling £15,008 per year. The top three for London commuters is then completed by Leagrave in Bedfordshire (£15,399) and Crayford in Kent (£15,662).
Outside London, the best value commuting town for Bristol is Newport in Wales. Wolverhampton offers the best value for Birmingham and commuters to Manchester should look to Hindley. If you want to save money on your commute to Edinburgh, you could consider buying in Dunfermline to keep your costs down.
Comparison site, Compare the Market, recently rated the Scottish capital as the best place to live for 18 to 35-year-olds. The site analysed aspects such as rental costs, living expenses, mental wellbeing and nightlife to come up with the final list.
Manchester, Bristol, Liverpool, Newcastle and Glasgow also made it onto the top 10 list. Newcastle was found to boast the cheapest average monthly rent (£567), while, unsurprisingly, London is the UK’s best paid city, with an average salary of £47,089.
In Q4 2019, Savills conducted analysis on its prime regional markets to come up with a list of top factors likely to influence the residential property market in 2020.
Almost three quarters (72%) of Savills regional sales teams identified Brexit uncertainty as a major challenge for 2020, while 54% said that a lack of housing stock would become problematic as buyer demand increased.
Importantly though, many teams observed that buyers and sellers’ pricing expectations were becoming more closely aligned, with sellers willing to accept more realistic offers and buyers happier to pay asking prices.
It is important to take professional advice before making any decision relating to your personal finances. Information within this document is based on our current understanding and can be subject to change without notice and the accuracy and completeness of the information cannot be guaranteed. It does not provide individual tailored investment advice and is for guidance only. Some rules may vary in different parts of the UK. We cannot assume legal liability for any errors or omissions it might contain. Levels and bases of, and reliefs from, taxation are those currently applying or proposed and are subject to change; their value depends on the individual circumstances of the investor. No part of this document may be reproduced in any manner without prior permission.