Here in the Hitchin office, we're not sure if we can remember another time when there were so many opportunities out there in the property market. It's been one heck of a year for us working hard with sellers to put a smile on their face, and we've done this by continuously keeping on top of all the latest movements in the market.
A key part of our approach is how we complement our unrivalled knowledge of local opportunities with a firm grasp of market movements. We do this by regularly looking at the various property-related statistics that are available to us. The most important source is the Land Registry, which records all home sales and tells us what's happening to sales rates and price levels.
The chart above illustrates a very good reason to be happy. Long-term house price growth in the area has been strong, with the average annual rate of growth since 2000 sitting at an admirable 13.3 per cent. The broad base of the market and the solid fundamentals underpinning it mean we expect this to continue in the medium and long term.
Another reason to be happy is the abundance of liquidity in the market. In layman’s terms, this means that lots of people are buying and selling and the market isn’t in danger of stagnation. In the second quarter of 2017 (the latest full quarter for which data is available), there were 306 sales. This is 5.2 per cent higher than the same quarter just seven years ago.
With demand for homes increasing, vendors are in a healthy position where they can realistically hope to achieve the asking price, or higher, for their property when optimally priced by a true market expert. When you compare lack of availability to high demand, it seems even more plausible that you will be happy with the final sale price.
On the whole, the thing we're noticing most is how much sanity there is in the market at the moment. Because mortgage lending is a lot more sensible since the credit crunch, price froth hasn't built up, which is good news because it lessens the chance of a crash. We've got so much more to say, so why don’t you pop into our office for more info?
Index of sales over time
In this chart, we’ve compared sales levels for flats and houses in the last few years. Instead of looking at absolute numbers, we’ve indexed the rates. This means that flats and houses start at 100 at the start of the period and you can see how they’ve changed since, on an equal basis.
Prices by flats & houses over time
This chart shows how price of flats and houses in the local area have moved over the last ten years. Looking at the change in prices over the longer term avoids some of the volatility that would be seen if we were looking at changes in the short term.
The profile of tenure
The mix of tenure of properties is a substantial yardstick of the attributes of homes in a local market. One of the best parts of the planning system in the UK is that social housing is heavily mixed in with the private stock, so we don't get large geographical divides between people as is the case in urban France.