Will 2018 be the year for seismic changes in the UK property market?
As un-predictable as the British weather, December 2017 turned out to be our busiest month ever and I am now intrigued to know what is in store for the property industry in 2018. In the first week of January we have seen the normal predictions by ‘industry experts’ and it seems that rents and house prices are going to rise and or fall depending on Brexit, bitcoins or the direction of the wind!
That said, the prospects for first-time buyers are looking better thanks to the recent abolition of stamp duty for property up to £300,000. This represents a significant reduction in costs for buyers already struggling to raise huge deposits and it will be interesting to see what impact this has over the next few months. Post Office Money has posted some useful Top Tips for those considering getting onto the housing ladder.
According to an investment expert, Birmingham is booming for property investors and will continue to be one of the strongest buy-to-let markets in the country; Apparently “Birmingham’s youthful population and the huge number of graduates that the city produces every year has created an excellent environment for entrepreneurship”.
On a more frivolous note, The Telegraph article “Could a home stylist save your marriage?” also caught my attention! Alex Sheldon, who founded The Home Stylist claims that “Transforming a room could be as simple as buying one more cushion to bring the other four on your sofa to life. Even small changes can make everything fall into place. Including marital harmony.”
Also in the news this week is the tragic story of the Grand Designs family whose self-build eco-home was destroyed by fire on New Year’s day. The family spent 6 years building their home and have now lost everything. Stories like that certainly make you count your blessings.
One of the first things to pop into my inbox this year was details of a Legal Update course, a stark reminder of all the imminent changes which are going to affect the lettings industry this year: General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), The Draft Tenant Fee Ban Bill and the changes to Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES).
According to David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark “There is a lot of other regulation making its way through Parliament in , which will more positively affect the rental market including regulation of the industry, housing courts and longer-term tenancies … Overall, the industry is going through a seismic change and the lettings market we know today will be radically altered over the next five years. This change will be painful for agents, but we firmly believe that the industry will come out of the other end stronger, more professional and with a robust reputation among consumers”.
‘Seismic change’ is a phrase that is often used to explain why dinosaurs became extinct … watch this space!
Lou Fletcher, Owner, Piccolo Property Services