Although I have not seen any official statistics for the property market in January, my feeling from the discussions that I have had is that the market is patchy at best and that most areas – although not all – are showing stock levels similar to 2016 with most down. Sales activity appears to be holding up and because of the lack of stock I would definitely think that there has been an increase in prices for certain properties in certain areas.
I await the government’s report on housing with interest and hope that there is a bold response. My broad brush approach is as follows:
- Encouragement to developers with the relaxation of some planning regulations.
- Support for housing associations in the building of new or refurbishment of existing properties.
- Targeted support for first time buyers to encourage them to purchase more traditional type properties.
- A grant system for first time buyers who purchase more traditional type properties to assist them with certain refurbishments and renovations, especially those that improve the energy efficiency of the property.
- A change to the Council Tax rules where there is a reward for people who make their houses more energy efficient.
I will continue to update you on trends.