Thursday, 24 January 2019

Agents 'cautiously optimistic' about 2019

Agents 'cautiously optimistic' about 2019

ESTATE agents Savills are “cautiously optimistic” over the Henley housing market in 2019.

Demand for property in Henley and the surrounding villages remains strong despite a slowdown in the market, according to the latest research.

Savills says political and economic uncertainty has continued to subdue sentiment across the prime country markets, with further caution arising due to the prospect of increasing interest rates.

But properties that have been priced correctly have continued to generate demand and sell well, as have those which are in good condition and offer something unique.

The prime Henley market remained relatively flat in the three months to September 2018, leaving prices 1.1 per cent above where they were a year before, Savills says.

Stephen Christie-Miller, the head of residential sales at Savills’ Henley office, said: “There’s no doubt that the last year has been difficult. Political and economic uncertainty has impacted on consumer confidence, which alongside rising interest rates and increased stamp duty has affected the market. But properties are still selling. What’s interesting is that we’re now seeing a rise in the number of buyers who want ‘ready to go’ properties in perfect condition. Whereas five to 10 years ago people were willing to have a bit of a project, nowadays they just don’t have the time and want to be able to move in straight away.

“Sensible pricing also remains key to attracting interest and although we have probably had fewer viewings per property we have still sold the same volume of houses — so the quality of buyer is greater than ever.

“It shows that demand remains constant and the core reasons for moving to the Henley area — great schools, connectivity to London and lifestyle — outweigh any wider concerns, so we remain cautiously optimistic for the year ahead.”

Savills is forecasting house prices in prime markets within an hour’s commute of London, such as Henley and the surrounding area, to increase by 10.9 per cent over the next five years.

Mr Christie-Miller added: “Interest rates still remain low and an opportunity remains for buyers to make the most of the value gap between London and the country.

“We expect the market to remain price-sensitive as Brexit negotiations continue, with sentiment likely to ebb and flow with the news agenda.

“Once a Brexit deal is reached we expect a degree of confidence will return to the market and support price growth. As such, we are forecasting growth of 10.9 per cent across the prime outer commuter markets in the five years to 2023.”

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