2016 predictions: turbulent times ahead for property market
I see a slightly more cautious market going forward, as buyers and vendors expect a rise in interest rates this year. The same fears still exist that vendors will struggle to find their onward move and, in the higher price brackets, will be reluctant to go into rented accommodation.
I expect house prices to start rising sharply if the shortage of stock continues. The buy-to-let market will see increases in rent values across the board and I think this will be a strong year for lettings demand, as more and more first-time buyers are squeezed out of the market or decide to delay buying. This will also fuel the extra demand in buy-to-let property in the first half of the year, due to the changes in stamp duty.
To summarise, I predict a bumpy ride in 2016, with expectations on price being good from a seller’s point of view. I think houses will take longer to sell as a result, as we get into the latter part of the year, and I also expect similar trends in the upper end of the market as we’ve seen this year.
The key to the year is targeting the top-end stock that will attract buyers further down the chain with houses to sell. I also see more deals being made in an unorthodox fashion, where we match buyers and sellers before properties get to market – even agreeing sales without any traditional advertising.
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