Will The New Year Bring Good News For The Property Market?
Fri 12 Dec 2014
Will the New Year bring good news for the property market? The experts talk to Jenny Knight about their predictions.
The general election coming up in May and Ed Miliband's threat to whack a mansion tax on houses worth more than 2million have cast a slightl gloom over prospects for the New Year.
Yet many agents remain bullish, saying that even if the soaring price rises are replaced by lower steadier gains, long-term prospects remain good.
According to Knight Frank, Londoners are most confident that prices will continue to rise, compared with people elsewhere in the UK. Backing up that optimism, 7.9% of households in London are planning to buy a property in 2015.
Marc Wiehe of Winkworth says,"What the property market craves is stability - a good number of available properties for buyers and tenants to choose from and reasonably easy access to mortgages. If people feel good about their prospects, the volume of sales and lets increases accordingly.
"There is an unstable outlook in the short term: uncertainty about what kind of government we will have - pro or anti aspiration? Discussions about mansion taxes, changes to stamp duty and tenancies cause worry. Added to possible interest rate rises, this can and has paralysed the market. It will be better after the election."
Tom Butler of Sheraton Law says, "We expect the market to remain stable in 2015 with more property on the market than in the past few years. If priced competitively, there are many serious buyers looking to make the nect move on the ladder. We predict interest rates to start rising in 2015 but expect this to be gradual and not affecting the market significantly."
Many agents are content to see an end to the meteoric growth in prices. Robert French of Knight Frank adds: "There has been a definite price adjustment and this is what the market needed as such huge gains are not sustainable. The market is strong where pricing is appropriate and this will continue in 2015. We predict modest growth, finishing somewhere in the region of 3% by the end of the year.
"Family homes on good plots are always desirable and there is evidence the appetite for large houses is returning. The market for young professionals and pied-a-terre buyers mean that best-in-class apartments are also in constant demand in Clapham."
His prediction of a 3% rise is backed by Peter Rollings of Marsh & Parsons, who thinks sales will pick up after the election.