Spotlight on shift in the prop­erty mar­ket

Macclesfield Express - - HOMES -

JOHN Hal­man is man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Gas­coigne Hal­man, an es­tate agent with 18 of­fices in south Manch­ester, and is the north west re­gional residential spokesman for the Royal In­sti­tu­tion of Char­tered Sur­vey­ors.

Here he dis­cusses the cur­rent shift to­wards a de­clin­ing num­ber of prop­er­ties for sale or rent. MY daily news­pa­per last week pre­dicted house prices could rise by as much as 25 per cent over the next five years, fol­low­ing a Royal In­sti­tu­tion of Char­tered Sur­vey­ors (RICS) re­port which shows the num­ber of homes for sale has fallen to its low­est level since records be­gan in 1978.

It is sug­gested that this short­age of sup­ply comes as a con­se­quence of peo­ple liv­ing longer and mov­ing house less fre­quently.

Low-cost mort­gages are also a fac­tor where peo­ple have taken ad­van­tage of the cheap­est-ever in­ter­est rates and locked into a long-term deal rather than mov­ing home.

This re­duc­tion in avail­able prop­er­ties is puz­zling as the Gen­eral Elec­tion re­sult was ex­pected to pro­vide a much-needed boost in con­fi­dence and a con­se­quen­tial in­crease in the ac­tiv­ity lev­els.

In­stead, while sales and rentals have been ac­tive, prop­er­ties which have been sold or let have not been re­placed by new prop­er­ties com­ing to the mar­ket and, as a con­se­quence, we have seen prices ris­ing in all of the most pop­u­lar residential dis­tricts lo­cally.

RICS has also pre­dicted that peo­ple’s lifestyles may be chang­ing and par­ents in par­tic­u­lar, con­scious of the dif­fi­cul­ties fac­ing young peo­ple get­ting onto the prop­erty lad­der, rather than move, have cho­sen to re­lease some eq­uity to help their off­spring, or al­ter­na­tively to pur­chase a buy-to-let prop­erty.

For our part we be­lieve the de­clin­ing num­ber of avail­able prop­er­ties for sale and rental is also a di­rect re­sult of a short­age of hous­ing in our coun­try and the prob­lems re­lated to the lack of new build­ing over the last 20 years.

These fac­tors are now com­ing home to roost.

Not only is there pres­sure on house prices, but there is also pres­sure on rent lev­els with prop­er­ties be­ing let of­ten within a mat­ter of hours of be­com­ing avail­able and at ever-in­creas­ing rent lev­els.

All of our towns and vil­lages face pres­sures of de­vel­op­ment with no­body en­joy­ing the prospect of green belt en­croach­ment.

Un­for­tu­nately how­ever, with­out some se­lec­tive re­lax­ation, the on­ward in­crease in house prices and rent lev­els is in­evitable.

●● John Hal­man, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Gas­coigne Hal­man

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