‘High de­mand means prices are set to rise’

Macclesfield Express - - SPORT -

JOHN Hal­man is man­ag­ing direc­tor of Gas­coigne Hal­man, one of south Manchester’s lead­ing es­tate agents.

Here he dis­cusses his pre­dic­tions of the lo­cal prop­erty mar­ket for the year ahead: “Hav­ing re­cently re­viewed our re­sults for 2016, I was not sur­prised when the Office for Na­tional Sta­tis­tics an­nounced last week that the UK econ­omy had grown faster than ex­pected at the end of last year.

“De­spite all the wor­ries from the ef­fects of the Brexit vote, like the econ­omy as a whole we en­joyed an ex­cel­lent year for the hous­ing mar­ket in the ar­eas in which we op­er­ate.

“We saw the strong­est house price growth for prop­er­ties priced up to £750,000 which re­vealed an av­er­age in­crease of around six per cent.

“The num­ber of houses sold in the 12-month pe­riod was broadly the same as the pre­ced­ing year.

“This, to­gether with an es­pe­cially ac­tive year in the res­i­den­tial let­tings mar­ket, en­abled us to post a record set of re­sults.

“Fast for­ward to to­day and I am look­ing at the mar­ket in 2017.

“Ini­tially we have fewer houses for sale than we had a year ago.

“De­mand, how­ever, is still high, so I can only see prices ris­ing.

“This price growth will be restricted to a cer­tain ex­tent by af­ford­abil­ity lev­els which are stretched, so I ex­pect price rises to be grad­ual. Not a bad thing.

“The un­der­ly­ing mark­ers for the prop­erty mar­ket re­main strong and we con­tinue to bear the con­se­quences of a grow­ing pop­u­la­tion, with new home starts fall­ing well be­low tar­geted fig­ures.

“We are there­fore sug­gest­ing price rises of a fur­ther three to four per cent dur­ing 2017.

“Mean­while, our move­ment from be­ing one of Europe’s high­est coun­tries for owner oc­cu­piers to one of the low­est means that the de­mand for rented prop­erty re­mains high and many prop­er­ties are let in just days of be­com­ing avail­able.

“Rent lev­els con­tinue to rise, al­though we sense that they are reach­ing a max­i­mum from an af­ford­abil­ity per­spec­tive.

“We live in un­cer­tain times with the true ef­fects of Brexit still to be re­alised, and the wor­ries as to what a Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion will have on the world. De­spite these dif­fi­cul­ties, with the ro­bust na­ture of the prop­erty mar­ket, the con­tin­u­ing pop­u­lar­ity of the area we live in and the short­age of hous­ing, I can only see house prices con­tin­u­ing to rise and de­mand con­tin­u­ing to ex­ceed sup­ply in the rental sec­tor.”

John Hal­man of Gas­coinge Hal­man

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