‘High demand means prices are set to rise’
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