There can be little doubt now that many dinner party conversations have once again started to include debates around the UK housing market and whether or not we are entering a new housing bubble. With house prices finally on the rebound after five years in the doldrums there is strong evidence of a pent up demand from both the first time buyer and Buy to Let investors, both of which serve to hold up the housing market. Both groups have been waiting patiently to make their move.
Should we be surprised at the talk of a new housing bubble? In short, we don’t think so. The British public have long had a love affair with property and have grown accustomed to home ownership partly as a result of Margaret Thatcher’s previous policy on housing with the well documented ‘Right to Buy’ scheme created in the 1980’s to enable council tenants at the time to buy their property at a significant discount. This scheme alone created a generation with a strong desire to own their own home.
Television programme makers have also in the past played a large part in fuelling house prices having produced a good number of property shows including Sarah Beeny’s ‘Property Ladder’, Kirsty & Phil’s ‘Location, Location, Location’ and the daily running programme ‘Homes Under The Hammer’.
Fast forward to 2013 and it is the current Government’s ‘Funding For Lending’ and ‘Help To Buy’ initiatives that have perhaps created the greatest kick start to a new housing recovery and small wonder we are now witnessing house price growth.
But what of the new housing bubble? Are we seeing a return to a booming UK property market or will this be a more sustained period of house price growth?
What we do know is that London once again leads with house prices having surged 9.7% in the last year alone. But London is deemed special with overseas investors looking to the capital as a safe haven. And prices across the rest of England have not faired too badly either with growth recorded at 3.7%. Unfortunately the picture for Scotland is more bleak with prices having fallen 2% over the same period and Wales by 0.7% (The Office For National Statistics).
Letting agents in Nottingham have been reporting a resurgence in sales enquiries over the last six months with a resulting increase in agreed sales. Perhaps this will lead to more letting agents setting up sales offices. Interestingly, reports confirm that as many as 77,000 new jobs have been created alone in UK estate agents over the last year, a startling number that is perhaps the strongest sign yet of a recovering market.
The bottom line is that nobody really knows where we are heading. Perhaps all we can hope for is a period of sustainable house price growth.
About Slater & Brandley
Recognised as professional letting agents in Nottingham, Slater and Brandley offer a range of services for landlords, tailored to their needs, including full management and tenant finding services. The company has more than 20 years experience in property management. For more information visit www.SlaterandBrandley.co.uk