Property Market Review

2017 was another strong year for the property market. Demand continued to outstrip supply meaning that if the property is marketed at the right price it is likely to move quickly. This led to a robust housing market with sustained and stable growth. Properties that are taking longer to move are mainly due to price sensitivity whilst affordability constraints are a major factor in the overall pace of price rises.

With the price of property coming to market having increased every year for the last six years, some buyers have seen their buying power eroding away. The price of property coming to market is up by an average of 1.1% (£3,432) from September to Ocotober 2017. The Rightmove Index has recorded an increase in October every year since it started back in 2001, but this Ocotber was the largest since the 1.4% rise seen in 2014.

In the past year house prices in Cornwall were 3% up on the year before and 8% up on 2007 when they averaged at £231,285. The average time to find a buyer is 63 days, with an average of 11 viewings to achieve a successful sale.

Continued uncertainty over what Brexit means for the UK economy and how it will impact household finances will persist for the foreseeable future but has not thus far been too disruptive to house prices and movement. There is capacity for growth once we have greater clarity, but this will be constrained by rate rises and the corresponding ability to get mortgage debt, particularly in London and other higher-value locations.

Low mortgage rates, solid job growth and the lack of homes on the market have to some extent countered the squeeze on household incomes from rising inflation and stagnating wages. Beyond the Home Counties, affordability is far less stretched, with house prices rising more in line with incomes.