What the housing market did this year, and what 2020 may bring

23rd December 2019

It’s certainly been a year to remember in the UK and in the housing market. As usual, we’ve been keeping a close eye on the national housing market trends with help from the RIS UK Residential Market Survey but have also spent some time reflecting on our team’s local experience of the Sussex housing market in 2019. Here’s our review, and some pointers for 2020.

Help to Buy and New Build Homes have been hugely popular

We deal with many New Homes in our day to day business and have been impressed with the quality and diversity of the homes that have been available to purchase in Brighton and Hove in 2019 and certainly feel that the standard of local developers is very high. We have seen many house and apartment sales through to completion, from affordable to indulgent luxury homes. We have seen a good proportion of Shared Ownership homes, and have also worked with buyers making use of the Help to Buy Equity loan scheme, and the now-retired Help to Buy ISA. There was a 10% increase in new home sales in 2019, and in 2020 we have plenty more new homes to market, including The Waterfront at Shoreham and Quiet Waters at Angmering. If a new home is something on your list of goals for 2020 we’ve written a guide to how to get there here

Less uncertainty will help the housing market in 2020

Although our level of enquiries, sales and purchases have been buoyant in 2019, it’s fair to say the uncertainty around who’s going to lead the country and whether we’ll stay in the EU has put a few people off buying, selling or investing in property. Now that we’re making progress with this, RICS is predicting an upturn in the number of sales completions over the next 3 and 12 months, with growth in sale prices too. We’ve certainly been encouraged by recent sales at our Shoreham and Lewes branches, where prestige properties have achieved above asking price and been sold within a matter of days.

Nick Williams, the Branch Manager of our Shoreham office commented "We have definitely seen an upturn in enquiries since the election with sales being agreed almost immediately after the result.  We also gearing up to release 9 residential properties to the market on Boxing Day, so it’s feeling like a strong start to 2020 already with homeowners really wanting to get on with the next chapter of their lives"

While David Beaken, our Lewes Town & Country Director adds "At the start of the year I think we expected people to be quite cautious about the market but it has proven to be an extremely busy year. Regardless of personal opinion, the election outcome seems to have given confidence to the market as we have already seen increased instructions and enquiries. We expect this to move forward into the new year making an extremely positive start to 2020"

Rental growth remains steady thanks to the Buy to Let shake-up

Due to the change in the taxation of Landlords, many decided to sell up in 2019 and this had a slight effect on the number of properties available to rent. In turn, due to unfaltering demand for rental properties rents have increased steadily for good quality properties. Good news for those landlords who have held on to their portfolios. Due to an improvement overall of rented property standards, tenants are also tending to stay longer in their homes rather than for the minimum term.

“We are expecting a year of steady growth in 2020 to follow on from an overall stable 2019. City Centre prices are likely to rise slightly over the year due to demand, especially in the summer months, and with the Tenant Fee Ban now in effect, tenants can move more freely without the added costs.” says our Lettings Manager Murray Kerr.

Whatever your property needs in 2020, we'd be really happy to help so don't hesitate to get in touch for some information and advice from any of our teams. 


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