The combined value of Letchworth’s housing market has fallen by £91,719,900 in the last 6 months, meaning the average value of a Letchworth property has decreased in value by an average of £8,226.
This is great news for Letchworth first time buyers and Letchworth buy to let landlords, as there is a slight hesitation in the market because of the uncertainty over Brexit. As I have always said, investing in Letchworth property, be it for you to live in or as a buy to let investment, is a long-term game. In the grand scheme of things, this minor change over the last 5 or 10 years is nothing.
The RICS’s latest survey of its Chartered Surveyor members showed that nationally the number of properties actually selling has dropped for the 16th month in a row. Locally in Letchworth, certain sectors of the market are matching that trend, yet others are not. It really depends which price band and type of property you are looking for, as to whether it is a buyers or sellers market.
The RICS also said its member’s lettings data showed a lower number of rental properties coming on to the market. Anecdotal evidence suggests that (and this is borne out in the recent English Housing Survey figures) Letchworth tenants over the last few years are stopping in their rental properties longer, meaning less are coming onto the market for rent. I have noticed locally, that where the landlord has gone the extra mile in terms of decoration and standard of finish, this has certainly helped push rents up (although those properties where the landlord has been remiss with improvements and standard of finish are in fact seeing rents drop). Letchworth tenants are getting pickier – but will pay top dollar for quality. So much so, I believe there will be a cumulative rise of around fourteen to sixteen per cent over the course of the next five years in private rents for the best properties on the market.
Back to the Letchworth Property Values though …
This drop in Letchworth property values does not particularly concern me. The fact is that over the last 6 months 94 properties have sold for a combined value of £38,585,684. You see, that drop must be seen in perspective in that 6 months ago, the total value of Letchworth property stood at £4,323,044,550 (£4.32bn), and today it stands at £4,231,324,650 (£4.23bn) .. this change is a drop in the ocean.
In the short term, say over the next six months and assuming nothing silly happens in Korea, the Middle East or Brexit negotiations, it will be more of the same until the end of the year. In the meantime, the on-going challenges ensuring we as a Country build more homes (although the Office of National Statistics figures released in July showed nationally the number of new homes started to be built over the second Quarter of 2018 had dropped dramatically) makes me think that Letchworth (and Nationally) property value is likely to recommence an upward trajectory as we go into 2019.
One final thought for all the buy to let landlords in Letchworth (and indirectly this does affect all you Letchworth homeowners too). I do hope the recent tax changes towards buy to let landlords do not bite as deep as it is possibly starting to with certain landlords I know. We talked about this in an article a few weeks ago and I know why the Government wanted to change the balance by taxing landlords and providing a lift for first time buyers .. however, this may well come at the expense of higher rents for those Letchworth tenants that do not become first time buyers, as the appeal of buy to let potentially weakens.
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