The East Dulwich housing market still feels subdued as we move into February 2015. Contributing factors are the stricter mortgage regulations and the general feeling of uncertainty as we gear up to the general election. Data seems to show this reflected across the UK, according to Rightmove the number of homes registered for sale per estate agent fell to its lowest level for five years in December. January figures show East Dulwich having a more positive month with 355 properties (Jan15) vs. 188 (Jan14) listed as on the market via Rightmove. Two things need to be considered when looking at in these figures. Properties are often listed with multiple agents, and my calculations show there were only 113 unique properties on the market in January in East Dulwich. That said the Rightmove figures allow us to show broad trends.
The number of new listings increased from only 17 in December to an impressive 52 in January in SE22. With only a few of the properties in December going under offer, we could see a continued leveling off in price growth as there is more property stock to choose from by would-be buyers.
It is also interesting to note that the type of property that has been coming on the market in East Dulwich has been changing ever so slightly in the latter half of 2014. The proportion of one and two bedroom properties has been increasing slightly while the percentage of larger four and five beds has slightly decreased. All properties are now taking longer to sell when compared with the same period in 2014 with the exception of 1 bedroom properties.
2015 could be the year of the selective mover. The building of new housing stock has been inadequate over the past few decades and well below the 250,000 new homes required per annum. A systemic change in the type of properties homeowners want (due to smaller family groups) means as the demand for flats increases this in turn may mean demand for the larger properties diminishes over time.
As the heat goes out of the SE22 property market, it unlikely we will see the high level of property transactions we saw in 2014. That might mean SE22 landlords or buyers could identify attractively priced properties during this period of uncertainty, especially if the financial markets do not like the election outcome. Markets and buyers do not like uncertainty. Shrewd Buy to let landlords know that “buy to let” is a long term game and the demand for rental stock is only going to increase so this could be the year to grab property at more attractive prices.
I am always happy to give you my opinion on which property to buy (or not as the case may be), it’s always good to speak about various investment strategies, so please drop into the office or give me a call.