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The Norfolk Property Market – What has happened in 2019?

Whatever has been going on in the property market in the last year, well it’s certainly safe to say it hasn’t crashed as some predicted despite, Brexit and an election. According to the latest Land Registry House Price Index (UKHPI) the average Norfolk property price is £229,347 compared with £228,440 12 months previously, representing an average rise of £907. Not a profit you’ll be able to retire on but a profit, nevertheless. Since the Brexit vote in 2016, property prices in Norfolk have risen by 15%, adding £29,960 to the value of the average Norfolk home, despite the Brexit vote and the introduction of the Stamp Duty Surcharge on second homes.

In my end of 2016 blog, I said “the Norfolk economy is doing better than most, being boosted by Infrastructure investment, particularly Norwich’s Northern Distributer Road and offshore wind-farms, together with business expansion particularly at the Broadland Business Park and Norwich Research Park.”  I continue in this belief and as the Norfolk and East Anglia property market continues to outperform other regions. In the coming year improvements to rail services and road network (A11/A14 junction) will further boost the local economy.

Nationally, good job security, slowly rising average pay and consistently low interest rates for borrowers, have combined to produce a sense of stability and confidence in all but the political sphere. The market has continued to tick over in this context and the active buyers have continued to transact with willing sellers. Incentives for First Time Buyers remain attractive – e.g. Stamp Duty Exemption. If anything, the top concern of the year for movers has been about whether people can find their dream home to buy and at Watsons we have been working hard and have successfully found the dream home for many buyers, even on occasions before they are available on the open market.

So far as the economy is generally concerned, Mark Carney said (to The Guardian) in November that the Bank of England expected growth to bottom out this year at an annual rate of 1%, rising to 1.6% in 2020, 1.8% in 2021 and 2.1% in 2022.

One of the other factors underpinning prices in the UK is the general shortage of property, whichever sector you are in. National policy is that by the mid-2020s the rate will increase to 300,000 new homes a year. Between 2005-06 and 2017-18 the house building rate has averaged 177,000 a year but has never exceeded 224,000. New build “starts” in the first half of 2019 were down 10.7% on 2018, so good demand for available stock of property looks set to continue.

In the rental sector, tenants are no longer charged fees to move into a property and Watsons have introduced a “Zero Deposit” scheme to make it financially easier to take up a tenancy. Rents have risen during the year. Rightmove indicates a 1-bedroom property in Norfolk is now £565pcm, 5.3% higher than a year ago. Rightmove also interviewed 1,000 landlords and found that more are looking to acquire additional property than are looking to sell, which is unsurprising given healthier rents and potential for capital growth going forward.

If you are looking for a move in 2020…

Tell us about your dream home so we can help you with a successful move in 2020.

If you are currently renting…

Look at the purchase and mortgage options early in the year. There are some good opportunities available right now.

If you are a landlord…

Review your portfolio and consider selling property with low yields, re-mortgage for financial efficiency and consider acquisition benefits/options.

If you are sharing/living at home…

Moving out may not be as expensive as you thought. Whether you are renting or buying call us for a no-obligation conversation about your options and costs.

If you are buying…

Be sure to call us for a private survey to make sure you are buying the right property at the right price.

By Ian Harris MNAEA MARLA, Associate/Valuer

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Mark Francis Pearce

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