Strong start to 2020

13th February 2020

Strong start to 2020

The first quarter of 2020 has proved to be very strong within the local housing market, with plenty of activity across our region. During 2019, Robinson Hornsby saw significantly improved levels of business, resulting in completions increasing by 19% compared to 2018.

Activity within Quarter One of 2020 suggests this trend continuing and the ‘Post Brexit’ economy has brought with it even more optimism from home movers with sales times reducing, in the stronger locations, to around 3-4 weeks.

The continuing low interest rates, along with small price increases, is an ideal recipe for confidence within the market with no signs of the ‘boom and bust’ economy of the mid 2000’s. Although investors are becoming more scarce (mainly due to extra tax burdens) first time buyer levels are good, as are those wishing to move up the ladder.

No longer do we see any great seasonal changes in our marketplace; house buyers generally move when it suits them, not when they perceive that the market will be stronger. The busier times are almost entirely down to when the right stock comes onto the market, with no extreme highs or lows. For example, it may be surprising to know that the 2 busiest sales months in 2019 were April and July, with no significant slow down in either the Summer or Christmas periods.

On a less encouraging note, the time to achieve an exchange of contracts continues to be disappointing, with an average of around 80 days. This isn’t always something that can be controlled, due to complex chains and more onerous ‘checklists’ required by conveyancers, however, instructing your solicitor at the point of listing, rather than at point of sale, can be a good way of reducing the process by a couple of weeks.

Having seen a settled market for the past 5 years or so, I would expect 2020 to be similar, albeit with a higher level of transactions, and consistent price rises of around 2-3%.