The turkey's been finished, the presents have been opened and our livers will soon (hopefully) start to recover. Now it's time to blow the dust off the trainers and think about what we're going to do with ourselves in 2017. Maybe you'll buy your first car, or trade your old one in? Maybe you're thinking of doing an extension? Or maybe you're thinking of buying your first house, or moving house?
If you're looking at the last option, then make sure you read on for our predictions on the housing market in 2017! First though, we'll have a little look at what happened in 2016...
So the year started off with a bang - houses were selling like proverbial hot cakes and prices were on the up over the first 6 months of 2016. I even put my house on the market in January because I was intent on moving house in 2016 (I obviously sold through Hatched, did my mortgage through Hatched and the conveyancing through Hatched, and to be honest, the experience was amazing - perhaps another blog article for another day).
In fact, it was so busy in the first half of 2016, that we had a couple of months where we sold more houses than we put on the market that month, which is pretty much unheard of in estate agency, certainly in my career.
But then Brexit happened.
It was like hitting a brick wall for property sales. People stopped buying, offering and viewing houses while the politicians and commentators tried to predict what was going to happen next. Then all of a sudden, after the Summer Holidays, the market came back and since September we've been selling back at 'normal levels' again. Not quite the levels of the first half of 2016 (those were unprecendented), but at the levels you would expect in a stable, but progressive, market. And this probably shows signs of where 2017 will go for the market.
So, predictions for 2017 - what does it have in store for us?
For my money, the housing market will stabilise this coming year and although we may see gains in the first quarter of 2017 (with the constant lack of supply), I do think we could see a slight downturn in activity come the end of March when (or if) article 50 is triggered. Uncertainty is the cause of most market slow downs and triggering article 50 will do nothing more than create that uncertainty. Will my job be safe? Will interest rates change? What does the future hold for our economy?
All of these questions create uncertainty and people will 'sit on their hands' while everyone works out what is going on.
Personally, I think this will be short lived, and much like the short disruption to the housing market in July 2016, I think that we'll see just a small blip for a couple of months while people work out what is likely to happen.
Overall, I think by this time next year we will have seen a busy first quarter followed by a slower 2nd quarter and then 'normal' 3rd & 4th quarters. If I were to put money on it, this time next year, I think we will have seen an overall growth of 2%-3% in house prices and a general steadying of the housing market. I just don't think that 'Brexit' will have the cataclysmic effect that some commentators & analysts have been prediciting.
So what does that mean for you? Should you put your house on the market now, or wait?
Well, for me, there's no time like the present. As I mentioned earlier, I put my house on the market in the 2nd week in January 2016, because I knew this is when the cream of the activity would be. Lots of sellers wait until Spring and this is certainly one strategy that can be used to great effect. However, because sellers wait until the Spring, you find that there is more competition, which can sometimes make it harder to sell if lots of other properties are on the market at the same time as yours. As I said, there really is no time like the present.
Whether you're thinking of getting house on the market now, or at some point this year, then it's probably worth getting some valuations on your property - something we can provide free of charge for you. Simply click the button below, fill in your details and someone will be in touch to arrange a free, no obligation appraisal on your property.
In the meantime, please feel free to share this article on your social media networks and start the discussion - what do you think will happen in the property market in 2017?
Finally, on behalf of everyone at Hatched, may I take this opportunity to wish all of our customers, past, present & future, a very prosperous and Happy New Year!