As Snodland, Larkfield & West Malling market experts, we’re obsessed with property market data. One of the most fun parts of our job is meeting buyers, sellers, renters and landlords and helping them make fantastic deals. We then love to analyse the data coming through from all our various sources and see how our experience matches wider trends.
However, one of the big (albeit fairly niche) problems we’ve faced during the Covid lockdown is that the data has become a lot thinner. For example, a lot of the data we use comes from HM Land Registry which shows the sold prices of every private residential property in England and Wales. However, the lockdown not only stopped people from moving house temporarily, but also stopped the good people at the Land Registry updating the systems. These two things have conspired to cloud our view of what’s going on outside of our patch.
Across our patch, we’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of positive sentiment we’re picking up for the clients we speak to every day. The engine for a lot of this market momentum is the pent-up demand from the early Brexit days which has finally been unleashed. More importantly, however, is the feeling that when there’s a lot of uncertainty in the world, property is always good. This is why prices in our area have risen 35.2 per cent since 2010.
Something to remember about property markets in general, is that they are driven by a whole host of factors, many of which are not always obvious. For example, when global bear markets rule and uncertainty reigns supreme, people often put money into property (and gold) as safe havens for their wealth, however large or small. Similarly, property markets are hugely affected by the availability of mortgage finance. The evaporation of mortgage finance in the wake of the credit crunch was the cause of the crash. It was not down to supply or demand of property itself.
We have noticed some changes in what buyers are after. This is particularly true of the demand for open space which is now at a premium. For houses, it’s as simple as â€˜the more garden the better’. For flats every extra inch of balcony or terrace adds disproportionately to the desirability of the place. We’ve also noticed a certain amount of increased demand for homes in less densely populated parts of the area we cover.
It’s usually at this point we start advising our readers to not let the grass grow under their feet and that now is a fantastic time to make their next move. However, it doesn’t look like anyone in Snodland, Larkfield & West Malling needs any encouragement from us! Our experience is that the market is absolutely steaming ahead post-lockdown. The big danger might be getting left behind. But it remains true that whatever you decide, it’s always advisable to work with a local market expert who lives and breathes the area.
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