Estate Agencies In Trouble?

Welcome to Surelock Network Auctions’ August 2017 Newsletter.

While the summer sun appears to have deserted the UK for the European mainland, the flow of property-related news most definitely hasn’t. Among the many headlines and comments that have been in the news this last month, two have really caught our attention.

Estate Agencies In Trouble?

Estate agencies Foxtons and Countrywide have both recently reported major declines in company profits. Both businesses blame uncertainty over the decline in sales and profits. Home builders, meanwhile, have fared better in the financial results space. However, some, including Berkeley, have highlighted a sharp fall in the number of homes being built in the UK – and London in particular.

While the reason behind both worrying developments is Brexit and politically stoked uncertainty, the end result, is that there still aren’t enough homes for the people in the UK who need them.

Fewer posh apartments in London isn’t a major worry for the regular worker who wants to rent then buy a home. But, if home builders are less inclined to build homes – which must include a portion of affordable properties too – then it seems the beleaguered buy-to-let (BTL) landlord will be the ones left to pick up the pieces and provide property for the many in need.

The problem with that is, BTL investors have been penalised again and again by the Government, leaving fewer of them to the very important job of housing the UK’s growing army of renters.

Two-Tier Property Market

The latest housing market report from the well-established Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, (RICS), highlighted a number of interesting developments.

First of all, the RICS house prices balance fell to +1 in July from +7 in June. The report also discussed the emergence of two-tier housing market. But, the leaders of the pack this time are: Northern Ireland, the west midlands and south west England. On the bottom tier, resides London and newcomer south east England, where surveyors say house prices declined in July, for the first time since 2011.

While a two-speed housing market in the UK isn’t something all that new, what is different is that property in the south is at the bottom and the west of the country is performing most strongly.

Food for thought if your considering buying a new investment property in a different area, that’s for sure.

Upcoming auctions: London, September 7th.

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