Although it sounds like a tenuous connection, the property market and the weather are linked. The arrival of early summer has coincided with the traditional uptick in house prices. This May, Rightmove has noted an extraordinary correlation between warmer temperatures and property values.
The portal found late spring’s seasonal bounce is almost double what it usually records. Rightmove says asking prices in May traditionally rise by around 1% but in 2023, May’s average asking price increased 1.8%. This results in a new record asking price of £372,894.
Purchasers unpausing their moving plans
Matching the increase in asking prices is increased buyer demand. When comparing demand during pre-pandemic May months, there are 3% more purchasers enquiring to view properties today. The figure confirms people who paused their moving plans are now pressing ahead.
The typical buyer is getting younger
The age of buyers has hit a record low, according to new research. Halifax’s 2023 Home Mover Review says the typical age of a UK purchaser is now 39. This is a year younger than 12 months ago, and two years younger than in 2013. Zoopla also cast light on today’s market. Its figures revealed the number of new sales agreed in May 2023 was 11% higher than the five-year average for the same period. More sales now equate to more choice. Zoopla says the number of homes coming to market in May was up 16% on the five-year average.
May saw the Renters’ Reform Bill have its first reading in Parliament. A number of legislative changes are now finally on their way to becoming law. While subsequent stages give members of Parliament the chance to make amendments, it is thought the headline reforms will stay.
To recap, the Bill will end Section 21 notices and periodic tenancies, and see an ombudsman created to keep tenancy disputes out of court. The Bill will also make it easier for tenants with pets, children and benefit income to rent, and introduce the first Decent Homes Standard for private lets. It will also become easier to evict anti-social tenants, and there will be a new, online portal for landlords. With a second reading scheduled for early June, we have a rough timetable for the Renters’ Reform Bill’s implementation. Experts anticipate the Bill will become an Act in the autumn of 2024. A grace period for adjustment, however, may affect how quickly some of the Bill’s contents become law.
Professional landlords feeling positive
Despite changes ahead, a new report suggests property investment is in rude health. Handelsbanken’s Professional Landlords Survey revealed the mood was described as ‘cautiously optimistic’ by the 200 landlords questioned. In fact, 59% with more than 5 buy-to-lets said they were looking to increase the size of their portfolio over the next 12 months.
The report also revealed 39% said they expect their portfolio’s value to increase significantly over the next year. Additionally, 40% felt demand for residential property would increase significantly, with 41% commenting that flats was the most attractive investment sector. Only 5% said they would decrease the size of their portfolio.
Already making allowances for domestic animals
Another survey suggests landlords are already preparing for the Renters’ Reform Bill. This is a direct result of landlords being unable to ‘unreasonably withhold consent when a tenant requests to have a pet in their home’ under proposed laws. Of those questioned by Mortgage for Business, 60% would take out insurance to cover pet damage.
In addition, half of landlords were planning to increase the size of a tenant’s deposit to mitigate the effects of a domestic pet in their let. Finally, 17% said they would increase rents in response to pet-friendly legislation. At present, Government statistics suggest only 7% of landlords currently market their properties as ‘pet-friendly’.
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