Last month we wrote about the shortage of available property for sale under the £1million mark, and that still holds true today. In fact March could be measured by how similar it was to February, and therefore how we appear to have settled into a fairly stable marketplace after the highs of last spring and the relative lows of the festive season.
The budget left people feeling reasonably positive, with no particularly big news either way around the property market, but some good news on income tax and general feeling among us all that we’ve got a little more money to spend, despite the squeeze on public spending that is such a big talking point.
Next up of course is election season, which historically means that everyone holds off doing anything that isn’t absolutely urgent. This has an interesting, if temporary, effect on the property market, reducing the amount of property becoming available and the number of new people registering to buy. However, what that leaves us with is a concentrated bunch of single-minded buyers and sellers who are thoroughly committed to moving home. What this normally translates to is an increased willingness on both sides to come to an agreeable offer in as short a space of time as possible: homeowners know they have a smaller pool of buyers to choose from, and buyers know there won’t be much more coming to the market until after the general election.
We don’t really take much of a political stance on the outcome of the election as there is little evidence – other than very short term initial reactions – that anyone buying or selling an urban loft or unique living space will allow whatever party is in power to interfere with their moving plans. Our clientele is fundamentally made up of successful creative types or those in the financial world, both still thriving sectors in the London economy and – possibly more potent when it comes to our particular marketplace – driving factors in the capital’s identity.
So we anticipate a fairly drama-free few months ahead. If the lack of supply to date continues well beyond the election then a rise in achievable prices would be somewhat inevitable, although we are unlikely to see anything like the lift we saw a year ago. Obviously it’s impossible to accurately predict anything in the London property market – it makes a fool of anyone who tries to do so – but 2015 looks like a year of modest price increases and a relaxed positivity.