Experts are predicting that house prices will rise this year. The growth seen in December has helped to dispel worries of a sharp fall in prices and is being used to help forecast an optimistic outcome for the year ahead.
This should be a relief to homeowners who have been struggling to sell their houses during 2019; however, with renewed confidence in the market post-election, the industry has seen an increase in buyer enquiries and in the number of properties listed for sale.
According to the BBC, the most affordable cities, such as Glasgow and Liverpool, could see a four per cent rise. London, which has been hit hard by Brexit uncertainties, could see a rise of around two per cent.
How will this affect first-time buyers?
Unaffordable housing continues to be an issue. Over half of first-time buyers needed parental support to get on the property ladder between 2017-18, which is obviously impacting the lettings market. The demand for rental properties is still rising and tenants plan to stay in rental properties longer. Both these factors are driving up rent, which is at an all-time high and looks set to increase further by the end of the year.
The lettings market
Technology is a vital area that letting agents will need to focus on this year to remain successful. Advances in products from providers such as https://inventorybase.co.uk/ are helping letting agents to become more efficient and provide customers with a high level of service.
With the lettings market facing legislation changes this year, property inventory software will be needed. The first change to be announced is compulsory electrical testing, which will mean that all landlords and agencies need to provide electrical installation inspections and testing for all new tenancies in England from 1 July 2020. For existing tenancies, the date is 1 April 2021. Other proposed changes include:
– CO2 alarms.
– EPC legislation.
– Money laundering changes.
– Potential Section 21 abolishment.
Experts are hopeful that the improvements in the buying market will continue throughout 2020; however, they are all too aware that affordability and availability are still factors in keeping the housing market moving. There needs to be more affordable houses built and there is a hope that the government will introduce a scheme to further support first-time buyers to help the market to grow.