Commentary on the 2018 housing market from John Kelly, Managing Partner, Corum Property
If ever a year was a textbook example of the effects of the imbalance between supply and demand, 2018 was it. However, overall it was a most encouraging and rewarding year, which finished with a real flourish.
The 2018 market in general was one of low supply, healthy buyer demand and readily available and competitively priced mortgage products, which have helped maintain or even grow property values. Discrete and high value sales boomed as the year came to a close, with encouraging momentum carrying into the new year. In 2018 we sold more homes around or over £1m than we did during the last market peak in 2006/7, which is really encouraging.
I’m also heartened by the fact that demand continues to remain high despite the ongoing saga over Brexit. There is no doubt in my mind that buyers have become more resilient to change and uncertainty, particularly over the last decade. In a recent poll of our active buyers, 65% stated that Brexit would have no influence on their plans to move, with a further 20% saying it would have little influence. Put simply, people just want to move and reflect their chosen or changing lifestyle.
Our new build projects and refurbishment schemes are also growing in volume and stature with prospects of creating a flywheel effect, supporting a good pipeline of sales to come.
All in all, despite some opinions to the contrary, 2018 was a rewarding year for those attuned to the underlying market dynamics. For 2019 I predict broadly the same pattern for the housing market, with the possibility of an upsurge if the worst-case Brexit scenarios can be avoided.