Well 2016 certainly hasn’t been a boring year. There have been major headlines throughout 2016 with many of our cultural icons passing on, political turbulence with Brexit and across the pond. You could say 2016 has been a difficult year but the great British Bake Off is back, Andy Murray won at Wimbledon and is the property market getting stronger?

I think many homeowners and buyers across the UK and more locally in SK6 will all have a similar opinion on what the market is doing, “Where are all the houses!!” And you would be right. The market has seen a lot fewer properties come available across the UK with 31% fewer houses in SK6 in comparison to 2015, which was a colossal 271 houses.

2015 vs 2016 - sk6 property market review 2016

Many of our clients have experienced the dilemma of “need to move” but “nowhere to go to” and when new properties come available they tend to sell very quickly. This issue has mainly been the result of additional stamp duty charges coming into place, the European referendum and low mortgage rates. The property market was given an injection of pace at the start of the year with the rush to buy before additional stamp duty was put into place in April. This saw many buyers and BTL investors purchase a property quicker than they would have done before and in many cases something they would not have considered if the higher stamp duty wasn’t coming in, an element of panic buying. This set the tone of the market from January, and other than June, we saw an extremely strong year for properties selling, with nearly 8 out of 10 houses going under offer in comparison to only 6 out of 10 in 2015 in SK6.

ratio of house sold that came to market - sk6 property market review 2016

As mortgage rates have been at an all-time low throughout the year, this has seen buyers realise that it is cheaper to pay a mortgage than to rent as rents continue to rise with no sign of slowing down. This has only fuelled the rise in the market locally with more able buyers now able to buy at all price brackets, creating fierce competition and pushing prices up across the board. The other issue buyers have experienced is high demand. SK6 has continued to grow in demand over the last five years but it has been more evident this year, due to the lack of new properties available. Our outstanding schools, picturesque location and short train journeys to Manchester continue to attract new families to the area. In many properties we have dealt with we have seen viewing numbers in double figures, with multiple offers and breaking the ceiling value of the street.

average sold price - sk6 property market review 2016

So with a fast pace set, lots of buyers ready to buy but then an uncertainty hit the market, something no one thought would happen resulting in people being unsure of whether to sell, there goes the supply! So post Brexit we have lots of buyers but a huge shortfall of stock in comparison to 2015 resulting in stronger competition than the area has seen before, seeing houses sell for values we have never seen before.

total house sales 2015 vs 2016 - sk6 property market review 2016

So what does this mean for SK6 with less stock? Well with high demand and low mortgage interest rates in the mix it means property prices will continue to rise. Rightmove echoes this with stating that prices will rise 2% across the UK not as strong as this year but still positive. We anticipate a quiet period around March whilst the uncertainty of Brexit will begin to surface but moving forward the market will continue to strengthen. Unless we see a major hike in mortgage rates or lending levels then demand will continue to outweigh supply continuing on its upward trajectory.

So how as a buyer can you get ahead of the game in 2017 as I am sure many of you have experienced properties selling before they hit Rightmove. Our advice is to get registered with your agent, make sure they know your house inside and out and more importantly they know what you want to get the inside track on new stock.

If you want to discuss this article any further or how to best prepare for moving next year than please call me on 0161 427 0755.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!