The beginning months of 2020 saw fortunes change for the UK property market, with the high-end London property market seeing change, in particular.
In January alone, more enquires were made with estate agents to buy and sell than December of 2019. That figure has risen even further as the end of February draws to a close.
Sellers usually wait for spring to list their properties for sale, so the increase is outside of the standard trend the housing market sees yearly.
This increase comes following the results of the general election, with many estate agents claiming that now the uncertainty has passed, to an extent, the property market can start to get back on track.
However, though the numbers suggest an increase and estate agents are in one of the best positions to record those numbers, are other industries that rely on the property market for business seeing the same thing, removal companies, for example?
There Is An Increase In First-time Buyers
The help to buy scheme has helped first-time buyers secure properties otherwise out of their reach since 2013.
Though the conservative party intends to scrap this scheme in 2023, for now, with the property market seeing an increase in activity and property prices decreasing since 2016, first-time buyers are taking advantage of this period, and removal companies are seeing it.
Moves from rented accommodation to a new home have been on the rise, especially in the east and south-east London. Some of the most popular areas that first-time buyers are moving to include:
- Greenwich SE10
- Tower Hamlets E14
- Newham E12
- Dagenham IG11
- Barking IG11
Most of these areas suffered from some of the lowest property values in London, with Greater London areas, especially seeing growth most recently.
With prices in central London out of reach for most first-time home buyers, the affordability of the east is providing a chance for people to own their first home which, in turn, is leading to the areas growing.
New housing estates are constantly under development to take advantage of the increase in demand. Affordable removal companies have seen this first hand as they deliver first-time buyers to their new homes, with lots of work east of the centre.
Current Home Owners Aren’t Moving
Help is there for first-time buyers, who then settle for lower-priced properties so they can get on to the housing market. However, removal companies are seeing less current homeowners upgrading.
It’s not that people are necessarily comfortable with their existing property. The difference in price between a flat and terraced house, which would be considered an upgrade, is too much for those still paying off a mortgage.
The only way that those on a budget can upgrade is to get out of Londons’ commuter-friendly surrounding areas.
Some people are opting to do just that. Such moves are not to a scale recognisable to anyone other than the actual people moving, and the removal companies who are transporting them. Better, affordable properties exist, just not where the people of London want to move.
Rental Properties Are Seeing Less Interest
London is an international centre for companies, and employees for those companies need short and long term accommodation. However, the uncertainty that still exists with Brexit is causing previous companies to settle elsewhere to keep a presence in the EU and new companies to avoid setting up in the UK altogether.
That is a large chunk of potential renters missing from the property rental market. It will and has affected landlords, but the removal companies who moved these renters into their properties are also seeing the adverse effects.
These small moves are the primary income for many man and van companies in London, and since Brexit, and to this day, there is less work. Until Brexit is far in the past, there are no signs of this changing.
Despite a lack of young professionals looking to rent, the student move market is still providing work for removal companies. International and national students alike flock to London for their higher education, and they all need someone to move them into their rented properties.
Most university courses start in September, and removal companies are not expecting this period to see any significant changes.
High Valued Properties Still See Interest
It is impossible to look at the property market of London and not look at the properties and buyers that London is famous for. The millionaires and billionaires.
Buyers looking to purchase a piece of prime real estate are still moving. House prices are lower across the board, and that is the case for central London, though the cost is still out of reach for the buyers mentioned above.
Removal Companies have seen more work for such customers, requiring them to move pieces of art, furniture, and antiquities that cost more than the van they are using to move the items.
London will always be a hotspot for those looking to get into high-value properties, especially oversea buyers taking advantage of the current exchange rate, with the US dollar valued at 1 to 0.78 British pound, at the time of writing.
Removal companies in London have always performed services for foreign nationals looking to own a piece of London, and despite Brexit, that doesn’t seem to be changing. Some popular areas for those who have the cash include:
- Notting Hill
Where Will The Property Market Go From Here?
Removal companies have recorded the above in the opening months of 2020, but where do they think it will go from here?
The prime property buyers are already making enquires to secure removal quotes for moves later in the year, but that part of the market will depend on how weak the pound stays.
For first-time buyers, it will all depend on the conservatives’ plans. The current scheme will see restrictions placed from next year, before being scrapped altogether.
There has been a promise to review how to help first-time buyers make their first purchase, though it’s not entirely clear what the plan is.
In short, the future for first-time buyers is unpredictable, and if they can take advantage of the current scheme, removal companies will be there to get them from A to B.As for the rental property market, there will always be people looking to rent a property in London, and removal companies will continue to offer their services.
However, the workload for rental property moves is at its lowest in a long time, and it does not look likely to see a significant increase, at least until Brexit is all done and the new immigration rules have been implemented. Then, it’s anyone’s guess what will happen.