Tue 07 Feb 2017
By Jonathan Wood, Manager & Valuer, Norwich office
The market was a fluctuating and unpredictable one in 2016. Events such as Brexit, changes to stamp duty for 2nd home owners and the USA election delivered occasional blips in confidence. In contrast, rock bottom interest rates did encourage first time buyers and investors and therefore the lows were quickly overcome by interesting and unforeseen positive news such as the drop in unemployment figures and growth of the economy.
The key driver for the property market continued to be a lack of fluid supply. The very basic marketing forces of supply and demand had never been more obvious. We regularly had more than one buyer bidding for properties, creating some incredible outcomes for our vendors.
2016 was definitely the year of the ‘serious viewer’ with the ratio of offers from viewings rising all the time. There were very few people out there viewing properties simply ‘on a whim’ – and when people found a property they liked they are quick to act upon it. Norfolk experienced a 10% rise, almost twice as much as the rest of the UK.
So what will happen in 2017? The analysts predict that prices will increase but at a much slower rate than in 2016. We think it’s unlikely we will see the 10% rise we experienced last year and experts are suggesting a 2% rise is more likely. However, we have no doubt that demand will remain strong across the county.
The desirability of Norwich remains high with good schooling, expansion of some major businesses and the construction of the northern distributor road. For many, Norfolk and Norwich offers a better quality of life. Whenever you see a county or a city experience infrastructure growth, well-known high street names begin appearing and this is a great sign for long term confidence.
Interestingly, in the city in particular, we have seen a rise in the number of out of area buyers buying a property as a second home with a view to relocate in around 5 years’ time despite the stamp duty increase on second homes.
"I have been meaning to 'pop in' for the past few weeks - but not managed to yet! I just wanted to say a big thank you to you all, for your help over the last few months with our move. I think this is the first time (in 40 years) I have ever thanked an Estate Agents! But we found you all to be very professional and also very pleasant to deal with. Many thanks again."