Well… it is that time again for my annual review of the property market as the Managing Director of Keystones Property.

Well, not a huge amount has changed from last year. Property prices keep on rising, the demand is still high, interest rates haven’t changed and the England Rugby Team did as good as the England Football Team at the World Cup and couldn’t get out of the group stages.

We are coming into our 3rd Year in May 2016 and have had steady growth so far with our clients very happy. We have increased our management portfolio handsomely and have sold a few more houses this year. We had added another member of staff, Jason Lee who has been with us for nearly a year now!

Property sales still seem scarce with not a lot of stock on the market, which is inadvertently pushing the prices up. Lack of stock x high demand = rise in prices!

Rental prices have also increased this year. We have a One Bedroom Flat in Newbury Park which we let out 18 months ago at £750 PCM, we had tenants fighting over the property a month ago at £900 PCM, so landlords should be looking at a rent review and maximising their investment returns!

The Bank of England have recently come out and stated that interest rates are not looking to be increasing until 2017, which again will not have too much of an effect on the market until then. If interest rates rise rapidly, it could mean that a few people become unstuck and may have to sell quickly, which could be good for investors getting a few more deals from the market.

My gripe of the year though, is the fact that landlords will have to pay a 3% surcharge in stamp duty from April 2016 on buy to let purchases, the government have put this into force to try to eliminate the competition and allow first time buyers on to the market, but trust me now, it will not make any difference.

Firstly, the problem is not landlords. Landlords will look for a “deal” where they can maximise their returns, whereas a First Time Buyer is purchasing a property for their home – so First Time Buyers will always outbid any landlord. The problem is not to financially cripple landlords, the million dollar issue is the stock. Starting with London (where most people around here work) and the outskirts prices have skyrocketed and again landlords are the scapegoat here. There has been an influx of people into the capital over the last 10 years and the property market hasn’t been able to cope with it, this is the problem, the stock levels….not landlords! Rant over!

Keystones Property has a goal to expand next year, we are looking at bigger offices and another member of staff, but we will keep you posted.

One of my goals for Keystones was to give of ourselves more and fortunately we have been able to do that this year with sponsoring Hereward Primary School’s Christmas Fete, so if you have seen an array of our new boards in Debden, Loughton then this is what it has been for. It feels good being able to assist with a local school and help the community. It was a success and a great day for families and children of the school!

My prediction for Buy to Let Investors:

I have heavily raved about Chadwell Heath and Dagenham over the last 12 months and will continue to do so, we have seen prices rise in these locations and have been avidly telling our landlords to buy there. Chadwell Heath and Romford Stations have the cross rail coming into effect in 2019, which will mean the fast train going straight into Tottenham Court Road Station within 28 Minutes. Also, with Dagenham still affordable and easy access into London, I predict major regeneration of the area within the next 10-15 years! Becontree and Dagenham East Stations are on the District Line and rental prices are not that different from Hainault or Debden at the moment. In my opinion these are massive hotspots! See my blog from November on the 2016 Buy to Let Hotspots to watch for.
Hainault and Debden are also hotspots for the immediate local area with new developments being built by some of the major housebuilders such as Fairview Homes, Higgins and Wimpey – this will have a knock on effect, plus they’re affordable still!

If you want any advice, I am just a phone call away, so whether you are selling, renting or looking for your next buy to let hotspot, give me a call on 0203 697 7788.

I wish you a Merry Xmas and a Happy Prosperous 2016 on behalf of all the team at Keystones Property.

Regards

Scott_Sig

Scott Jay
Company Director
Keystones Property
Suite 1, Forest House
186 Forest Road
Loughton
Essex, IG10 1EG