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Looking Ahead to 2019

Average House Price

H Tiddy is a professional, highly regarded and experienced independent organization based in St Mawes, Cornwall. The company has the highest market share in our area, which mainly covers the rivers and creeks in and around The Roseland Heritage Coast in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. I have been an estate agent since 1985.  The team and myself have over 130 years combined estate agency experience. We successfully sell a wide range of properties in all price categories from parcels of land to exclusive three million pound plus coastal properties.

Since 2006, H Tiddy have been members of The Guild Of Property Professionals (a National Network of around 800 independently owned estate agents).  There was a recent meeting of Guild Members located in the Cornwall Region. The main topic of the meeting was the state of the current Cornish Housing Market and opinions and outlooks of the year ahead. Every agent, all of which have a strong market share in their respective areas in Cornwall, reported, with great delight, that their figures for this year were in excess of target and over business plan, many reporting record breaking results thus exceeding their expectations coming into the beginning of the year. Specifically in relation to H Tiddy, the company is set for another very successful year where we have so far exchanged on over £20 million pounds worth of property to date.

Analysing H Tiddy’s statistics further, 39% of the properties we have sold were as permanent residences and a strong proportion of our second home buyers anticipate moving into their property as their primary residence within the next 5 years. 41% of our purchasers this year, and top of the list, have come from the Home Counties, second, at 18%, were already living in Cornwall and equal third the Midlands and Gloucestershire with 14% each. The market in St Mawes has been particularly buoyant in all price ranges. The village has maintained increased house price growth, most certainly bucking the trends compared to the London market. It has been recently reported that even Sandbanks has mildly dropped in average price (mainly due to the hike in stamp duty for second home buyers in 2016). The following recent housing reports concur with my overview:

HM Land Registry’s latest report said: “UK house prices rose by 3.1% in the year to July 2018, down slightly from 3.2% in the year to June 2018. House prices grew fastest in the North West region, increasing by 5.6%, followed by the South West and the West Midlands, both increasing by 4.4%”.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Residential Market survey continues to show stronger trends in large parts of the UK. The RICS recently reported: “significantly, whilst sentiment remains downbeat in London, results remain more solid in other areas. On newly agreed sales, sales trends are at least stabilising in London. By way of contrast, sales trends are solid in Northern Ireland and the South West.” 

Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax, said: “With the average house price now £229,958, prices in the three months to August were 1.9% higher than in the previous quarter. While the pace of employment growth has recently slowed, a low unemployment rate and a gradual pickup in wage growth are helping to support household finances. This has been accompanied by interest rates still remaining at a historically low rate and a stable, yet constrained, supply of new homes onto the market further supporting house Mortgage approvals which remain steady. The number of first-time buyers increased by around 3% in the first six months of 2018. The number of first-time buyers has more than doubled since the first half of 2009”.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, reported: “annual house price growth remains within the fairly narrow range of 2-3%, which has prevailed over the past 12 months.” Overall, the Nationwide expects house prices to rise by around 1% over the remaining course of 2018.

Looking further ahead, the main reaction from us at H Tiddy, (including the majority of my colleagues within the Guild of Professional Estate Agents) is a general feeling that the market in 2019 will remain upbeat but with fluctuations in activity depending on what was happening with any specific uncertainties within the country at any particular point in time. Ever since 2008, we have dealt with a roller coaster of extraordinary events, causing activity to alter from one month to the next. House price growth and fall is directly correlated confidence. However, since 2009, we have had consistent house price growth in Cornwall year on year.

I am sure many of us remember the excessive interest rates in the early 1990’s, which was caused, amongst other issues, by both the housing market and the economy over cooking themselves.  Due to far less regulated lending during the 1980’s, where 100% plus mortgages were abundant, this led to many homeowners being caught in the trap of negative equity and extortionate mortgage payments. With a reduction of average wages and rising unemployment, this resulted in re-possessions, causing the largest downturn in house prices that I personally remember.  Since the banking crises of 2008, lending criteria has become far more stringent and regulated where many homeowners of today have equity. Providing the Bank of England does not get forced to raise interest rates to a level none of us can afford, I see no reason why house prices should reduce. In their most recent report, the RICS predict: “rental values are expected to rise at a faster rate than house prices. Average rental growth projections stand at around 3% per annum for the next five years whilst house prices are projected to rise by around 2% per annum on the same basis”.

Since the Brexit announcement, the country has seen growth, albeit subdued, where the housing market, with the exception of London, has followed similar trends. In my opinion, this is mainly due to many businesses putting expansion plans on hold whilst we all work out and wait for our deal with Europe. In contrast to Mr Carneys recent “worst case” scenarios, and dependent on how much it will cost the country to formally leave The European Union in March, it is not inconceivable that the country could go through a mini growth spurt, which the housing market will follow. I am sure we all recall similar scaremonger announcements prior to the Brexit referendum, which have not so far come to fruition. The Nationwide recently reported: “much will depend on how broader economic conditions evolve, especially in the labour market, but also with respect to interest rates. Subdued economic activity and on going pressure on household budgets is likely to continue to exert a modest drag on house price growth and market activity this year, though borrowing costs are likely to remain low.”

Over the last 3 years, we have sale agreed as many properties during the winter as we have in the summer months.  If you want to take advantage of our busy winter and spring market, contact Mark, Natalie, Gail or Tom NOW on 01326 270212 to discuss possible sales, updated valuations, arrange a free and confidential market appraisal, or discuss any other aspect of the housing market. Due to many recent sales successes, we are in need of properties to sell in all price ranges.

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