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Yesterday (15th April 2019), the government outlined plans to consult on new legislation to abolish Section 21 in a bid to end so called ‘no-fault’ evictions. Although this is not a surprise move, it is one that, if goes ahead as suggested (i.e. full abolition of Section 21), will be game-changing for the private rented sector.
Standing back from all the uncertainty in the news and looking at the property market indices this month, it’s a miracle the market is still performing so well. And despite some worries and wobbles from London and the South East, and of course Aberdeen’s continued decline in both prices and rents, it’s good to see that Hometrack is reporting “All cities recording positive house price growth” up by 2.8% year on year. And there seems to be more good news on the way with London prices turning positive (+0.4%) after a poor few years.
Normally in the property market, if volumes fall, then price falls will quickly follow. During the credit crunch we saw volumes slip back by 50%, on average, while property prices fell by around 20% - although some areas performed worse and others better. In some recent market presentations, I was surprised to see how far transactions had fallen back versus previous years and I even spotted that in some areas, based on Land Registry data comparing volumes from January to October 2009 versus 2018, some transactions had fallen back as far as levels experienced in 2009.
For the property market ‘to keep going’ ideally we need the annual rate of property price growth to lag behind wage growth. However, this hasn’t been something we’ve experienced, certainly up until the credit crunch and this trend definitely hasn’t existed since then, bar the last year or two in London, the South and East Anglia. Find out what's happening in your area.