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In this week’s article on the Luton property market we look and consider the effects of the Brexit uncertainty over the last few years and how certain elements of the local property market seem to have ignored those issues and appear to be bagging some bargains along the way

It seems that quite a few Luton homeowners and Luton landlords have become acclimatised to living with the uncertainty of Brexit throughout most of 2019, as figures show many of them decided to get on with living life, started reinvesting their money into Luton property and buying and selling their Luton homes and BTL investments. Land Registry stats confirm that. Current data shows that...

 

Luton property values are 3.5% lower than 12 months ago

 

Whilst the newspapers were stating prime central London property values were now 17% below the levels being achieved a couple of years, that message seems not to have been heard by certain sectors of the Luton property market!

 

Speaking with other property professionals in Luton, many weren’t expecting the usual autumn rebound after the summer holidays. Many were anticipating a dormant Luton property market on the run up to Christmas believing many Luton home-movers would put off the their home moving activities until the new year, yet in many sectors of the local property market, I have seen (and the stats back this up) that those Luton property buyers who are able to hold their nerve (whereas others were hesitant) have found themselves in a better negotiating position to get a great property deal. Putting aside the fluff of newspaper headlines, the real foundations of Luton housing market remain sound with record low unemployment, ultra-low interest rates and low inflation.

 

Interestingly, there are 9% more homes for sale in Luton compared to two years ago, meaning more choice for buyers

 

However, there are still parts of the Luton property market that remain stagnant, with some homeowners being slightly unrealistic with their marketing pricing. To them, the property market appears to be slow, as they stare at their ‘for sale’ board for months on end, yet nothing could be further from the truth.

 

The key to a balanced (and healthy) property market is realistic pricing by the homeowners when they place the property on the market, mortgage affordability for buyers (which was discussed a couple of weeks ago in the Luton Property Blog) and buy to let landlord activity which creates and maintains forward momentum. One measure of momentum is how long a property remains on the market, and interestingly…

 

The current average length of time a Luton property remains on the market is 96 days, up from 69 days two years ago

 

Now the number of properties sold locally is slightly down year on year (even though we had a burst of property sales in the summer locally) and interestingly, Rightmove reported recently that nationally, the number of properties sold in the UK was only just over 3% less year on year, so a similar picture nationally.

 

So, what does all this mean for Luton homeowners and Luton landlords?

 

We have always had issues that were game changers for the housing market; for the last few years it’s been Brexit, 10 years ago the credit crunch, 18 years ago the dot com crash, the ERM and 15% interest rates issue 27 years ago, dual MIRAS 32 years ago, hyper-inflation 40 years ago, the 3 day week 45 years ago – the list goes on. Everyone needs a home to live in, the local authority just has not got the money to build council houses, so buy to let will continue to grow for the foreseeable future which in turn creates a stable foundation for all homeowners. Maybe you should use this time, like many are in Luton to take advantage of the property deals to be had in Luton.

NAEA The Property Ombudsman Client Money Protect Rightmove Zoopla OnTheMarket