The foundations of the St Albans Property Market over the summer have continued to be principally sound; yet the existing political macroclimate means that the critical element of consumer confidence has been reduced and that is triggering some potential St Albans property buyers and St Albans house sellers to falter slightly and hang fire making any firm decisions.
With record low interest rates at 0.75%, low unemployment rates of 3.8%, and decent mortgage availability (there were 224 mortgage deals available on the day of writing this article where only a 5% deposit was required and 5 main stream lenders that would offer 100% no deposit mortgages) St Albans buyers have a lot going in their favour, aside from the political uncertainty.
Interestingly, Rightmove has stated there are more properties for sale today in the country, than at any time since 2016 and St Albans follows that trend. Even with that in mind, property values have remained reasonably stable as The Land Registry has just released its House Price Index for St Albans and the surrounding locality and it makes very interesting reading. Overall, property values in the St Albans area are 1.2% lower than a year ago as the average property value in St Albans now stands at £597,400.
When I looked at the types of St Albans properties, a slightly different picture appeared:
· St Albans Detached homes dropped 0.6%
· St Albans Semi-Detached homes dropped 0.3%
· St Albans Terraced/Town-House dropped 0.9%
· St Albans Flats/Apartments dropped 2.8%
Meaning the average value for each type of property is:
· St Albans Detached - £913,200
· St Albans Semi-Detached - £632,700
· St Albans Terraced/Town House - £502,100
· St Albans Flats/Apartments - £330,400
Yet, it’s not just prices that are a bell-weather of the property market, we also need to consider transaction levels as well. 1,289 properties were sold in the last year in St Albans, lower than the 10-year average of 1,875 properties per annum.
Considering the uncertainty the country has been through in the last three years with Brexit, I don’t think that’s too bad and shows the underlying resilience of the St Albans property market.
Now looking forward towards the end of the year, how will St Albans house values change under the new Prime Minister?
Buyers seem to be sustaining their preceding activity levels, which is heartening news. It’s quite conceivable that they are presently profiting from the marginally increased numbers of St Albans homes on the market, which not only offers them greater choice, but aids with their negotiations. The suggested Stamp Duty changes made me look at previous Stamp Duty changes in the last decade and their effects have been rather short term.
That means those selling their homes in St Albans need to be realistic with their pricing and, as most sellers also buy a property, what you might lose on your sale you will make up on the purchase.
BoJo, Brexit… to be honest are all short-term distractions from the long-term issues of the UK and St Albans property market and the requirement to build at least 300,000 properties a year in the UK to meet demand. Demand is likely to constantly outstrip supply, meaning irrespective of short-term fluctuations that may (or may not) be caused by domestic and world events, prices will always in the medium to long term remain stable and increase.