Now the festivities are over and people are well and truly fed up with mince pies and turkey (until next year, at least!), sellers will want to get back up to date with all the latest news from the property industry.
Things might quieten down over Christmas, but there is often a surge of activity in the first few months of the new year. January is nearly always Rightmove’s busiest month, while buyers who have browsed for property during their time off (an increasingly popular pastime, according to various reports) will now look to act decisively.
As such, sellers are well-advised to remain on the ball about the local and national markets, as well as tips on what buyers are looking for.
To help sellers out we do a round up every month of stories that might be of interest.
Here’s what’s been going on over the past few weeks…
Prices to soar, home ownership to fall
The National Association of Estate Agents, more commonly known simply as the NAEA, predicted in December that house prices will rise by 50% in the next decade.
Its findings, conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), show that average house prices will reach £419,000 by 2025, a massive leap from the current average asking price of roughly £280,000. And it predicts an even bigger change for London, where average house prices are expected to practically double, jumping from £515,000 to £931,000.
By contrast, home ownership rates are set to fall over the next ten years. Approximately 62% of the working population currently own their own home, the NAEA report expects this to fall to around 55% by 2025.
'Official' house price index to be launched
By June next year a single, definitive government house price index will have been launched. The Office of National Statistics, which held a consultation process between October and December last year, said the mid-2016 deadline would still be met, despite a few hiccups and delays along the way.
The body has been working for a number of years alongside the Land Registry, Land & Property Services Northern Ireland and the Registers of Scotland on producing a single unified ‘official’ government index for the whole of the UK.
Currently, there are a range of public and private-sector house price indexes, from ones produced by the ONS and the Land Registry to ones produced by Nationwide, Rightmove, Halifax and Zoopla.
Zoopla’s Christmas drive
As we all know, the property portals grow significantly each year as the number of people who search for property online continues its meteoric rise. Zoopla, in a bid to keep pace with Rightmove over the festive period, launched its largest ever national marketing campaign on Boxing Day.
You might have seen the television advert already, part of a campaign called Knowing More. As well as TV adverts, it also includes national radio and “out of home” advertising. Zoopla predicts that around 91% of the UK will bear witness to a Zoopla TV ad on average 37 times during the Knowing More campaign.
From Boxing Day the ads have been airing in some of the most lucrative spots – including before, during and after Coronation Street, Gogglebox, Downton Abbey and Sky’s Premier League football coverage.
Zoopla’s marketing officer Gareth Helm says the campaign will stand out from the competition, with the portal aiming to return to TV with a “big-bang” during what is traditionally one of the busiest times for both the property market and TV viewing.
Helm added that the Knowing More campaign will “drive more visits to Zoopla, increase brand exposure for our members and ultimately generate more leads for agents listing on Zoopla.”
Visits, visits, visits
Not to be outdone, those at Rightmove also have every reason to beat their chest at the minute. The portal revealed that it received an average of 110 million visits per month in 2015, making it the UK’s most viewed property portal by some margin.
January is usually Rightmove’s busiest month, but sellers should now expect the surge in interest post-Christmas to last until at least March. Rightmove tends to get very busy over the Christmas period – with people using their time off work to search for their dream home. The serious stuff then happens in the first few months of the new year, with buyers acting on this initial interest and following through with actual viewings and offers.
Sellers, then, should see the first few months of 2016 as the ideal moment to bring their home to market. It is likely to be seen by record numbers at this time of the year.
And finally…we couldn’t leave 2015 behind without mentioning house prices. We go into more depth about what the next year holds for house prices in our blog here, but as for 2015 – well, Newham in east London saw the biggest increase in house prices among major UK towns and cities over the past year. According to Halifax data, the average price there grew by 22%, up from £261,399 in 2014 to £319,522 in 2015.
Furthermore, house prices ended 2015 with strong growth of 0.8%, according to the latest Nationwide House Price Index. This means the average property price in the UK is now £196,999, a rise of 4.5% over the last 12 months. London, unsurprisingly, was the strongest performing region for the fifth year in a row, with prices in the capital rising by 12% in the last year.
It would also appear that detached houses were the order of the day in 2015, with Zoopla revealing that all but one of its top 10 most viewed homes were detached properties.