30 years of selling homes locally

February 24, 2022

Our MD, Stephen Tetlow, has been with Mackenzie Smith since the start, so who better to share the story of the local property market conditions over the last 30 years?

“Whilst the desire and aspiration to buy a first or bigger home hasn’t changed in the last 30 years, many of the fundamentals around doing so certainly have.

Back in 1992, whilst it wasn’t uncommon to secure a 95% or even 100% mortgage, with the base rate hitting a phenomenal 12%, the average house price in the UK was considerably lower than it is today.

Moving to relocate continues to bring new residents into the local area, as it has done for many years, but equally, this has caused some residents to leave, but invariably it historically meant you had to sell your existing property, whereas today the option of retaining your home and letting it out is much more widely considered as a viable option.

Being near the right schools continues to influence families' plans to relocate, but 30 years ago the availability of school places meant that ‘catchment areas’ were not necessarily as important a consideration as they are today, so the pressure to move to a specific area or location was not as inflexible as it is today.

The decision as to when to move home was often geared around the peak periods of the year, which were considered to be either spring, followed by the late summer / early Autumn when the children had gone back to school, but nowadays I would suggest that with the freedom and speed of information, the housing market is more a 12-month cycle, still with some peaks and troughs but far less high and low points.

Having grown in popularity due to the improvement in design, construction and efficiency, New Build homes continue to meet the needs of busy and growing families, and whilst many of the more recent large scale developments are designed to be the communities of the future, the fact that the Government has, in recent years, provided funding benefits through the popular Help to Buy scheme, the pressure to build more new homes will remain consistent, if only because we live in an age where the demands of modern life create a need for low maintenance housing.

The price of property continues to be a topic of conversation at every coffee morning or dinner party, it’s a point of discussion that remains ever interesting with the prospect of moving continuing to be aspirational. The last 18 months have shown that when homeowners reassess their lifestyles and financial incentives like the stamp duty holiday are provided, the housing market can and will escalate very quickly, particularly if fuelled by an imbalance between supply and demand as we have experienced over the last year or so. With recent reports claiming that the average house price rose close to 8% in 2021, it would appear right that this growth will continue in the foreseeable future, albeit possibly not at the same rate.

I have no doubt that many of my past and present clients will continue to ask the question as to what the future holds. Will the value of their home go up or down? What I know to be true is that owning your own home will always be an ambition for those that are fortunate to be able to do so, and whilst every effort is being directed at building new homes to meet the demand of our society, just as in the last 30 years, prices will go up and down but ultimately rise in the long term.

Property continues to be a sound investment.”

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