Friday, 22 March 2019

Warrington Property Market vs London Property Market




Anyone would think that national news, especially when it comes to talking about the property market, is just focused on London centric. In fact, over the last 5 years, the London property market has really manipulated the UK on averages to such an extent that many lenders like the Halifax and Nationwide publish two indices, a national one without London and one with.

Now it’s true the London property market has undergone some quite acute property price falls. In the upmarket areas of Mayfair and Kensington, the Land Registry have reported values are 11.3% lower than a year ago, yet in the UK as a whole they are 1.3% higher. Yet look around the different areas and regions of the UK and Northern Ireland, property values are up 5.8% year on year, whilst over the same time frame, the East Midlands is 3.9% up and Yorkshire is 3.7% up. So, what exactly is happening locally in Warrington and what should Warrington landlords and homeowners really be concerned about?

Well, to start with, as I have been saying for a while now, property is a long game, and making decisions on the short-term fluctuations is something that could cause a nervous breakdown.

I wanted to look at how Warrington had performed over the long term, when compared to London and the UK as a whole.  Yet it is hard to compare differing locations when the average value of a property in Warrington differs greatly to one in the capital.  I decided if I wanted to compare like for like, I needed to see what would happen if I had spent £100 on property in London in 1979 and what would that £100 be worth today, and then do the same exercise for the UK. So, looking over the last 40 years …

  
See how the growth of that £100 was broadly similar between 1979 and 2007 on all three strands of the graph and then we had the credit crunch drop between late 2007 and 2009? However, after 2009 London went on a different trajectory to the rest of the UK. Whilst Warrington (and the UK) were generally subdued between 2009 and 2012, London kicked on. All areas of the country had a temporary blip in 2012, yet whilst Warrington and the UK went up a gear again 2013, London went into overdrive and up like a rocket!

Now you can see London has dipped slightly in the last year, so the hot question for everyone has to be - are price falls likely to spread (as they did in the previous property recessions of 1989 and 2007) to Warrington and other places in the UK? The Bank of England’s opinion is that a London house price drop is unlikely to be the beginning of a countrywide trend. Looking at the graph again, it can be seen London has been in decline for 2 years, whilst the rest of the country has been moving forward.

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

Well what happens in London does have an impact, but there are other issues that will have a bigger impact on the local property market. The simple fact is over the last 40 years, we have had 392.9% inflation, yet looking at a typical Warrington terraced house...

A Warrington terraced house has jumped in
value from an average of £12,974 to £139,600
since 1979 - a rise of 795.1%

Property has in the long term been a good bet. Yes, we might have some short-term blips and as long as you play the long game - you will always win. In the short term, my concern isn’t over monthly up or down property values, Brexit or another General Election. With property values still rising faster than salaries in many parts of the country, what really matters is how much of householder’s take home pay goes into housing costs as opposed to other spending items. If housing gets too expensive - other things will suffer, like holidays and the nice things in life to spend your money on. Only time will tell!

P.S. Wonder what that Warrington terraced would be worth if it had gone by London house prices? Here’s your answer - £203,172.

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.


Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235338. If you are in the area, feel free to pop into the office – we are based on G5, Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.

Friday, 8 March 2019

How Did Brexit Affect the Warrington Property Market in 2018 – and its Future for 2019?




Whilst chatting with a local landlord a few weeks ago, I suggested property values in Warrington would be between 1.5% and 2.3% different by the end of the year. It might surprise some people that Brexit hasn’t had the effect on the Warrington property market that most feared at the start of 2018.

The basis of this point of view can clearly be seen in the number of property transactions (i.e. the number of property sold) that have taken place locally since 2008. The most recent property recession was the Credit Crunch years of 2008/2009/2010.

In property recessions, the headline most people look at is the average value of property. Yet, as most people that sell also go on to buy, for most home movers, if your property has gone down in value, the one you want to buy has also gone down in value so you are no better or worse off. If you are moving up market - which most people do when they move home - in a repressed market, the gap between what yours is worth and what you will buy gets lower ... meaning you will be better off.

Yet, most property commentators, including myself, suggest (and I have mentioned this before in some of my other blog articles) a better measure of the health of the property market is the transaction numbers (i.e. the number of people selling and buying). So, I decided to look at the 2018 statistics, and compare them with the Credit Crunch years (2008 to 2010) and the boom years (2014 to 2017). The results can be seen in the table below.




Then, I looked at the average quarterly figures for those chosen date ranges ... and created this graph ... 



In that 2008 to 2010 property Credit Crunch recession, the average number of properties sold in the Warrington area was 185 per month. Interesting when we compare that to the boom years of 2014 to 2017, when an average of 284 properties changed hands monthly … yet in the ‘supposed’ doom laden year of 2018, an impressive average of 242 properties changed hands monthly … meaning 2018 compared to the boom years of 2014 to 2017 saw a drop of 14.8% - yet still 30.6% higher than the Credit Crunch years of 2008 to 2010.

The simple fact is the fundamental problems of the Warrington property market are that there haven’t been enough new homes being built since the 1980’s (and I don’t say that lightly with all the new homes sites dotted around the locality). Also, the cost of buying your first home remaining relatively high compared to wages and to add insult to injury, all those issues are armor-plated by the tougher mortgage rules which were introduced in 2014 and the current mortgage market conditions.

It is these issues which will ultimately determine and form the rather unexciting, yet still vital, long term outlook for the Warrington (and national) housing market, as I feel the Brexit issue over the last few years has been the ‘current passing diversion’ for us to worry about. Assuming something can be sorted with Brexit, in the long term property values in Warrington will be constrained by earnings increases with long term house price rises of no more than 2.5% to 4% a year.

Fundamentally, the question I am asked by many Warrington buy to let landlords and Warrington homebuyers is ... “should I wait to buy or not?”

As a Warrington homebuyer, one shouldn’t be thinking of what is happening in Westminster, Brussels, Irish Backstop, China or Trump and more of your own personal circumstances. Do you want to move to get your child in ‘that’ school or do you need an extra bedroom for your third child? For lots of people, the response is a resounding yes - and in fact, I feel many people have held back, so once we know what is finally happening with Brexit and the future of it, there could a be a release of that pent-up demand to move home as people humbly just want to get on with their lives.

There is little to be lost in postponing a house purchase until there is better clarity on the situation. If it isn’t Brexit it will something else - so just get on with your lives and start living. We got through the global financial crisis/Credit Crunch in ‘08/’09, Black Wednesday in ’92 where mortgage interest rates went from 8.5% to 15% in one day, we got through the worst stock market crash with Black Monday in ’87, hyperinflation, power shortages, petrol quadrupling in price in less than a year and a 3 day week in the ‘70’s … need I go on?

Warrington Landlords? Well, where else are you going to invest your money? Like I said earlier in the article, we aren’t building enough homes to keep up with demand ... so as demand outstrips supply, house values will continue to grow. Putting the money in the building society will only get you 1% to 2% if you are lucky. In the short term though, there could be some bargains to be had from shortsighted panicking sellers and in the long term ... well, the same reasons I gave to homeowners also apply to you.

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235338. If you are in the area, feel free to pop into the office – we are based on G5, Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.