Property values in Chelmsford rose by 0.7% in April. This follows some months of slowed activity in the Chelmsford property market in the run up to the Election, putting the average price of a property in Chelmsford at £317,369, 3.5% higher than in March 2014. Despite this conservative rise in March, the figures showed property values in Chelmsford were still higher in the first quarter of 2015 than in the last quarter of 2014.
Interestingly, the Council of Mortgage Lenders and Estate Agent trade bodies over the last few months have reported seeing a fall in mortgage lending and enquiries from prospective homebuyers. This is important because it shows us nationally what is happening, however Chelmsford has experienced a rise in housing market activity in Chelmsford. Data from the Land Registry state that completed house sales in Chelmsford in the three months to January 2015, (the most up-to-date figures available) rose by 8% (compared to the same three month period up to January 2014).
As I have said times before, the population in Chelmsford is growing at a much higher rate than the number of properties being built. This increasing demand for a roof over people's head in Chelmsford, which is outpacing the supply of new houses being built in Chelmsford, is creating a severe imbalance in both the Chelmsford and the rest of the UK housing markets, thus making homeownership an ever increasingly distant dream for many of Chelmsford's potential first time buyers.
In fact, I still maintain the view that house prices are likely to rise by around 3 to 5% in Chelmsford in 2015, even after taking into account the slow start the year. The reason being is that the rise reflects both strong economic conditions and steady market conditions with and, this is the most important factor, very low numbers of properties on the market.
Many Buy to Let landlords know that investing in the Chelmsford property market is a long term strategy of 10, 20 even 30 years. Governments come and go, but unless the powers that be start to build thousands of new properties a year to make up for the shocking lack of supply, we will continue to have problems. Chelmsford people will always want a roof over their head, and irrespective of which party is in power, if there aren't any council houses and they can't, or are unable to buy, a demand for rental properties will always remain.
As my existing Chelmsford landlord clients will testify, whether you manage your property yourself, or another Chelmsford agent manages your properties, everyone is always made to feel welcome when they pop in for a coffee at our offices in Chelmsford to discuss anything to do with the Chelmsford property market, and how Chelmsford compares with its closest rival towns. I don't bite, I don't do hard sell, I will just give you my honest and straight talking opinion.