A state of indifference has hit the Chelmsford housing market as sellers await the outcome of the general election and stricter mortgage regulation suppresses buyer demand.
This feeling of apathy is mirrored around the UK as Rightmove reported the number of homes registered for sale per estate agent fell to its lowest level for five years in December, with available stock 10 per cent lower than in the same month a year earlier.
Looking at Chelmsford, in the June of 2014, Rightmove had 1487 properties listed for sale. Our research shows that this number plummeted to 1297 properties listed by December 2014 and as we came into January 2015, this figure was marginally less still at 1230 available properties. Whilst the lack of properties coming onto the market in the later months of 2014 in Chelmsford leveled off the increasing prices, traditionally a quiet season for the housing market, property sellers will need to work hard in 2015 to complete a sale.
2015 will be the year of the selective mover as there is going to be competition with New Build vs Re-sale. With big name developers building in Chelmsford and a lot of homes due for release in 2015, buyers will have a choice of a brand new home, with developers offering special deals to attract them in, or of a pre-owned home with no special offers. It is more prevalent now to make sure that if you are trying to sell your home to make sure it is presented to the best of its ability to make it stand out from the crowd.
That might mean the Chelmsford landlords may still be able to bag a bargain. Markets and buyers do not like uncertainty, but savvy buy-to-let landlords know that property investment is a long term game, and irrespective of short term apathy, a reduction in the quality and quantity of stock for homeowners to buy or the election, if people don't buy property, they rent.
In my opinion, the heat is still on in the Chelmsford property market and I anticipate a moderate increase in the transaction volumes compared to 2014. This was displayed in January of this year, where we did almost double the amount of sales compared to an average month in 2014. We're not hedging our bets at the moment though, it could have been a one off, but the level of activity in general intimates that it won't be.
Therefore, if you are considering buying a property for investment in the near future, I am always happy to give you my considered opinion on which property to buy (or not as the case may be) to give you what you want from your investment. My office is located on Duke Street in Chelmsford, if you fancy popping in