After the shock of the Conservatives returning to power with a majority at Westminster, all the potential issues and possible uncertainties of a hung parliament has lifted the cloud from the Epsom property market. Talking to other Epsom agents, surveyors and solicitors in the area over the last few days, there are signs this has started a new impetus in the Epsom property market after a subdued six months, when an amalgamation of tougher lending conditions, a natural correction after the strong recovery in Epsom property prices in 2014, and political uncertainty ahead of the General Election slowed demand.
Against the back drop of Labour’s election promises of rent controls and three year tenancies, some
Epsom buy to let landlords were waiting to see how these new policies would be implemented
before they committed themselves to buying more property for their buy to let portfolio. Now that
uncertainty has been removed, the long term picture is very positive.
So, with all that uncertainty now removed, where next for the Epsom property market? Well with
inflation at zero and with the Money markets happy David Cameron is still at No.10, the Bank of
England have no reason to raise interest rates until 2016 at the earliest. As mortgage rates are at
their lowest levels since 2010, landlords with large deposits will now be wooed by the mortgage
companies in the coming months with low rates.
You see over the past couple of years, Epsom landlords have benefitted from a booming Epsom job
market. Unemployment in Epsom has dropped to 0.8%, as a year ago, 674 people were claiming
unemployment benefit compared to today’s 410. With more jobs and better pay, as the level of
rents is directly linked to tenant’s wages, there has been an increase in the rental prices tenants are
willing to pay for good quality Epsom properties.
Some landlords might be nervous about the Tory’s plans for the housing market over the next five
years in terms of tenant demand for their rental properties. One plan is for Housing Association
tenants to have the right to buy their property. These kind of tenants were never in the private
rented sector and will actually increase the supply of properties in the housing stock in decades to
come. The Government ‘Help to Buy Scheme’ has only helped to buy 67 (yes only sixty seven) Epsom
properties since April 2013. Considering 1,489 properties have changed hands in the last year alone
in Epsom and Ewell, I don’t think it has made a huge difference to our local property market.
The biggest matter, when it comes to tenant demand of rental property going forward, comes from
the shift in the mindset and attitudes towards renting itself. Twenty years ago you were seen as a
second class citizen if you rented a property. In Epsom, as in the rest of the UK (apart from Central
London), renting continues to offer good value for money for tenants. If you are an existing landlord
in Epsom or thinking of becoming one, then I must suggest you seek out specialist advice and
opinion. Like many agents in Epsom, we will happily give you our opinion on the current state of the
market and the advantages/disadvantages to investing in the Epsom property market if you pop into
our offices. However, if time is at a premium, another source of information on the Epsom Property
Market is this blog or you can always email Ian at