Thursday, 26 November 2015

Epsom House owners desert the housing market with an 8 year low

Even though the housing market is in an upbeat state in many parts of the UK, getting on the property ladder is still challenging for many and regarded as unattainable by some. However, that goal has become even worse recently in Epsom as the number of houses available to buy is at an 8 year all time low.

Back in Summer 2008, there were over 1,225 properties for sale in Epsom and since then this has steadily declined year on year, so now there are only 352 for sale in the suburb. This continuing diminishing supply of housing has been happening over those years for a while and there simply aren’t enough properties in Epsom to match demand.

According to a recent report by the National Association of Estate Agents, that said, “There are now 11 house hunters fighting after every available house which isn’t sustainable.” What that means is Epsom youngsters, who are looking to buy their first home, are finding themselves being squeezed out by the competition. However, in the meantime, nobody wants to live with parents until they are in their 30’s, so that in turn creates demand for more rental properties, which means landlords have a greater demand for more rental properties so are buying more, resulting in even less smaller properties for the youngsters to buy; it’s a vicious circle.

Talking to fellow agents, mortgage arrangers, surveyors and solicitors in the suburb, all of whom have extensive dealings in the Epsom property market like myself, most of us agree the movement in the Epsom market is taking place in the middle to upper market, higher up the property ladder and it’s second and third steppers pushing through the properties that are being bought and sold.

That has meant as people tend to move less in the middle to upper market, the number of the properties actually selling has drastically reduced over the last couple of years.

When we look at the individual areas of the suburb, it paints an interesting picture.

  • KT17 - Epsom, Ewell, Stoneleigh - 24 properties sold in May 2015 (with an average value of £498,956), whilst over the Autumn months of 2014, the number of properties selling in this postcode reached into the mid/late 40’s.
  • KT18 - Epsom, Tattenham Corner, Headley, Langley Vale - 24 properties sold in May 2015 (the most recent set of figures from the HM Land Registry), whilst over the Summer months of 2014, the number of properties selling in this postcode was always between 34 and 41 per month. (Interestingly the average value of those properties was £473,141).
  • KT19  - Epsom, West Ewell, Stoneleigh, Horton, Longmead - 34 properties sold in May 2015 (with a average value of £418,541), whilst over the Summer months of 2014, the number of properties selling in this postcode reached into the mid 70’s. 

So what does this all mean for homeowners and landlords alike in Epsom? Demand for Epsom property is good, especially at the lower end of the market. However, with fewer properties coming up for sale, it means property prices are proving reasonably stable too.

You see I believe a more stable, consistent Epsom property market, with less people seeing property as an easy way to make a quick buck (as many did in the early 2000’s when prices were rising at nearly 20% a year so people were buying and selling every other minute), but a property market that has a steady growth of property values in Epsom, year on year, without the massive peaks and troughs we saw in the late 1980’s and mid/late 2000’s might just be the thing that the Epsom property market needs in the long term.

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