Stamford remains a hotspot for buyers

Stamford
Stamford - Credit: shutterstock.com/travellight

Demand for property in Stamford has remained strong in the last twelve months with an 80% rise in transactions over £1million between September 2018 and August 2019, says Savills. This is despite fragile consumer confidence, caused by an uncertain political and economic climate.

This was the message from local and national property experts, who presented analysis of the market to more than 50 local buyers and sellers at the fourth annual Home Truths event at The George Hotel in Stamford earlier this month.

During the period between September 2018 and August 2019, there were 18 property transactions over £1million in Stamford, compared to ten in the 12 months prior (September 2017 to August 2018). Transactions over £400,000 year on year remained consistent, with 172 between September 2018 and August 2019 compared to 171 during the same period the previous year.

James Abbott, head of residential sales at Savills in Stamford and Peterborough, said: “Against a backdrop of political uncertainty, we expected to see a dip in the market this year, but the demand for property in Stamford has continued.

“Stamford continues to be a hotspot for families moving to the area to take advantage of the schools and quality of lifestyle on offer, but we are now also seeing an increase in grandparents moving to the area to be closer to their grandchildren.”

Savills residential research analyst, Faisal Choudhry, is a leading commentator on the UK housing market. Speaking in Stamford, he said that weaker sentiment since the referendum has caused a ‘ripple of caution’ resulting in annual house price growth in the East Midlands falling since before the referendum but remaining more optimistic than other parts of the UK.

Faisal comments: “House price growth in the East Midlands fell to 2.1% in the year to August 2019 compared to 7% in June 2016. However, this is still relatively high when compared with the UK average which was just 1.3% in August 2019 compared to 8.2% before the referendum.

“UK wide transactions have also taken a hit since the referendum, with an 8% drop, from just under 1.3 million three years ago to just under 1.2 million over the last year. While first time buyers have benefitted from an assortment of Government led housing schemes, home movers have had much less help from the Government.

“Mortgaged buy to let investors have been hit the hardest as they’ve had a triple hit of additional stamp duty since April 2016, restricted tax relief on their interest payments and increased mortgage regulation. Cash buyers continue to make up around a third of the market but due to the more discretionary nature of this buyer type, many are deciding to wait until some uncertainty has cleared before committing to a purchase.”

The research also highlighted that Stamford remains one of the fastest growing prime markets in Britain, with values rising annually by 4% during the third quarter of this year.

Faisal Choudhry, says: “During the third quarter of this year, prime properties in Stamford, which are defined as the most desirable properties in the area, saw a 4% rise in values. The Midlands, North of England and Scotland once again outperformed the rest of the country in quarterly house price movements, but Stamford remains one of the fastest growing prime markets in Britain.”

Looking ahead, Faisal gave his predictions on how political and economic decisions could shape the housing market. He adds: “The market is currently driven by sentiment, despite some positive economic indicators, but this will change in the medium to longer term, as economics start to have much more of a bearing. With a General Election taking place next month, we expect the market to continue to be needs-based and price-sensitive. As we have seen in the last year, sensibly-priced property will continue to sell.”

James concludes: “There is still a needs based market out there but sensible pricing is paramount to success. We have seen time and again over the course of this year that quality property at the right price stands to generate positive attention, and often multiple bids.”