As I look towards this year, I am sure that my thoughts are the same as many within the industry.
I am not completely sure what to expect, however I am confident that it will be a more consistent year compared to the previous few.
December saw the strongest growth of 2019, even with the general election, so I expect to see this filter through into the start of 2020.
There is an exceptional amount of pent-up demand in the market which has the potential to drive the market throughout the start of this year. Some experts believe that there may be an initial property boom, however I believe that if this does occur that it may be short lived in quarter one.
Despite the current outlook being the clearest it has been in years, there are still details to be confirmed regarding the UK’s exit from the EU, as well as any potential economic and housing changes that the government could look at reviewing. Because of this, RICS is predicting just a 2% growth.
The lettings market also looks like it will face more legislation changes this year, with the first major change having already been announced; compulsory electrical testing will come into play.
Subject to approval by the Houses of Parliament, both landlords and agents will need to ensure electrical installation inspections and testing are carried out for all new tenancies in England from 1 July 2020 or from 1 April 2021 for existing tenancies.
There are also proposed legislation changes for lettings regarding CO2 alarms, changes to EPC legislation, money laundering changes and the potential Section 21 abolishment.
In general it is likely that the demand for rental properties will to continue to rise, and tenants will continue to look to stay in properties for a longer period of time. I imagine that the average rental period will increase throughout the year.
Rents are currently at an all-time high, however this increase is not expected to slow down. It’s predicted that by the end of this year rents will rise again.
One area that will be key to agent success this year will be changes and advances in technology. New technology will be key in creating efficiencies and, of course, providing the customer with the best level of service and the most suitable outcome.
Despite the potential for another year of uncertainty within the property market I think that there is a real opportunity for progress within the industry in 2020.
Individuals and businesses alike are likely to be able to make more decisions and plans for the future, which can only be beneficial in moving the industry forward.
*Ellie Donaghy is head of lettings at Andrews Property Group