2020 VISION Independent Estate Agent David Cantell gives us his view of where the Richmond housing market will go in the year ahead.

January 10th | 2020

By the end of 2019 Jeremy Corbyn had failed to become Prime Minister, Richmond Football Club are top of National League One, and Richmond has been voted London’s happiest place to live for the fifth year running. Not a bad way to start 2020.

Whilst sales prices may have come under pressure this year, Richmond’s housing market has once again proven to be very robust compared with other London Borough’s – particularly those closer to Prime Central London.

Locally buyers have begun to flow back into the market and the lack of supply is causing a log jam, with many sellers only beginning to trickle back so we have a demand imbalance. Both buyers and sellers have found the situation frustrating with sellers holding off as they are not confident of finding somewhere to move to – whether downsizing or upsizing locally. Meanwhile buyers are holding off, as they want to view a number of properties before committing to a purchase. In many cases their searches have taken months’.

Whilst there may well be speculation of a Boris bounce in 2020 for the Richmond sales market, we did not witness this in 2015 when we found ourselves with, a surprise majority government. But we do hope for modest price gains which are sustainable, with a more significant uptick in transaction volumes, as sellers also flow back into the market.

The lettings market saw a spike in prices leading to sealed bids (not seen since 2011), when the Tenant Fees Act came in June, banning lettings agents from charging tenants’ fees –  legislation that was supposed to save tenants money but has ended up costing them money.

We see continued price growth in lettings prices achieved as rising numbers of landlords in the private rented sector continue to exit the market. In part because tax relief on mortgage interest legislation changes is being phased out in April 2020, compounded by the Governments intent to abolish section 21 Notices. This will lead to a shortage of rental properties available.

The combined tenant fee ban, along with lower volumes of sales transactions, may have significantly affected estate agents bottom line, as we have witnessed Winkworths, Gascoigne Pees and more recently Foxton’s, close their branches in Richmond. Others have either culled staffing numbers, or ceased selling properties all together. Despite an uncomfortable market, Cantell and Co have gone from strength to strength, recruiting and growing. We owe a great deal of gratitude to our clients, the wider local community, colleagues and suppliers, without whom, we would not have been able to outperform the market and achieve what we have.

In 2019 Cantell and Co were independently assessed by Rightmove, in association with The Property Academy, as the number one rated sales and lettings branch in Great Britain, out of over 25,000 branches, based on our marketing, service and results. If you have any questions regarding residential property, please feel free to drop us a line, pop into the office, or meet us informally, on the first Wednesday of every month, from 6pm to 8pm in the Red Cow Pub, for our property surgery.

Wishing everyone a healthy and prosperous 2020.

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