The UK market is highly localised and as regional village and country property specialists we are well placed to gauge movement in this area. Our intuition ties in with other professionals and bodies, being that the UK market as a whole is set to improve in 2014 and beyond, and that our region is set to similarly grow in terms of price rises and transaction levels.
There has been a marked increase in first time buyers to the market, prompted by Help to Buy and low interest rates. Local new starts are increasing but there is not enough to satisfy demand, resulting in many first time buyers opting to purchase existing homes and onward demand thus being created in our particular market place.
Mortgage finance remains low and is likely to edge up in the latter part of 2014, if not 2015. This will slow the pace of house price rises. However, the UK housing market ended 2013 strongly with mortgage lending rising by 30% in November, according to industry figures, with total borrowing for the year set to exceed expectations and this will continue into 2014.
Improved sentiment, mortgage availability and rising prices will see more sales holding together and Rightmove predicts a 13% transaction improvement nationally on only a 2% listing increase, while RICS forecasts 1.2m sales across the country in 2014, up from 1.05m in 2013.
Our core patch of South Wiltshire, North Dorset, South Somerset and West Hampshire remains a desirable place to live. This will continue to place pressure on the supply of good family houses and will underpin values. We therefore feel it is likely that we will see price rises in this region of around 4-6% in 2014 with slightly increased listing levels, and completed transactions to still improve further. All around 2014 look to be an exciting year in this neck of the woods.