Saturday, 20 December 2014

Royal Tunbridge Wells Property Prices?

A number of landlords, who own property in Royal Tunbridge Wells, have made contact with me recently asking for my thoughts on the future of the buy to let market in Royal Tunbridge Wells. In previous articles, we have talked about Royal Tunbridge Wells’s history of rents, property values, tenant demand and yields; all important matters for a landlord, but we haven’t discussed the future.

Property values rose by 9.7% (Oct 13 to Oct 14) in Royal Tunbridge Wells. Good news all round, but when you consider property values in the city have previously dropped by 17.8% between February 2008 and April 2009, this is not as good as the media would have you believe.  It should be no great surprise to hear that Royal Tunbridge Wells property values are starting slow up as we head in to the New Year.  Property values in the city were growing at 1.3% a month in the summer months this year, but in October they slowed down considerably.

The reality is we have had a year and a half of decent market conditions in Royal Tunbridge Wells, but now all that pent up demand is starting to fade. The big question moving forward is whether the Royal Tunbridge Wells market will now be held back by affordability and restricted mortgage lending, and what long term impact this will have on the Royal Tunbridge Wells property market.

Looking at the UK as a whole, because we can’t look at Royal Tunbridge Wells in just its little own bubble, the recent rapid rise in house values in some parts of the UK in the early part of the year (especially in London), along with earnings growth that remain below inflation and the possibility of an interest rate rise over the coming months, appear to have tempered housing demand. This weakening in demand has led to a modest easing in both property price growth and sales. A moderation in growth looks likely into next year as supply and demand become increasingly better balanced.

Now with the General Election on the horizon, whichever Government takes power, they, along with the Bank of England, have a thorny job to do in balancing the expected rise in interest rates with the continued resurgence of the housing market, to ensure the property market doesn’t drop and drag down the economic recovery forcing people into selling their property at a loss.

However, back to Royal Tunbridge Wells, long term property values which track peaks and troughs are more helpful to landlord investors. The questions I seem to be asked on an almost daily basis by landlords are:-

·         “Should I sell my property in Royal Tunbridge Wells, or even buy another?”
·         “Is the time right to buy another buy to let property in Royal Tunbridge Wells and if not Royal Tunbridge Wells, where?”
·         “Are there any property bargains out there in Royal Tunbridge Wells?”

Many other Royal Tunbridge Wells landlords, both who are with us and many who are with other  Royal Tunbridge Wells letting agents, like to pop in for a coffee to  discuss the Royal Tunbridge Wells property market, how Royal Tunbridge Wells compares with its closest rivals (Sittingbourne, Maidstone, Rochester and Tonbridge), and hopefully answer the three questions above. I don’t bite, I don’t do hard sell, I will just give you my honest and straight talking opinion.

In the meantime may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2015.

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