Salisbury Property Market – Which Houses are Actually Selling?

Beast from the East, Russia, Facebook, Brexit, Trump, House prices up, House prices down … the Press is full of column inches on Brit’s favourite subjects of politics, scandal, weather and not forgetting (and I appreciate the irony of this!) the property market. As an agent belonging a national group of letting and estate agents, talking to my fellow property professionals from around the UK, the one thing that is immediately apparent is the UK does not have one property market. It is a hodgepodge patchwork (almost like a fly’s eye) of lots of small property markets all performing in different ways.

… And that made me think … is there just one Salisbury Property Market or many?

I like to keep an eye on the property market in Salisbury on a daily basis because it enables me to give the best advice and opinion on what (or not) to buy in Salisbury, be that a buy-to-let property for a Salisbury landlord or an owner occupier house for a home owner.  So, I thought, how could I scientifically split the Salisbury housing market into segments, so I could see which part of the market was performing the best and the worst.

I decided the best way was to split the Salisbury property market into four equal size price bands (into terms of households for sale). Each price band would have around 25% of the property in Salisbury, from the lowest in value (the Lowest Quartile or 25%) all the way through to the highest 25% in terms of value, the Upper Quartile.  Looking at the market, I have calculated that these are the price bands in Salisbury are as follows:

  • Lowest Quartile (lowest 25% in terms of value) … Up to £220,000
  • Lower/Middle Quartile (25% to 50% Quartile in terms of value) … £220,000 to £280,000
  • Middle/Upper Quartile (50% to 75% Quartile in terms of value) … £280,000 to £375,000
  • Upper Quartile (highest 25% in terms of value) … £375,000 Upwards

So, having split the Salisbury Property Market approximately into four equal sizes, the results in terms what price band has sold (subject to contract or stc) the most is quite enlightening –

The best performing price range in Salisbury is the middle market. As I would expect, the upper quartile (the top 25%) is finding things toughest. Interestingly for Salisbury landlords, the lower market is also selling well, meaning there are plenty of Salisbury landlords buying properties to add to their buy to let portfolios. Even though the number of first time buyers did increase in 2017, it was from a low base and the vast majority of 20 something’s cannot buy, so need a roof over their head (hence the need to rent somewhere).

It is a fact that British (and Salisbury’s) housing markets have ridden the storms of Oil crisis in the 1970’s, the 1980’s depression, Black Monday in the 1990’s, and latterly the Credit Crunch together with the various house price crashes of 1973, 1987 and 2008. No matter what happens to us Brexit or anything else … unless the Government starts to build hundreds of thousands extra houses each year, demand will always outstrip supply … so maybe a time for Salisbury landlord investors to bag a bargain?

Want to know where those Salisbury buy to let bargains are?  Follow my Salisbury Property Blog or drop me an email because irrespective of which agent you use, myself or any of the other excellent agents in Salisbury, many local landlords ask me my thoughts, opinion and advice on what (and not) to buy locally … and I wouldn’t want you to miss out on those thoughts … would you?

Gas Lane Salisbury £200,000 BTL deal of the day.

The agent – Jordans is marketing this ‘Conveniently located’ 2 bed property would make a great BTL. Its in a good location being a short walk from the city centre and the station. There’s a low maintenance garden – good for tenants and landlords and the all important off street parking. This property should rent for between £750-800 pcm giving a very respectable yield of 4.5%. Yields appear to be climbing back upwards as rents continue to rise. Contact Jordan to arrange a viewing.

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-72655043.html

30% More Salisbury Home Owners Wanting to Move Than 12 Months Ago

As I have mentioned a number times in my local property market blog, with not enough new-build properties being built in Salisbury and the surrounding area to keep up with demand for homes to live in (be that tenants or homebuyers), it’s good to know more Salisbury home sellers are putting their properties on to the market than a year ago.

At the start of 2007 there were 319 properties for sale in Salisbury but by June 2008, when the credit crunch was really beginning to bite, that number had risen to 481 properties on the market at a time when demand was at an all-time low, thus creating an imbalance in the local property market.

Basic economics dictates that if there is too much supply of something and demand is poor (which it was in the Credit Crunch years of 2008/9) … prices will drop. In fact, house prices dropped between 15% and 20% depending on the type of Salisbury property between the end of 2007 and Spring 2009.

However, over the last five years, we have seen a steady decrease in supply of properties coming onto the market for sale and steady demand, meaning Salisbury property prices have remained robust. A stable housing market is one of the foundations of a successful British economy, as it’s all about getting the healthy balance of buyer demand with a good supply of properties. Nevertheless, if you had asked me a couple of years ago, I would have said we were beginning to see there was in fact NOT enough properties coming on to the market for sale … meaning in certain sectors of the Salisbury property market, house prices were overheating because of this lack of supply.

So, it is pleasing to note, looking at the recent numbers …

There are 30% more properties for sale in Salisbury today than a year ago

There were 184 properties for sale 12 months ago, and today that stands at 239. Definitely a step in the right direction to a more stable property market.

Even better news, since the Chancellor announced the stamp duty rule changes for first time buyers (FTB), my fellow agents in Salisbury say that the number of FTB’s registering on the majority of agent’s books has increased year on year. That has still to follow through into more FTB’s buying their first home, however, with the heightened levels of confidence being demonstrated by both Salisbury house sellers and potential house buyers, I do foresee the Salisbury Property Market will show steady yet sustained improvement during the first half of 2018.

What does this mean for Salisbury landlords or those considering dipping their toe into the buy to let market for the first time? Landlords will need to keep improving their properties to ensure they get the best tenants. It is true that demand amongst FTB’s is increasing, albeit from a low base. Even with the new landlord tax rules, buy to let in Salisbury still looks a good investment, providing Salisbury landlords with a good income at a time of low interest rates and a roller coaster stock market.

If you are thinking of investing in bricks and mortar in Salisbury, it is important to do things correctly as making money won’t be as easy as it has been over the last twenty years. With a greater number of properties on the market .. comes greater choice. Don’t buy the first thing you see, buy with your head as well as your heart … and don’t forget the first rule of Buy To Let Investment …..

I will tell you that 1st rule in a couple of weeks!

Salisbury Apartments are 10.2% more affordable than 10 years ago

My research shows that certain types of Salisbury property are more affordable today than before the 2007 credit crunch.

Roll the clock back to 2007 just before the credit crunch hit which saw Salisbury property values plummet like a lead balloon and the Salisbury property market had reached a peak with the prices for Salisbury property hitting the highest level they had ever reached. Between 2008 and 2010, Salisbury property values lay in the doldrums and only started to rise in 2011, albeit quite slowly to begin with.

Nevertheless, even though property values have now passed those 2007 peaks, my research indicates that Salisbury property, especially flats/apartments, are now more affordable than they were before the 2008 credit crunch.

Back in 2007, the average value of a Salisbury flat/apartment stood at £180,370 and today, it stands at £208,878, a rise of £28,508 or 15.8%.

However, between 2007 and today, we have experienced inflation (as measured by the Government’s Consumer Price Index) of 25.97% meaning that in real spending power terms Salisbury apartments are 10.2% more affordable than in 2007. Looking at it another way, if the average Salisbury apartment (valued at £180,370 in 2007) had risen by 25.97% inflation over those 10 years, today it would be worth £227,212 (instead of the current £208,878).

The point I’m trying to get across is that Salisbury property is more affordable than many people think.  Salisbury first time buyers can get on the ladder as 95% mortgages have been readily available to first-time buyers since 2010.

It really comes down to a choice and if Salisbury first-time buyers can get over the hurdle of saving the 5% deposit for the mortgage on the property – they will be on to a winner, especially with these ultralow mortgage interest rates, a mortgage can be between 10% and 30% cheaper per month than the rental payments on the same house.

So why aren’t Salisbury 20 somethings buying their own home?

Back in the 1960’s and 1970’s, renting was considered the poor man’s choice in Salisbury (and the rest of the Country) a huge stigma was attached to renting. However, over the last 10 years as a country, we have done a complete U-turn in our attitude towards renting – meaning that many people find renting a better option and a lifestyle choice.

Saving the 5% deposit means going without many luxuries in life (such as holidays, every satellite movie and sports channel, socialising or the latest mobile phone – even if only in the short term) therefore instead of saving every last pound to put towards a mortgage deposit Salisbury 20 somethings choose to rent.

There is no denying the simple fact that over the next 10 to 15 years, the people who choose to rent instead of buy in Salisbury will continue to rise.

Therefore, everyone in Salisbury has a responsibility to ensure that an adequate number of quality Salisbury rental properties are safeguarded to meet those future demands. Interestingly, what I have noticed though over the last few years are the expectations of Salisbury tenants on the finish and specification of their Salisbury rental property.

I have perceived that in the past, what a tenant wanted from their Salisbury rental property was moderately unassuming because renting a property was only a short-term choice to fill the gap before jumping on the property ladder. Before the millennium, wood chip wall paper and twenty-year-old kitchen and bathroom suites were considered the norm.

However, Salisbury tenants’ expectations are becoming more discerning as each year goes by.  I have also noticed the length of time a tenant remains in their Salisbury property is becoming longer (and this was backed up recently by stats from a Government Report), although I have noticed a tendency for many Salisbury landlords not to keep the rental payments at the going market rates  – maybe a topic for a future article for my blog?

The bottom line is this … Salisbury landlords will need to be more conscious of tenants needs and wants and consider their financial planning for future enhancements to their Salisbury rental properties over the next five, ten and twenty years –  e.g. decorating, kitchen and bathroom suites etc etc ..

The present-day and future situation of the Salisbury private rental property market is important, and I frequently liaise with Salisbury buy-to-let investors looking to spread their Salisbury rental-portfolios. I also enjoy meeting and working alongside Salisbury first time landlords, to ensure they can navigate through the minefield of rental voids, the important balance of capital growth and yield and ensuring the property is returned back to you in the future in the best possible condition.

3.6% of Salisbury and Wiltshire is Built on … Building Plot Dilemma or Not?

Well the fallout from the recent Budget is still continuing.  I was chatting to a couple of movers and shakers from the Salisbury area the other day, when one said, “There isn’t enough land to build all these 300,000 houses Philip Hammond wants to build each year”.

…and if you read the Daily Mail, you would be forgiven for thinking the Country was at bursting point … or is it?

It was 60 years ago the first satellite was launched (Sputnik). All the Superpowers have used them to take high definition pictures of each other for decades, but now satellites and their high-powered cameras are being used for more peaceful purposes. The European Environment Agency (EEA) have been taking high definition pictures of the UK from outer-space to give us a focused picture of what every corner of the Country really looks like … and the findings will come as a surprise.

As my blog readers know, I always like to ask the important questions relating to the Salisbury property market. If you are a Salisbury landlord or Salisbury homeowner, this knowledge will enable you to make a more considered opinion on your direction and future in the Salisbury property market. Like every aspect of all economic life, it’s all about supply and demand, because over the last twenty or so years, there has been an imbalance in the British (and Salisbury) housing market, with demand outstripping supply, meaning the average value of a property in Wiltshire has risen by 320.06%, taking an average value from £66,300 in 1995 to £278,500 today.

Using the information from the EEA and data crunched by Sheffield University with their Corine-Land Cover project, I posed them a few questions about the local area, interesting questions I would like to share with you …

  1. What proportion of the whole of Wiltshire is built on?  

3.6%

That surprised you, didn’t it! In the study, land classified as ‘urban fabric’ defined has land which has between 50% and 100% of the land surface is built on, (meaning up to a half might be gardens or small parks, but the majority is built on).

  1. How much land is intensively built on locally?

Of that amount mentioned above, how much of it is high-density urban fabric? (i.e. where 80% to 100% is built on – still leaving 20% for gardens)  Less than 0.1%  – again I bet that surprised you!

  1. So how is the land used locally?

Industry                                 0.34%

Sports Facilities                    1.34%

Arable Farmland                  48.77%

…the rest being made up of various other types such as airfields, forests and pastures, etc.

Salisbury and the surrounding areas are greener than you think! In fact, I read that property covers less of the UK than the land revealed when the tide goes out. The assumption that vast bands of our local area have been concreted over doesn’t stand up to inspection. However, the effect of housing undoubtedly spreads beyond its actual footprint, in terms of noise, pollution and roads.

Now I am not suggesting for one second we concrete over every inch of the locality, but the bottom line is we, as a country, are growing at a quicker rate than the households we are building. I appreciate the emotional effect of housing is greater than other land use types because most of us spend the vast majority of our time surrounded by it. As Brits, we live our lives driving along roads, walking on footpaths and working and living in buildings meaning we tend, as a result, to considerably overemphasise how much of it there is.

The bottom line is Salisbury people and the local authorities are going to have to put their weight into building more homes for people to live in. There is going to have to be some give and take on both sides, otherwise house prices will continue to rise exponentially in the future and Salisbury youngster’s won’t be able to buy their own Salisbury home, meaning Salisbury rents and demand for private rented accommodation in Salisbury can (and will) also grow exponentially.