Ashford Property Market Update – Summer 2019

The foundations of the Ashford Property Market over the summer have continued to be principally sound – yet the existing political climate means that critical element of consumer confidence has reduced which is perhaps triggering some potential Ashford property buyers and sellers to falter slightly and hang fire on making any firm decisions on property.

With record low interest rates at 0.75%, unemployment rates of just 3.8%, and decent mortgage availability (even those with low deposits – there were 224 mortgage deals available on the day of writing this article where only a 5% deposit was required and 5 main stream lenders that would offer 100% no deposit mortgages), Ashford buyers have a lot going in their favour, aside from the perceived political uncertainty. 

Interestingly, Rightmove have stated there are more properties for sale today in the Country, than at any time since 2016, and Ashford follows that trend. Even with that in mind, property values have remained reasonably stable as The Land Registry has just released its House Price Index for Ashford and the surrounding locality and it makes very interesting reading.

Overall, property values in the Ashford area are 2.3% higher than a year ago as the average property value in Ashford now stands at £337,400.

When I looked at the types of Ashford properties, though, a slightly different picture appeared ..

  • Ashford Detached homes rose by 2.7%
  • Ashford Semi-detached homes rose by 2.9%
  • Ashford Terraced/Town-House rose by 2.3%
  • Ashford Flats/Apartments rose by 0.3%

and average Ashford prices for the types of property ..

  • Ashford Detached £503,000
  • Ashford Semi-Detached £288,800
  • Ashford Terraced/Town-House £240,900
  • Ashford Flats/Apartments £163,000

Yet, Ashford Property News readers will know I always like to measure the health of the Ashford property market not only by house prices but transaction levels as well ..

1,520 properties were sold in the last year in Ashford, lower than the 10-year average of 1,809 properties per annum

Considering the uncertainty the Country has been through in the last three years with the ‘B -word’ issue, I don’t think that’s too bad and shows the underlying resilience of the Ashford property market.

Now looking forward towards the end of the year: how will Ashford property values change under a new Prime Minister?

Ashford buy-to-let landlords and Ashford first-time buyers seem to be sustaining their activity levels, which is heartening news. It’s quite conceivable that both cohorts are presently profiting from the marginally increased numbers of Ashford homes on the market, which not only offers them greater choice, but aids with their negotiations. The suggested Stamp Duty changes have made me look at previous Stamp Duty changes in the last decade to find their effects have been rather short term.

That means those selling homes in Ashford need to be realistic on pricing, and, as most sellers also buy a property, what you might lose on your sale you will doubtless make up on the purchase. 

For landlords, of course, the present situation should be looked upon as a buying opportunity – particularly if the market does take a downturn (when there’s blood in the streets…)

BoJo, Brexit … to be honest these are all short-term minor distractions from the real long-term issues of the UK and Ashford property market.

Until we start building at least 300,000 properties a year to meet the demand for UK property, demand will continue to outstrip supply, meaning irrespective of short-term fluctuations that may (or may not) be caused by domestic and world events (including the B-word), prices will, over the medium to long term, remain stable and increase.