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Rics New Buyer Enquiries Outpace Housing Inventory, Driving Up 2016 Prices
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With a growing population all of England is awash in house hunters. As prices climb, investors see opportunity in the Capital City and beyond.
What’s in store for house prices in the UK for 2016? A continued rise is most likely, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
While this may be difficult news for would be first-time home buyers - a population of a million households, possibly more - it at least should be sufficient to stimulate investor participation in alternative investment funds such as those that are focused on increasing the housing stock. Demand has not abated for housing in London as well as all of England and Wales and parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland. To build is, in simplest terms, to sell – and achieve asset growth.
RICS reported some slowed growth in house sales going into the fourth quarter of 2015, but also pointed out that the number of properties coming onto the market is slower than sales. This is thought due in part to would-be sellers holding back from putting their existing homes on the market because they are worried about finding suitable housing to buy. A RICS survey found that 40 per cent of respondents felt the biggest factor influencing them was the lack of houses for sale, followed by 12 per cent of survey participants saying that economic uncertainty held them back as well. RICS says that as demand continues to overstretch supply, house prices will continue to rise.
On the plus side, lending stringency has not prevented banks from providing more loans. This in turn increases the number of buyers.
Investors working through capital growth funds are looking to satisfy this market with more building. These financiers seek out housing shortages wherever they might exist to determine where the most profitable land-to-houses conversions can be made. This gambles on getting council approvals, but most funds managers are adept at knowing where local planning authorities will welcome development. With the critical shortage of housing now, those approved plans are more likely.
The Telegraph published a list of places where property investment might find the best values and asset growth (and where alternative funds might also be at work, as London-centric thinking is behind the times for investors). Those places are Truro, Cornwall; North Oxford, Oxfordshire; East Manchester; Shenfield, Essex; Bruton, Somerset; Reigate, Surrey; Norwich, Norfolk; Richmond, North Yorkshire; Biggleswade, Befordshire; Winchester, Hampshire; Sevenoaks, Kent; Henley, Oxfordshire; St Albans, Hertfordshire; Jesmond, Newcastle; Worcester, Worcestershire; Maldenhead, Berkshire; Bosham, West Sussex; Silverstone, Northants; Bristol; and Cambridge, Cambridgeshire.
And the opportunities for making money on housing aren’t limited to those places. The housing shortage will continue for a decade or longer. Capital applied to building homes begins with the acquisition of land, be it greenfield or brownfield. Localism in planning has been successful to some degree, and recent statements from the Cameron Government have made clear that all areas of the country need to plan for growth in housing to match growth in population.
Investors should go about all opportunities in land and other investments with caution. The advice of an independent financial advisor can help individuals and families to navigate the complex choices.
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