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Looking ahead to the New Year

This month property expert David Leake of Housesetc shares the National Association of Estate Agents’ (NAEA) predictions for the property market next year.

After a year of political surprises and economic uncertainty, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) have shared their predictions for the property market in 2017.

• There is unlikely to be extensive house price inflation in 2017 and the number of transactions will remain steady; almost half (43 per cent) of member estate agents expect prices to stay the same.

• As house price inflation stalls, first time buyers (FTBs) should find it easier to enter the market. In October 2016, 32 per cent of total sales made were to FTBs – a nine per cent rise from September and the highest number since records began 16 years ago in 2000. The last time the number of sales to FTBs was at a similar level was in October 2015, when 31 per cent of sales were made to FTBs.

• Encouragingly, almost a third (29 per cent) of NAEA agents think sales to first time buyers will continue to increase in 2017.

• While help for first time buyers is currently focused on new builds, we should now focus on helping them to buy older properties – ‘fixer uppers’ are better value for money in the long term and excellent for local businesses.

• The Government has defined its new house-building targets numerous times but we still haven’t seen a significant increase in the number of properties being built. In 2017, we need to see these promises converted into bricks and mortar for a better housing market for all. Healthy levels ofFTBs will stimulate the market above them, allowing families to move upmarket.

Now you’re fully informed about what next year could hold, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2017.

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