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Looking Back on 2019 and Our Property Predictions for 2020

Leicester lettings

As 2020 is creeping upon us, there’s no better time than the present to look back on 2019 and what it has offered us. Not only have there been numerous Brexit predictions on the housing market, but we have also been introduced to many new and innovative property technologies too. There has inevitably been a lot of talk on house prices fluctuating this year also.

As we look back on the changes that have taken place in 2019 in the property sector, it poses the apparent question; what trends can we predict for 2020?

Property Tech

We’ve seen some incredible property technologies introduced on the market this year, which have revolutionised the way we live day-to-day. From the latest Amazon Echo Show 8 to the advanced remote control Logitech Harmony Echo, which even lets you control your Phillips Hue light bulbs around the home. Smart thermostats (such as Hive and Nest) mean that your heating can be adjusted at the switch of a button or a simpler verbal command through Amazon Alexa.

One of our favourite property technologies from this year has to be the August Home Smart Lock Pro. With the Smart Lock, you can control, monitor, lock and unlock your door from anywhere. You can also control keyless access and track who is coming and going with the 24/7 activity feed, all from your mobile phone. 

With every piece of technology introduced in the past year or so now coming into the modern age, they have become a standard way of life for many of us whilst we live in an era of smart home technology. 

Rahul Jain, Property Sales and Letting Director of Open House, says “The technology we have seen over the past year or so has provided homeowners with security, energy efficiency and most of all, convenience. Integration is the foundation of smart home technology, and in 2020, we look forward to a brand new era and decade of incredible property technology to transform everyday tasks to something much simpler.”

Brexit, Brexit, Brexit!

With Brexit being one of the most spoken topics of conversation around the UK in the last three and a half years, many of us are uncertain how it will affect the property market. Whilst we don’t know if it will have a positive or negative impact until after we leave the European Union, one thing we can be sure of is that Brexit will make an immense impact.

Studies conducted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors suggests that Britain is now one of the top hotspots for UK and overseas property investors. There has been tremendous fear from UK property investors that Brexit will push away overseas buyers, however, the UK housing market has been considered a ‘goldmine’ for wealthy foreign buyers. Since the fateful Brexit vote in June 2016, property valuations have remained sensible which has welcomed investors, developers and lenders alike, making it a great opportunity for overseas investors to start investing in UK property.

Rahul said “Now that we are almost certainly going ahead with leaving the European Union in early 2020, there’s an essence of unpredictability and uncertainty in the air as to how the economy will be affected. The reality is, only once we leave the EU will we truly feel the economic impact. This also depends entirely on the trade agreements that Boris Johnson is able to negotiate.”

House Prices

The property market has remained fairly steady over the past year, with a rise of 0.8% throughout the UK and a small average increase of 2% in Leicestershire. According to GOV.UK, 2019 has been a record year for building new homes. In fact, over 170,000 homes were completed by developers (in the year ending June 2019) which have been the highest number of homes built in 11 years. There are further plans to build around 1.5 million new homes in the UK by 2022 – but how will this affect house prices?

A recent article released by The Guardian stated that house prices are expected to rise by an average of 2% in 2020, although studies show that houses in northern regions are expected to perform stronger than houses situated further south, where they are expected to gently fluctuate, making 2020 the perfect time to buy property in Leicester.

Rahul also added “Whilst the expected increase in house prices is wonderful for those working in property development and real estate, home buyers are certain to feel the pressure as house prices continue to rise faster than the minimum wage. For first-time-buyers especially, we strongly advise setting up a Lifetime ISA, which you can transfer money to each month and receive a 25% bonus to your savings from the government, to go towards your first home.”

Landlords and Renting

In 2019, landlords have seen new legislation introduced in the form of the Tenant Fees Act 2019, which puts a ban on new tenant fees. This meant that landlords can no longer charge tenants for anything other than rent, deposits (including holding deposit), damages, key replacement costs, damages, arrears and any utilities that are included in the contract.

For landlords, 2019 has been a steady and positive year. Rental prices paid by tenants in the UK rose by around 1.3% this year. Whilst this isn’t a big increase, it means that the average landlord could make an additional profit of £130 per annum. With the increase in property prices, renting has become the preferred option.

In 2020, we might expect to see a transferable deposit scheme, meaning that a tenant deposit can be transferred from the previous landlord to the new landlord. This is also referred to as ‘deposit passporting’ and benefits tenants as they may no longer need to save up around £1,000 each time they move from one rental to another.

A Summary of 2019…

In summary, 2019 has been a very positive year in relation to property tech and house prices. For landlords and overseas investors, research suggests that 2020 is the ideal time to invest, particularly as it seems like Brexit will make a positive impact on the housing market.

If you’re looking to buy or let your property, Open House Leicester can help you. Not only do we offer quality property valuation in Leicester, but we can also get your property on some of the best property listings in the UK to ensure the successful advertisement of your property.

Simply get in touch with us here at Open House to see how we can help you with your Leicester lettings. With years of experience in the letting industry and knowledge on the Leicester market, we can help you advertise your rental property to thousands of potential tenants. Just get in touch with us today to discuss your needs.

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