South London Regional Meetings

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Rachel Hanniquet-Brooking

February 2017

So a happy new year? Well, a qualified yes. Conditions in the economy and the housing markets could be an awful lot worse. Monetary policy pursued by the Bank of England has eased the cost and availability of finance and has undoubtedly helped to support the economy through the latest shocks. But in addition, the new Chancellor has taken the opportunity to move a little further away from the severe austerity policies of his predecessor. Money has yet to be spent, but more infrastructure investment and a loosening of the belt buckle will help the economy to perform through these highly uncertain times, which is good for the housing market.

What lies ahead? This year we will see the anticipated consultation on lettings agents’ fees and I am sure a new set of directives to keep us on our toes. At my meetings this year it has been great to meet so many members and I’ve had feedback from agents saying how valuable they find the meetings. They have the chance to ask questions and get clarity on many aspects of change such as right to rent, smoke alarms and Section 21.

Many of the economic risks set to affect the housing market could support the growth of the private rented sector, and heightened uncertainty in the sales market will likely mean more first-time buyers move to renting. Additional regulations for landlords and the ongoing effect of the 3 per cent Stamp Duty surcharge will further subdue the buy-to-let market, but yields are still proving attractive in South London and it’s a popular destination for everyone from first-time renters to families. Our rental prices are usually closely tied to wages and unemployment, but increased demand from tenants will provide some support for rental growth rates in the majority of my region.We will also see the Night Tube and enhanced cycle routes adding further attraction for time-poor occupants.

I am never one for a quiet year and look forward to seeing you all at ARLA Conference or my meetings over the coming months. I will be working hard to bring you interesting content and ensuring your voices are heard.

Rachel Hanniquet Brooking MARLA
ARLA Propertymark Regional Representative