Over the last 12 months, the UK has decided to leave the EU and have a General Election with a result that didn’t go to plan for Mrs May. To add insult to injury, our American friends elected Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. It could be said this should have caused some unnecessary unpredictability into the UK property market.

The reality is that the housing and mortgage market (for the time being) has shown a noteworthy resilience.

Indeed on the back of the Monetary Policy pursued by the Bank of England there has been a notable improvement of macro-economic conditions!

For example:

  • In July it was announced that we are witness to the lowest levels of unemployment for nearly 50 years.
  • UK construction industry built 21% more properties than same time the previous year but there has still been a disproportionate increase in demand for housing, particularly in the most thriving areas of the country.
  • Repossessions are also at an all-time low at 3,985 for the last Quarter (Q1 2017). This has fallen from a high of 29,145 in Q1 2009.

All these things combined has led to the following result…

Property values in Rotherham are
1.58% higher than a year ago

This is according to the Land Registry.

So, what does all this mean for the homeowners and landlords of Rotherham, especially in relation to property prices moving forward?

One vital bellwether of the property market (and property values) is the mortgage market.

The UK mortgage market is worth £961bn which represents over 13.3 million mortgages (interestingly, the UK’s mortgage market is the largest in Europe in terms of amount lent per year and the total value of outstanding loans). Uncertainty causes banks to stop lending – look what happened in the credit crunch and that seriously affects property prices.

Roll the clock back to 2007, and nobody had heard of the term ‘credit crunch’, but now the expression has entered our everyday language.  It took a few months throughout the autumn of 2007, before the crunch started to hit the Rotherham property market, but in late 2007, and for the following year and half, Rotherham property values dropped each month like the notorious heavy lead balloon. In fact…

The credit crunch caused Rotherham
property values to drop by 16.9%

Under the sustained pressure of the Credit Crunch, the Bank of England realised that the UK economy was stalling in the early autumn of 2008. Loan book lending (sub-prime phenomenon) in the US and across the world was the trigger for this pressure. In a bid to stimulate the British economy there were six successive interest rates drops between October 2008 and March 2009 – this resulted in interest rates falling from 5% to 0.5%!

(Data from Denton House Property Research and HM Land Registry)

Thankfully, after a period of stagnation, the Rotherham property market started to recover slowly in 2011 as certainty returned to the economy as a whole and Rotherham property values really took off in 2013 as the economy sped upwards. Fortunately, the ‘fire’ was taken out of the property market in early 2015 (otherwise we could have had another boom and bust scenario like we had in the 1960s, 70s and 80s), with new mortgage lending rules. Throughout 2016, we saw a return to more realistic and stable medium term property price growth. Interestingly, property prices recovered in Rotherham from the post Credit Crunch 2009 dip and are now 12.2% higher than they were in 2009.

Good news for Rotherham homeowners and landlords.

Now in the summer of 2017, with the Conservatives having been re-elected on their slender majority, the Rotherham property market has recouped its composure. In fact, there has been some aggressive competition among mortgage lenders, which has driven mortgage rates down to record lows.

This is good news for Rotherham homeowners and landlords.

Over the last few months a mortgage price war has broken out between lenders, with many slashing the rates on their deals to the lowest they have ever offered.  For example, last month, HSBC launched a 1.69% five-year fixed mortgage!

Interestingly, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the level of mortgage lending had soared to an all-time high in the UK.

In the Rotherham postcodes of SO60 to SO63, SO65 & SO66, if you added up everyone’s mortgage, it would total £1,907,848,696!

Since 1977, the average Bank of England interest rate has been 6.65%, making the current 323 year all time low rate of 0.25% very low indeed. Thankfully, the proportion of borrowers fixing their mortgage rate has gone from 31.52% in the autumn of 2012 to the current 59.3%. If you haven’t fixed – maybe you should follow the majority?

In my modest opinion, especially if things do get a little rocky and uncertainty seeps back in the coming years (and nobody knows what will happen on that front), one thing I know is for certain, interest rates can only go one way from their 300 year ultra 0.25% low level … and that is why I consider it important to highlight this to all the homeowners and landlords of Rotherham.

Maybe, just maybe, you might want to consider taking some advice from a qualified mortgage adviser? There are plenty of them in Rotherham.

I hope you have found this article useful. Please follow me on Twitter and Facebook for the latest information about the Rotherham property market. If you do have any questions or need some advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me!