Jonathan Stephens, managing director of Surrenden Invest, offers his thoughts on what property market trends we can expect over the coming year.
It has been a huge year for the UK buy-to-let market which, unlike most other investment markets, has remained consistent throughout despite a considerable overhaul of the stamp duty thresholds and a shock outcome from the Brexit referendum.
The capital has been outperformed by other regional cities and is no longer considered the only serious option for buy-to-let investors. Birmingham and Manchester have risen to the top of the pile offering far greater yields with levels of capital growth for a fraction of the outlay.
My prediction for 2017 is that we will see more of the same as enthusiasm continues to build around the Northern Powerhouse. I expect more and more investors will turn to Birmingham and Manchester, putting even greater pressure on housing stock. The trick will be to buy in the best areas where demand is at its highest. For both cities that is towards the city centre, especially properties sporting B1, B2 and B3 postcodes for Birmingham and M1, M2 and M3 postcodes for Manchester.
I also see the London market turning a corner in 2017. As new build stock continues to be heavily discounted across the capital, I believe investors will start to see London as good value again.
In short, buy-to-let investors have never had it so good with three major cities offering opportunities to choose from now. With article 50 set to be triggered next spring, bricks and mortar is the safest option, both short and long term, for investors.