‘Fundamental shift’ in home owner behaviour means the big opportunity for agents now lies in lettings, claim

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The reason for residential property transactions’ failure to recover to pre-credit crunch levels is down to a “fundamental shift” in home owner behaviour.

And it’s a shift that makes lettings, rather than sales, the major opportunity of the future for agents.

That’s the claim made by Jefferies analyst Anthony Codling during a presentation at the Guild of Property Professionals conference in London last week.

He said: “Transactions almost halved in the credit crunch.

“House prices fell 20% but then started to go back up again.

“Transactions remained significantly below where they were before.

“There’s a simple reason as to why: in my view, there is a fundamental shift in the way home owners behave and I believe it is driven by the age of home owners.”

EYE recently reported that residential transactions in England and Wales fell by nearly 15% last year, according to Land Registry figures.

The latest Price Paid Data from the Land Registry, which details property submitted for registration in December, suggests there were 70,943 residential sales registered in the last month of the year.

This is down from 99,385 in November and takes the total registrations for 2017 for residential property to 850,281.

The number of transactions in 2017 is far fewer than the 1.2m annual sales regularly reported in recent years and well below the 2m transactions a year that were a feature of the housing market in the 1980s.

Meanwhile, English Housing Survey figures show that home ownership has been in decline, peaking at around 71%, falling to 63% now.

Over the same period, the private rented sector has grown from around one in ten people in 1980 to in five last year.

Codling said: “It is easy for me to say because I am an analyst, but I see the private rented sector as the huge opportunity for agents, despite all that we have been learning about tenant fee bans and GDPR and so on.

“It might be a less profitable sector but a much bigger sector in the years to come.

“We saw huge growth in homes from the end of the Second World War, and it wasn’t until 1971 that half the people in the UK were home owners, so home ownership in the UK in the context of history is still a relatively new phenomenon.”

His views were echoed by David Smith in the Sunday Times yesterday.

Examining, among other data, the English Housing Survey, Smith said: “The German model of later home ownership is becoming the norm in Britain.

“The fall in owner-occupation among the 25-34 age group, from 57% to 37%, alongside an increase from 27% to 46% in private renting, is just as stark.”

He continued: “After shrugging off the effects of the crisis, housing activity should be powering ahead and returning to some kind of normality.

“The fact that it is at best flatlining, at worst in a new decline, is worrying.”

 

By NEIL GERRARD – http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/the-big-opportunities-for-agents-are-now-in-lettings-amid-a-fundamental-shift-in-home-owner-behaviour-claim/

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