As I have mentioned before in my blog, with not enough new-build properties being built in Bicester and the surrounding area to keep up with demand for homes to live in, it’s good to know more Bicester home owners are putting their properties on to the market than a year ago.
At the start of 2007 there were 256 properties for sale in Bicester but by March 2008, when the credit crunch was really beginning to bite, that number had risen to 530 properties on the market at a time when demand was at an all-time low, thus creating an imbalance in the Bicester property market.
Basic economics dictates that if there is too much supply of something and demand is poor, prices will drop. In fact, house prices dropped between 15% and 20% depending on the type of Bicester property between the end of 2007 and Spring 2009.
However, over the last five years, we have seen a steady decrease in supply of properties coming onto the market for sale and steady demand, meaning Bicester property prices have remained robust. A stable housing market is one of the foundations of a successful British economy, as it’s all about getting the healthy balance of buyer demand with a good supply of properties. Nevertheless, if you had asked me a couple of years ago, I would have said we were beginning to see there was in fact NOT enough properties coming on to the market for sale, meaning in certain sectors of the Bicester property market, house prices were overheating because of this lack of supply.
So, having looked at the numbers, it is pleasing to see…
There are 13% more properties for sale in Bicester today than a year ago
There were 340 properties for sale 12 months ago, and today that stands at 383. It doesn’t sound a lot, yet this is a small step in the right direction to a more stable property market.
Even better news, since the Chancellor announced the stamp duty rule changes for first time buyers, my fellow agents in Bicester say that the number of first time buyers registering on estate agent’s books has increased year on year. That is yet to convert into more first time buyers actually buying their first home, however, with the heightened levels of confidence being demonstrated by both Bicester house sellers and potential house buyers, I do foresee the Bicester Property Market will show steady yet sustained improvement during the first half of 2018.
What does this mean for Bicester landlords or those considering dipping their toe into the buy to let market for the first time? Landlords will need to keep improving their properties to ensure they get the best tenants. It is true that demand amongst first time buyers is increasing, albeit from a low base. Even with the new landlord tax rules, buy to let in Bicester still looks a good investment, providing Bicester landlords with a good income at a time of low interest rates and a roller coaster stock market.
If you are thinking of investing in bricks and mortar in Bicester, it is important to do things correctly as making money won’t be as easy as it has been over the last twenty years. With a greater number of properties on the market, comes greater choice. Don’t buy the first thing you see, buy with your head as well as your heart and don’t forget the first rule of Buy To Let Investment. I will share the first rule with you in a couple of weeks!