We all like to look back at the past year around the Christmas New Year time and then obviously look ahead to the year ahead, however Tom Roberts of FJP Investment reminisced over the past 12 months of what actually didn’t happen, but we were expecting.
It was the general consensus, that the Conservative Party would win the election with a good hearty majority, what happened, well not that for sure! In European politics we were all geared for right wing leaders in 2017, oops once more the media got it wrong.
In the closing of the year, I looked at the other predictions that we were led to believe were going to happen by the so-called pundits, I have some favourites so allow me to indulge myself:
Letting agent’s fees ban: did it happen – no in a nutshell, it may well happen in 2018 but we were told to expect this in 2017, having been announced with pomp and ceremony in November 2016, and agreed formally by Government after over a year of the consultation process, however as we now well know it has not happened, not that I want to see this in place but what was the hold up, maybe just maybe it will be 2018, let’s wait and see.
On every street corner we hear everything being blamed on Brexit and of course the backlogs are also to be attributed to Brexit, Scotland however have no such problems and it would seem they simply get on with the jobs in hand, unlike England. It would seem Scotland’s agents are already dropping their fees, meaning they have gone ahead without the need of the Government pressures, notice the fact this has not been big news in the media?
So, we were expecting at least 20% of agencies to have gone in 2017, certainly the industry led us to believe this, telling us as many as one in five estate agencies would close their doors, not as we would expect because of a lack of business in this sector but because of the competition from online rivals with little or no overheads.
Don’t get me wrong I don’t underestimate what the traditional high street estate agent has to deal with – pressures of overheads in an industry that is certainly changing, but the dire warnings of mass job losses certainly, thank goodness did not happen.
In fact, one of the more successful of the agents who it would appear have gained a very successful place in this market is Purple Bricks, will other online agents follow, who knows, but the past year has not shown anything of big interest so again let’s wait and see.
House Prices will slump due to Brexit, are we not fed up of hearing about this. It is a continuing saga of our exit from the EU, yes, we have problems within the economy, small businesses suffering even large companies going to the wall, especially in the latter part of 2017, but it hasn’t led to the housing market debacle we were told to expect after the General Election.
Of course, we can’t be naive and deny there are localised issues, estate agents will tell you that trying to sell properties in say Central London are not so easy and ask the rental agents in places such as East Anglia where we all know that was an area popular with migrant workers, who have it would seem, left in droves over the past year. We all heard about how we would have 2 years of double digit falls straight after the Brexit result by those in the “know” but they were as mistaken as the Brexiteers who told us leaving the EU would be simple, well not quite as we all well now know.
No more landlords : I am a landlord and yes I am aware that the implementation by the Government of phasing out of mortgage tax relief is making my buy to let properties not as lucrative as they once were, but it didn’t result in landlords selling their properties to get out of these markets as was predicted, in fact it would seem nothing really has changed for the existing landlord per se, it may well of course discouraged others from entering the buy-to –let market but we didn’t have the mass sell out as was predicted.
OnTheMarket was destined to have become the second largest online portal: unfortunately, like a night out on the tiles and a head ache the following morning it failed to happen, Zoopla is still holding its own as the second largest and indeed has now become a national treasure of sorts.
OTM directors, it would seem look set to be amongst the best-paid in the industry after the Agents’ Mutual 2018 float, however there is no real substantiated data in the market place or anywhere else for that matter with no completion figures in evidence, no membership and fees, and of course site visits information, in fact, quite a bit of smoke and mirrors surrounding actuals at this time.
FJP Investment is a team of investment specialists sourcing a wide range of investment opportunities both in the UK and overseas. Products include the new release of care home investments throughout the United Kingdom.