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We’re now well into the summer, and we’re finally starting to get some of the hot weather we were used to last year.

Everything seems better in the sunshine, and nowhere is that more true than the property industry.

81.2% of homeowners in the UK expect prices to rise over the remainder of the year, according to Zoopla’s latest Housing Sentiment survey. Positive feelings make a huge difference to the market, as it inspires confidence in both buyers and sellers, so this may well turn out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. The RICS appear to agree with this sentiment, as they expect an improvement in transaction levels nationwide over the next twelve months.

There’s certainly plenty of movement in the market already. Properties listed in July traditionally tend to go under offer after an average of 62 days – faster than any other month save June – and summer positivity plays a key part.

Sellers who have come to the market with us in recent weeks have gone under offer quickly as their properties are looking their best, and buyers are in a positive mood, at this time of year. If you’re looking to do the same, you can read our guide on how to prepare your property to take advantage of the summer market here.

The main headline in the property industry this month relates to the so-called “Leasehold scandal”. A growing number of homeowners are complaining that their leases, sold to them by new-homes developers, contain unfair terms and excessive ground rents.

To tackle this, the government is now proposing a complete ban on selling new houses as leasehold, and the reduction of ground rents to zero. This will certainly help buyers of new homes, but may not be of use to those who have already purchased a property with an unfair lease. For these individuals, compensation programmes have been set up but these have been condemned as inadequate by many campaigners.

The rental market has taken the introduction of the recent Tenant Fees Act 2019 in its stride, and rental growth has remained steady.

Annual rental growth across the UK remains at 1.3% according to the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics. In London, prices have risen by 0.9% in the last month alone, the highest rate since September 2017. This increase is primarily caused by a falling supply of rental property, as potential landlords are discouraged by new legislation and fewer buy-to-let mortgages are being approved.

Consequently, the supply of rental property is unable to keep up with demand, and this situation is showing no sign of abating. If anything, the gap between supply and demand is sure to widen as more tenants come to the market looking to take advantage of the recent legislative changes which have made renting more affordable and transparent.

Following on from this month’s piece about whether or not landlords should furnish their rental properties, recent data shows that around two thirds of the apartments and half of the houses let in London last year were furnished. This proportion is far higher than the national average of 31%, and is likely linked to the fact that many of London’s renters are younger professionals who are yet to acquire their own furniture.

If you would like to discuss the summer property market, and how to make the most of it, you can contact our sales team here and our lettings team here.

This is part of our series of Market Updates. You can read the other 2019 updates here: January - February - March - April - May - June