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Local Life - Wigan - March 2018

Wigan's FREE local lifestyle magazine.

32 The Council of

32 The Council of Mortgage Lenders expects the number of buy to let mortgages to drop by 34% from levels seen in 2015. This is because of taxes being increased recently on buy-to-let and harder lending criteria for buy-to-let mortgages, which means I foresee a gradual move in the balance of power in favour of first-time buyers rather than buyto-let landlords. First time buyers will also be helped by The Chancellor eradicating Stamp Duty for all properties up to £300,000 bought by first-time buyers in the recent budget. Put all these factors together and 2018 could be a good year for first time buyers to take their first step on the housing ladder. The year ahead... It shouldn’t surprise you that Wigan property values are 3.2% higher than a year ago. Mortgages are cheap, Wigan has a low unemployment rate of 4.4% and the number of properties for sale in the town has remained limited. However, moving into 2018, there will be greater pressures on people’s incomes as inflation starts to eat into real wage packet growth, which will be a strain on consumer confidence. In terms of what will happen to Wigan property values in the next 12 months, a lot will be contingent on the type of Brexit we have and the impact on the whole of the UK economy. The Central London property market will be under scrutiny in the coming year, and if the banking and finance sectors are negatively affected with a poor Brexit deal, then the London market is likely to see more of an impact. Over the last 8 years, the Central London property market has been in a world of its own with an 89.6% increase, so we might see a heavy correction in house prices in that area. Although Wigan homeowners and Wigan landlords should be aware of what happens in the rollercoaster housing market of Central London, they shouldn’t panic if prices drop suddenly there in 2018. At least we have the Brexit divorce settlement sorted and, as the UK economy and the UK housing market are intertwined, it all depends on how we deal as a country with the Brexit issue. However, we have been through the global financial crisis and emerged reasonably intact ... I am sure we can get through this together as well. Oh, and house prices in Wigan over the next 12 months? I believe they will end up between 0.5% lower and 1% higher, although it will probably be a bumpy ride to get to those sorts of figures. For more of Alan’s tips, guidance and analysis on the Wigan property market, check out www.wiganpropertynews.blogspot.co.uk

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