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February 1, 2021 Market Summary estatetrack

Has Maidstone’s premium market changed in the last 20 years?

Since 2000, we’ve seen a property boom, a credit crunch, a recovery and the rise of the renter, to name but a few of the changes that have shaped the market. The long term effects of Covid and the lockdowns remain to be seen. Seasons come and go, families move in and out, and prices rise faster and slower. But how has the local area housing market changed in the last 20 years?

In Maidstone & Barming, the average price of a mid-market property is £297,000, a 156 per cent increase from the average property price in 2000 – which was £116,000. Meanwhile, the top five per cent most expensive properties in the area start at £0.9m while the top one per cent start at £1.9m. Upwards pressure on pricing has been underpinned by the fair availability of credit, which has kept demand stable and high, whilst supply has been limited by low levels of building.

Low levels of housebuilding is either great news or terrible news based on one’s own situation. For example, if you’re a homeowner with ‘nimby’ tendencies it’s great news because it keeps your house price high without new developments blocking your view. However if you’re a would-be homeowner it provides an insurmountable barrier to getting onto the ladder.

Getting on the property ladder is not as simple as it was 20 years ago. In 2000, the average local house price of £116,000 and stumping up 10% for a mortgage was more easily achievable. Now however, prices have far outstripped earnings so saving for a deposit has become more of a challenge.

In the last two decades, many homeowners have also become buy-to-let landlords to benefit as much as possible from strong capital inflation. In the local area, 7,172 properties are owned by private landlords – the number having increased by 87.5 per cent since 2001. The tax environment has been made less comfortable for accidental landlords, but opportunities abound for serious investors.

While we can’t predict with certainty where the property market will be in the next 20 years (or 20 weeks given the state of things at the moment!), we can only see prices going one way: up. If you’re a current homeowner and are thinking about selling your property, or you’re a buyer interested in finding your next home, please pop into our office for a chat. We’d love to hear from you.

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