As one year ends and another begins, we thought we’d take a look at what’s happened in the Leicester market over the last 12 months, and what a year it has been. It’s true that something of a ‘cold front’ has been moving across most of the country, but the strong fundamentals which underpin the Leicester market mean that we’re well placed to weather any storm.

The overall average price of a home in Leicester is now £187,200, which is 6.7 per cent lower than the regional average. Over the last 12 months this has risen by 5.8 per cent compared with a rise of 3.7 per cent in the region as a whole, so the area has outperformed the market in that sense. Since 2000, the average level of house price growth has been 11 per cent per year.

There were 3,277 sales in our area in the last year, compared with 5,642 in the 12 months which preceded it. Comparisons with 2016 need to be handled with care because of the big spike in sales before the stamp duty rise in April. The most common type of property to change hands were semis which accounted for 37.1 per cent of all sales.

The average monthly rent of a property in our area is £470, which is 14.5 per cent lower than the regional average. Rents range between £260 for a room and £820 for a property with four or more bedrooms. We’re waiting to see what happens to rent level because the stamp duty changes made by George Osborne may have put off some ‘casual landlords’ from expanding their portfolios, limiting supply, but the investment opportunities available to serious investors may be too much to resist.

Our expectation for 2018 is that the housing market will represent a fairly stable part of the overall UK economy. Whatever you may hear about Brexit and the financial markets, the property market is just taking its usual course, as one property market cycle ends and another one begins. Mortgage lending is holding up and there’s nothing resembling the credit crunch on the horizon because lending has been fairly sensible and ‘froth’ has not been allowed to build up on local prices.

Given the natural advantages the Leicester property market has, we’re expecting 2018 to be a tremendous year for everyone involved in the housing market - buyers, sellers, landlords and renters alike. If you’re in any of those categories and want some advice on how best to make the property market work for you, please give us a call and we can give you a more complete lowdown on what we expect in 2018.