There's a common misconception that the summer period is the busiest of the year when it comes to property. After all, the sun comes out, homes look at their best, and people are more inclined to get out there and see what's on offer.
However, there are some challenges that mean this is historically not the case. The fact many people go on holiday throughout the summer months and the upheaval this brings in itself, for example, means that even though sales are high in summer, they're not actually at their annual peak. This hgh actually comes about in October in most years, when the kids are settled back into school, there are more homes on the market, and families want to move into their new houses before the busier festive period to come.
So, as the market heads straight into this period and the hive of activity it is about to become, how well is it positioned in 2016 to perform well, and how have the first three quarters of the year set property up to perform in the 12 months ahead?
Quarter one and two
Quarters one and two in 2016 were filled with challenges that the property market had to try to overcome, particularly when it came to the rental market.
In the early part of the year, landlords were hit hard by the news that they would be facing a new three per cent additional Stamp Duty levy on top of their own investment costs when the time comes to buy and expand their portfolios. This meant that many were planning to either buy before the deadline or even back out of the market.
In the second three-month period of the year, of course, the biggest challenge that the market faced came right at the end, when Brits voted to leave the EU. At this point, we were told that demand would drop, investors would look to exit the market, and prices would drop.
However, Quarter three was a new day for the sector, and in the three months since then, much has changed. Here, we take a look at how the market has performed in the third quarter of 2016, and how well it is prepared for the busiest and most active period of the year in the sector.
If there is one word that could describe how the property market has performed in the third quarter of the year, it would be resilience. The challenges were clearly laid out in the early part of the year, and in the second three months of 2016, there was a real air of coming to terms with the challenges that were now on the table. However, the July to September period has been all about overcoming these, and has been characterised by the property sector standing firm against these potential pitfalls and showing that it has the strength to move on strongly.
In the third quarter of 2016, what we've seen happen is that the property market has welcomed back people who perhaps stayed away towards the end of Quarter two. For example, in the rental market, there has been a substantial rise in demand throughout the last three months, and this has helped landlords to realise the potential in their investments, with prices rising in line with demand from tenants nationwide.
In the sales market, there has also been good performance to report in Quarter three. Increased sales numbers and more buyers coming back to the market after a slight Brexit dip has meant that asking prices have climbed above £300,000 once again, and people are once again willing to pay high prices for the properties they want.
And of course, September, and the two months before, have seen the student property market come to life again. It's been strong for the past three years, with almost £12 billion invested in the market in this time, but the fact that so many students are now looking for private accommodation, and the record number of undergraduates taking up places in the UK this year, has meant that student property is now set up for a mammoth year ahead.
Experts are predicting that over the coming year, UK property in the student sector will see returns improve once again, hitting levels of more than six or seven per cent thanks to the real strength and demand that exists in the once niche market. And this is all on the back of Quarter three proving itself to be a very important period for the student sector.
So as we head into Quarter four, and the busiest period of the year, it seems that 2016 is set up quite well for all three key property sectors. In spite of the challenges that came in the early months, the market has shown real strength and fantastic resilience to already start to fight back against these. And towards the end of the year, it's only likely to get even stronger.