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East Grinstead property values are currently 0.4% higher than at the end of 2017, notwithstanding the uncertainty and threats over the potential impact of Brexit in 2019. This has exceeded all the predictions (aka guesses) of all the City of London economists, in an astonishing sign of strength for the local East Grinstead and wider national economy. 

Nevertheless, the statistics from the Land Registry come after a lethargic year for the number of properties in East Grinstead compared to the actual prices achieved for those properties.  All this against a framework of amplified political ambiguity and ensuing years of rising East Grinstead property values that have reduced the affordability of homes in the locality.

 

The average value of an East Grinstead property today, currently stands at £446,200

 

Looking in finer detail, it isn’t a surprise that 444 property sales in East Grinstead over the last 12 months is somewhat lower than the long-term average over the last 20 years of 624 property sales per year in East Grinstead as the long-term trend of people moving less has meant a decline in the number of property transactions.

I believe locally, East Grinstead property value growth will be more reserved in 2019 after two decades of weaker wage rises. One of main drivers in the demand (and thus the price people are prepared to pay for a home) is the growth of peoples wage packets. Interestingly, wage inflation over the last six months has risen from 2.4% in the late summer to its current level of 3.3% (which is higher than the average since the Millennium, which has been a modest 2.1%). One of the reasons why wages are growing in the short term is the unemployment rate in the country currently only stands at 4.1%, continuing to stay close to its lowest level since the 1970’s.

However, even though East Grinstead salaries and wages are rising comparatively higher than they were last year, looking over the long term, East Grinstead property values are 125.01% higher than they were in January 2002, yet average salaries are only 76.1% higher over the same time frame. This means over the last few years, with average property values so high comparative to salary/wages, many East Grinstead potential buyers have been priced out of being able to purchase their first home.

At first glance, these stats are actually rather positive during this reported time of political uncertainty and the height of Brexit commotion ... because I genuinely believe that to be the case. The press have always looked for the bad news (well they do say it is that that sells newspapers), and whilst I am not entering into the pros and cons of Brexit itself, the numbers do stack up quite well since the Brexit vote took place nearly 3 years ago.

Moving forward, when taken with the recent reduction in short to medium term number of property transactions (i.e. the number of East Grinstead properties sold), it should be noted that a lot of the this buoyant house price increase has a lot more to do with a shortage of properties on the market rather than an uplift in the East Grinstead housing market generally.

And we can’t forget that East Grinstead isn’t in its own little bubble, as there are noteworthy differences across the UK in property value inflation. House prices in London and the South East have hardly risen or even fallen in some places, whilst in the Midlands, North and other parts of the country they have generally increased. 

Looking forward, I would say to the homeowners and buy to let landlords of the locality that I expect East Grinstead house price growth to remain stable between 0.1% and 0.8% by the end of this year (although they could dip slightly during the summer) ... as long as nothing unexpected happens in the world economically or politically of course.

Kate Boyes FARLA MRICS

Group Director

Kate has been letting and managing property for 15 years, having established Alexandre Boyes Residential Lettings in 2003 and Alexandre Boyes Estate & Block Management in 2007. Kate is fiercely proud of the reputation both teams have in Tunbridge Wells & East Grinstead. Kate launched a national product, Resident, in August 2014 being an online property management software that is now utilised by Alexandre Boyes clients enabling them to log in and transparently view information on their blocks of flats and estates.

Kate has a first class honours degree in Land Management from the University of Reading specializing in Investment & Finance, and trained at Nelson Bakewell (now Capita Symonds), a Property Consultancy, in London. She qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 2004, and is a Fellow of ARLA. She became a Board member of ARLA in June 2015, representing Kent, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk & Cambridgeshire.

"Our aim over the last 20 years has been to develop Alexandre Boyes into the 'go to' local agent, the alternative choice to the major brands. Contemporary, fresh marketing combined with genuine traditional values and service, and most importantly in depth local as well as professional knowledge make us the obvious choice."

Kate's role at Alexandre Boyes lettings focuses on valuations and new business, procedures & policies, and marketing. In block management she advises on new business, and oversees policy and procedures internally. When she isn't working (which is not very often!) she can be found enjoying a glass of wine at Sankeys or spending time with her three children at home in Sussex.