2016 was not the best in recent history— conflict horrors in Syria and Iraq and the resulting migrant crises; earthquakes, human casualties and destruction of communities in central Italy and New Zealand; the Brexit referendum uncertainties and Trump winning the White House; world of entertainment losses; Wogan, Rickman, Prince and Bowie to name just four. It feels like the whole world shifted ever so slightly on its axis.
But it wasn’t all bad news; Sir Andy Murray took Wimbledon again and became world number one; Queen and country celebrated in spectacular style her 90th birthday; Team GB were awesome at the Rio Olympics; Major Tim Peake’s successful mission to the International Space Station; conservation successes in India, Russia and Nepal resulting in significant increases in tiger numbers for the first time in a century; Pokemon Go got everyone outside and walking more; the US and China ratified the Paris Climate Treaty; Juno went into orbit around Jupiter; Prince Harry found himself a girlfriend and Nestlé announced a revolutionary discovery so that it uses 40% less sugar on chocolate without changing the taste!
What could 2017 possibly hold for us after such turbulence? Well, according to Nostradamus, China could make bold moves to cure the “economic imbalance” in the world with far-reaching effects; Italy could face financial hardship making it the “epicentre” of a fresh Eurozone crisis; the US is expected to become increasingly ungovernable and incompetent under Trump; a new truce will break out between Russia and Ukraine; there will be a “Hot War” over global warming and diminishing resources; and, in technology, Nostradamus predicted that cloud computing would simply become known as computing, solar power would become more widespread, and commercial space travel would take off with orbital flights around the Earth.
In the UK property orbit (my world as part of the Index network), generally the market has outperformed very low expectations since the shock Brexit referendum and resulting economic uncertainty. ‘Hipster’ pockets are enjoying better times than other parts of the country; the top six hotspots are Dalston, Shoreditch, Stratford, Stockwell, Stoke Newington and Tooting in London, where prices have increase by more than 50% in five years. Elsewhere, Montpelier in Bristol, previously dubbed one of the ‘coolest’ places to live in Britain, has seen property price growth of nearly 40%; the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham has experienced rises of 31%, Chorlton in Manchester and Headingly in Leeds of 28% and Ecclesall Road in Sheffield of 25% over the same period. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily help with the issue of affordability.
Despite the uncertain economic outlook, demand conditions have strengthened, reflecting the impact of solid labour market conditions and historically low borrowing costs. Mortgage approvals increased in October, and surveyors report that new buyer inquiries have increased.
The Index philosophy was formed following the demise of the Home Information Pack era. Simply put; utilise modern technology where it enhances the service but, at all times, a client’s needs come first. With everything that we do, we ask one question first; “does this help the client?” The success of the Index philosophy has been unprecedented, with multiple offices opening throughout the country on a yearly basis, we continue to be the UK’s fastest growing independent search provider.
In uncertain times, I do hope that in 2017 you will consider the benefits of working with Index. If nothing else can be guaranteed at least you’ll know that your conveyancing search requirement is in safe hands. A very happy and prosperous 2017 to one and all.