Watford is full of investors looking for their next property to buy regardless of whether it’s a flat, small house or larger residence that they can chop up into rooms lets. It’s clear we are in an area where the property market is currently performing very well which is why investors continue to buy and I seem to be talking to more and more people that are looking to buy ‘again.’
There are however some mixed messages about the economy, mainly due to the media, about  what’s going on in the City striking fear into the hearts of investors. A question I regularly get asked is “How is the economy going to affect the market next year” or “have we peaked” which to be fair are very difficult questions to answer.  If the most well trained and educated of economists can’t seem to answer them how can I?
What we can do is judge our recent performance by looking at the last 12 months activity so let’s have a look at what type of housing stock has been the most popular.
From 1st January this year of the 51,415 properties in Watford (WD17,18,19,24,25) it’s no surprise to find that the most popular purchase were flats.  There were 645 sales according to Land
Registry’s most recent figures (which are probably a touch out of date) and the average purchase price was £200,468.  Flats accounted for 36.7% of all property sales in Watford this year and when you look at the percentage of housing stock that are flats (30.7%) it really shows there is a massive appetite for them in the area.
Our runner up is of course terraces which accounts for 34.7% of the housing stock.  Surprisingly though only 30.6% of sales have been terraced houses so perhaps people are holding onto this type of property for longer.  The average purchase price is £290,141 and perhaps with the new stamp duty levels there will be more sales of this type of property which was previously in the nasty price bracket of £250-280,000.
There are 12,745 semi’s in Watford and 406 of them have sold.  Not a massive turnover but still adds up to 23% of the total sales so far this year. The average price has been £367,144 but again it takes a little while for Land Registry to catch up on sales and with the market going the way it is I suspect the real value’s will be even higher now.
Detached houses have had the lowest turnover with only 164 sales. Which is about 9% of the sold stock.  The average price of a detached house is £569,676 which probably has something to do with it.
So if you’re an investor that is sitting on flats or terraces in Watford then rest assured you have the most popular type of property.  The market is buoyant and we’re very much clear of the crash.  Will there be another.  I’d say it’s not likely in this area but I don’t have a crystal ball so can’t say for sure.
If you would like to talk about any of the above figures then why not give me a call on 01923 375 300 and I’d be happy to discuss my thoughts on the local market with you.