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Kent Property Market update – November 2022

Property prices are never far from the headlines. We’ve grown used to reports of record house price growth and here at Coversure Maidstone we’ve seen a steady stream of home and landlord insurance quote requests coming in.

But now there are concerns about falling prices as interest rates and mortgage rates rise. So, how has the Kent property market fared in 2022, and what does the future hold for property in Maidstone and the surrounding areas in Kent?

In this latest blog from Coversure Maidstone, where providing great value and high-quality property and landlord insurance is something we take pride in, we look at the Kent housing market to try and find out what the future holds for property in our local area.

What is the average price of a home in Maidstone?

The average sold price for a property in Maidstone in the last 12 months is £370,908, according to Zoopla, with prices rising from £186,824 for a one-bedroom flat to £595,792 for a detached home. When the average UK home is estimated at £259,100, it’s clear to see that living in “the garden of England” comes at a premium. Compared to the average sold price for Property in Kent as a whole, Maidstone’s average house price comes in at £18,764 less, suggesting that Maidstone could provide Kent’s residents with better value for money.

Are properties in Maidstone affordable?

In their latest Housing affordability report, the ONS acknowledged that housing affordability has been worsening since 1997, with the South-East faring amongst the worst affected areas. Homes, nationally, are now typically nine times higher than annual salaries. As you may reasonably expect, with housing prices above the national average, the situation in Maidstone is worse still. With a reported affordability ratio of 10.8, someone working full-time should expect to have to spend nearly 11 times their annual salary on purchasing a home. So, with house prices at such a premium, is it cheaper to rent in Maidstone?

How much does it cost to rent a property in Maidstone?

The average rent in Maidstone currently stands at £ £1,229 PCM, according to one leading property rental website. That’s 5% higher than the average rental price in the UK and over 25% higher than when we last reviewed the Maidstone poperty market data in July 2021. While property prices and rents may be lower in Maidstone when compared to neighbouring areas in Kent, it’s clear to see that the figures have been on the rise in 2022. But do the reasons for these price increases give us any indication as to what’s in store for 2023?

Why have property prices and rents risen in Maidstone?

• Supply vs. demand – fundamentally, we have a shortage of homes to buy and rent in the UK. Supply and demand market forces are considered the biggest reason for high prices and rents. New house building has been taking place in and around Maidstone, and 17,660 new homes are planned to be built by 2031, so this should help, but it’s a continuing issue that is not going away. In the private rented sector, rising rates for buy-to-let mortgages and changes in legislation for landlords increasing their responsibilities and costs, are resulting in more selling up. This impacts the number of rental properties on the market as, reportedly, over half of those sold do not come back up for rent.

• Affordability and higher yields – in Maidstone, where house prices are relatively affordable for Kent and where rents are high, the town has been seen as an up-and-coming area for residents and those looking to invest. However, with economic pressures now starting to bite, we may see more unable to move financially, softening demand and thereby impacting house price growth and rental yields.

• Diversity and desirability – Maidstone has a lot going for it: excellent commuter links to London, giving access to higher paid jobs; proximity to colleges and universities attracting students; within easy reach of beautiful countryside alongside fantastic facilities and attractions. The diverse nature of those who wish to call Maidstone home results in a wide net of potential homeowners and tenants. All those desirable elements that make Maidstone a great place to reside are unlikely to change.

What may the future hold for Maidstone’s property market?

The UK property market has often been seen as a law unto itself, bucking trends and remaining resilient despite challenging times. However, there is no denying that current economic pressures and rising prices make for uncertain times. Will rising mortgage rates for homebuyers and buy-to-let investors deter those looking to move up or invest? Will the stamp duty changes help more move out of rentals and onto the first-time buyer property ladder? Or will homeowners and tenants alike just sit tight and wait and see?

With the upcoming Autumn budget looming and talk of more legislation for landlords, there are many unknowns. What we know is that Maidstone and its surrounding areas are popular places to live and work, and it could take some time for supply to match demand.

Need some property insurance help?

Whatever your circumstances, whether you are looking to move, are staying put, or need a home or landlord insurance quote for your rental properties, we can help. Give the friendly team at Coversure Maidstone a call on (01622) 759 015 or email us here to discuss your property or landlord insurance needs. We’ve access to a wide range of high-quality property insurance policies, and we can find you cover that’s tailored to your needs and your budget.

Sources:
Sold House Prices – Get UK house prices online – Zoopla
What’s happening with house prices in the UK? – Zoopla
Housing affordability in England and Wales – Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)
Home.co.uk: Property For Rent In Maidstone
HomeLet Rental Index | Average Rent UK |Rental Price Index 2020 | HomeLet Rental Index
Local Plan inquiry hears housing should be in Staplehurst not new garden villages (kentonline.co.uk)
Increasing concern about an exodus of buy-to-let landlords – Property Industry Eye
A shrinking private rented sector | Propertymark
Affordable Maidstone on the rise as the Kent town attracts Londoners | Metro News

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