Looking back at the local property market in 2014, things pretty much panned-out as we had forecasted at this time last year – with the unexpected bonus of long overdue changes to Stamp Duty serving to boost end of year activity, which has carried on into this New Year.
Last year saw the return of “Discretionary Sellers” (‘want-to’ rather than ‘have-to’ home movers) but not to the level we might expect in the second half of 2015. We also saw a year of house price growth of between 5% and 7% with most (but not all) areas returning to pre Credit Crunch levels.
Price rises this year are predicted to be nearer 3% – 4% but the current stock shortage may see some new “headline” prices being achieved in the more sought-after addresses.
Momentum in the market is likely to gather pace in the next few months – despite a recent fall in new mortgage approvals and many “gloomy” predictions of a market shut-down on the lead-up to the General Election
Continued low interest rates, stable prices and a pent-up demand, which has seen fresh buyer enquiries to our offices reach record levels in comparison to recent years, look set to fuel activity for several months to come.
Nonetheless, with an election looming and more Discretionary Sellers set to join the majority of home movers who are likely to put their property on the market in the spring – there can be no doubt that anyone serious about selling and intent on getting the best price, should come to market early.
Buyers too would be well advised to start their search sooner rather than later – when they will inevitably be competing with more motivated movers with healthy deposits from their own property sales.
A NOTE OF CAUTION TO WOULD-BE SELLERS
A note of caution to would-be sellers. There are many things a seller should look for when choosing an agent: Trust, Confidence, Ability to negotiate well on your behalf, Proven track record of selling similar property and achieving best prices and a Record of getting sales ‘over-the-line’ (rather than falling-through and leaving their clients with aborted costs).
However, there are few more important things than providing maximum high-profile internet advertising – on all of the major property portals – namely Rightmove, Zoopla and Primelocation – and here’s ‘the rub’: In their attempts to save money, rather than providing their clients properties with maximum exposure, many agents have committed FROM 26TH OF JANUARY 2015 not to list on one or more of the busiest, most visited property websites.
Much as we too would like to save money, we firmly believe that listing on these three sites means our clients properties will reach more buyers, more quickly – especially those moving from outside the area. If you are serious about selling and want the best opportunity of getting the best price – make sure you choose an agent that can guarantee you the exposure you need.
Wilkinson Grant & Co