If I had a pound for every time I’ve been asked these same questions over the last thirty-five years of my estate agency career – I’d have enough for a new family car or a cracking good family holiday! (or maybe both!).
Perfectly reasonable and not at all surprising questions really but for those of us who live, sleep and breathe property every day of the week – which includes many people with their property currently on the market it’s a reminder that unless you really are “in the thick of it”, you have little or no reason to study the local property market and really understand what’s happening.
Even with the alarmist newspaper headlines heralding possible interest rate rises (I remember paying a mortgage at 17% and I’m still alive and living in a property worth a lot more than I paid for it!), a slow down in demand and a fall in asking prices – to most people, unless they are currently buying or selling, it is little more than passing interest, if indeed of interest at all.
The August Rightmove Index suggests that we have moved from a strong “Sellers Market” to a “Buyers Market” as asking prices have been shaved much more this Summer than any Summer for the last ten years. Well, that’s as maybe but take out the massively overlooked London market (now adjusting to a “new reality”) and factor-in too many agents falsely raising owners price expectations – and you have national average asking prices just 5.3% above where they were a year ago. This sort of rise is reflected in actual sales prices, here in the Exeter area.
At the same time, a study by Price Waterhouse Cooper said UK house prices are likely to appreciate by an average of 35% in the next six years, as demand from buyers continue to outstrip the supply of housing coming onto the market.
The point is, that a day; a week or even a few months in property doesn’t really tell you what’s going on – especially at a local level. Any “cooling-off” in demand in August was entirely predictable and wholly expected. The underlying trend however suggests a very strong local property market for the foreseeable future with resurging healthy demand after the holiday season, plenty of committed sellers with realistic asking prices setting the tone for good volumes of property sales for the rest of the year.
Here at Wilkinson Grant & Co we are bracing ourselves for a very busy few months!
Roger Wilkinson, Managing Director