Monthly Archives: December 2017

Market Comment – December 2017

RAF conferenceThis November has seen both an increase in interest rates and the abolition of SDLT (Stamp Duty) for first time buyers up to £300,000. Certainly the nominal 0.25% interest rate increase is unlikely to cause most homebuyers a problem. However, this first rate rise in a decade might be regarded as a tipping point for further increases in the coming year and the market remains subdued. This is despite the apparent windfall for first time buyers, which will almost certainly turn out to be inflationary.

Although we remain busier than expected for the time of year, with some record prices being achieved, there is at atmosphere nationally that we are moving towards a buyers’ market. According to UK Finance, mortgage approvals for purchases are at their lowest for over a year and, according to Rightmove, some 37% of sellers are reducing their asking price (the highest percentage in five years) and new-to-market sellers are being overoptimistic in their pricing. In other words, sellers must price competitively if they are to achieve a respectable sale before the added complication of a further supply of stock hitting the market in the New Year and Spring 2018.

So now, more than ever, sellers should avoid their property becoming stale on the market by quoting a price that buyers will regard as exciting. They should also avoid the mistake of pricing high on the basis that buyers will “make a lower offer”. We employ excellent negotiators and consistently find that we are able to achieve our asking prices (and sometimes even exceed them), but if the asking price itself is too high then there won’t be enough buyers to prompt a sale. This is the type of balancing act that we as experienced estate agents (as opposed to the online alternative) deeply understand, and harness to our clients’ advantage.

Interested in the market? Curious about the current value of your property in context? Why not call 01933 224400 for a confidential chat? You might be pleasantly surprised!

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Should I, Shouldn’t I?

shouldThe press is currently full of mixed messages about the property market, especially following the Brexit debate, election, budget, etc. Will it rise, will it fall, is it a good or a bad time to move? Fortunately we have remained extremely busy, and find ourselves in need of stock to support this demand.

Such demand may well be the best indicator of the future of the market than any other indicator. People don’t buy unless they feel confident about the future. At this point in time we are in the transitional stage between a Brexit decision having been made, and actually leaving the EU. The real effects of leaving may not actually be felt for some years. Nevertheless, nobody knows what lies around the corner there could be some volatility in store, with potential knock-on consequences to confidence levels. Fortunately interest rates are still incredibly low, despite the recent nominal rise of 0.25%

So if you think that you might consider moving in the next year or two, it might be worth bringing that decision forward to take advantage of the strong demand we currently have. By selling for the highest price the market will currently pay you’d not only maximise your sales price, but you’d also put yourself in a strong buying position when you come to look for your next home. Worth a thought!

A good starting point would be to ask us to provide you with an estimate of your property’s maximum expected price and saleability in the current market which we’d be happy to do without charge. Please feel free to call us on 01933 224400. Or visit our online valuation tool at www.richardjames.net

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Don’t wait till Spring!

Don't wait till SpringAs the Christmas holiday season is nearly upon us, many people will start to think about the prospect of moving house early next year. However, as the evenings will still be dark, and the garden remains rather sad, there is usually the feeling that it would probably be best to wait until the spring before putting your property on the market. After all, spring is traditionally associated with a time of change and this has always had a bearing on the property market.

However, we would urge some caution on this. Firstly, serious buyers do not give up over the Christmas and New Year period, and can even become frustrated by lack of choice as properties are withdrawn from the market in the mistaken belief that nobody will be looking at this time of year. You can take advantage of this temporary imbalance of supply and demand by being one of the properties that is actually new on the market! Whilst viewing activity may be slightly less frenetic, you can be assured that every viewing will count, as you will only be dealing with those serious buyers for whom Christmas is an inconvenience.

Many sellers will inevitably wait until the spring before putting their property on the market – which could flood the market and potentially thwart prices. So why not sell now instead? Also, by the time a buyer is found, you will be able to take advantage of this increase in supply yourself as you seek a new home. Having a buyer for your own property ahead of everyone else puts you in a strong position as a purchaser, with a selection of properties from which to choose in a market of buyers who have otherwise yet to sell.

So if you are contemplating a sale in the next few months, we suggest you take advantage of the situation, be strategic, and position your property for an early sale at a time when demand is likely to outstrip supply.

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