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The Local Property Market

Wed 04 Jun 2014

Only yesterday the Nationwide Building Society (3rd June 2014) announced that property prices increased by 11% but is this representative of our local property market? 

Firstly, activity levels remain high across the board. If we compare the last six months of 2013 (December figures not included) to the first five months of this year, applicants registered increased by 22%, viewings arranged increased by 2%, offers received increased by 18% and sales agreed increased by 9%.

So far in 2014 if we compare figures taken specifically from February and May in isolation, the average asking price on all new instructions increased by 10.9% but the average sale agreed (STC) increased by 3%.  These figures suggest that sellers and agents are being more bullish about the property market but asking prices are not always being achieved. That said there are pockets of areas and property types that are selling very quickly and for, if not more, than the asking price. Property priced between £250,000 and £300,000 are in very high demand as are homes within popular school catchment areas, this is quite simply due to a shortage of properties for sale.

Criteria for mortgage applications changed recently and without doubt lenders are now asking for even more information about the applicants' personal circumstances and monthly expenditure. This has caused the application process to slow down and the time taken to receive a mortgage offer that bit slower. This in itself would appear to be keeping a “lid” on the market and will probably continue to do so for some time.

In my opinion many of the headline statistics in the media include London which, without any doubt, appears to be booming but this does distort the overall picture. On a local level I would suggest that our market, whilst buoyant, is comparable to a “normal” property market. This is due to the fact that many of our buyers and sellers are moving home because there is a genuine reason for them to do so, eg a job move, closer to a specific school or quite simply that they need a larger property to accommodate a growing family. Add in the fact that there is some pent up demand from prospective buyers and sellers that delayed doing anything between 2008 and 2011, and this would suggest that this is indeed the case - but who knows what the future will hold!

Paul Ivens, Director, Green and Company

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