New Year Insights
If we take note of all the press about the UK property market this year it will likely make you feel like taking a trip to Hengistbury Head! Property transactions hit a 4 year low, house prices in major cities are struggling to recover to a level of 10 years ago, Land Registry stating that Sales figures dropping back to the level of 2013. My lord there is nothing like doom and gloom!
However what we must always remember is that these general statements are about the UK as a whole, and even then it’s still just news. We however live in the wonderful town of Bournemouth, a picturesque seaside town with a huge demand for outside buyers and local people wanting to retain the location. Bournemouth has and will likely continue to have its own insular bubble around it that helps us stand out from the crowd when it comes to our property market. So if you have any conceptions of moving in the near future, don't worry you don’t have to think of other ways to get your time in the family bathroom, or move everyone around and double up to get granny in the spare room.
So what is all the concern about, well generally the press is causing the biggest effect and making people think there is an issue when statistically we aren't seeing one. The market is controlled by the level of demand for the property against the number of properties that are available and in this sunny town we continue to benefit from a very high demand. We have seen slightly lower levels of properties coming to market and this coupled with the high demand is keeping the prices steady as we go.
So in short, as we stand here today things for the near future look to continue at the same level so we can all breathe freely again.
However all this being said obviously the constant press is going to have some sort effect on how our market works, this is mainly coming in the form of buyers believing that they are starting to take control of the market. This is evident in the way buyers are conducting themselves, the offers they are making and the reasons they are voicing behind the offers. It is true that we have probably lost the ability to gain 2 - 3% over market value across a lot of areas, but we are still able to achieve accurate market value and lets be true to ourselves, with the overall price increase if you are looking to sell it is more than likely you will get a good return on your largest asset. Plus don’t forget, as you love where you live you will likely be moving within the local area. So if you are not selling over market value then neither is the property you are buying, so it’s a level playing field.
Taking all this into consideration there are a few things we need to be mindful of if your looking to make a move in the coming months. Yes if you’re looking to take the step the demand will be there to allow you to do so, but it is a time when agents actually have to pull their socks up and do some proper work to achieve the best prices for their clients rather than just everything selling in a heartbeat at over the top prices.
Be wary of the over excited agents that will purposely look to over inflate your property value due to the stock levels not being at their highest. Have multiple valuations and if there is one that sticks out by a country mile there is probably a very good reason why.
Start to enquire about the agents negotiation abilities, if buyers are playing hard ball then you need an agent that is actually working for you and not just trying to convince you to take a low offer so they get paid. What properties have they sold recently?, how close to asking price have they achieved?, just because they list lots of properties doesn't mean they sell lots, and the ones they do sell were they listed at a much higher price then reduced and reduced until they got the buyer?
The majority of properties are taking a little longer to sell in the current market so you need to ensure the person you instruct is someone you can work with for the duration.
Finally and probably the most important factor is to remember that the agent works for you! Yes there are many agents that may be reading this that may like to believe this is not the case and that the client needs them as an agent but this is not true. There are lots of good quality agents out there that will do a great job and provide a very high service level and ensure they do their utmost to get the best price for their clients. One way to ensure the agent stays focused on the fact they work for you is the negotiation of their contract terms, these can be negotiated and should be negotiated. For instance, if an agent tells you your house is worth a million pounds and they have 200 people interested and they will sell it in a week then why are they asking you to sign a 12 week contract??? We will look at this more closely another day but make sure you Negotiate the terms, put yourself in control.
Hopefully you have managed to stay with me through this insight into where we are and what to expect as we move towards 2019 in our local market. If you do have any questions you wish to ask me directly then please feel free to drop me a line.