New Year 2012
House prices are dipping and there are some bargains to be had. However, the three year drought of new properties coming to the market continues….for now.
The press have finally caught up with the fact that house prices are slowly coming down and with all the coverage, some vendors are taking it on board and listening to offers. These are the owners who are achieving Sales, there are plenty of others who are holding out and not surprisingly, their houses are still on the market. The fact that the press are reporting the downturn, means that vendors will be more likely to negotiate this year than at most other times. At Stacks we offer a huge advantage to our clients because we know what the real value of a property should be, at any one time.
However, lack of stock continues to be an issue, 2011 saw low numbers of instructions for estate agents again. This continues to keep prices of the very best houses artificially high, even in the current market. Over the past 3 years, a large number of potential buyers have moved into rental property in this area, because they have been unable to find their dream home. This has resulted in a bidding frenzy when a top house does come onto the market, as they all have money sitting stagnant in the bank and probably decreasing, because of rental costs. The gap between the very best house in each price range, and the rest, is ever-widening.
I strongly believe that any dip in prices is a buying opportunity. My reasons are:
- Interest rates look set to remain very low for the foreseeable future, this is obviously great news for mortgages.
- Despite having one of the highest debts in the EU, the UK seems to have garnered status as ‘a safe haven’ among investors.
- David Cameron is doing his level best to protect the City from any additional EU taxes, so the UK will still attract high earners who want to live and work here.
- Investors have woken up from their 2 year hibernation; rental yields are looking attractive again and, as mentioned at the top, there are some bargains to be had.
These combine to ensure that recent foreign investment into the London property market will continue and there will still be an exodus of wealthy young families from London to the Country. Together with the lack of stock, this should prevent prices from dropping significantly.
If there is anybody reading this who is thinking of selling this year, my advice would be ‘sooner rather than later’. Prices have already come down a bit, but they are likely to ease lower through the year. I don’t think there will be any sort of crash, but if you have to drop your expectations slightly, then you should be able to recoup, by negotiating with any ongoing purchase. I believe this feeling is already filtering through to vendors, you don’t want to be the last person to go to the market, and at the moment there are some good buyers around. Please feel free to contact us for advice on the best estate agents, or to see if one of our clients might be interested.
Just a quick comment on the new Hindhead Tunnel on the A3 – it’s brilliant. I recently left Petersfield at 3.30pm to drive to London, exactly 1hr later I was parked in Parsons Green reading my notes before my meeting. Estate agents, who work in Guildford but live South of Hindhead, report that it has halved their journey time to work. This will continue to ensure that house prices south of the tunnel, do relatively well.