In Hampshire, West Sussex & Surrey house prices have dropped very slightly over 2012, but the lack of supply is still key. I would hope to see more properties become available towards the end of the school holidays and going through to September. If this happens prices may edge a fraction lower, but historically any dip in the housing market has been a buying opportunity and I don’t see any reason to change this rule
With the hectic Jubilee and sporting schedule for the UK in early Summer this year, there are yet again lots of excuses for vendors not to put their houses on the market (especially if they are in a flood-prone area !). Meanwhile there is a backlog of potential buyers, with those who are brave enough to sell without having an ongoing purchase, moving into rented accommodation. This means that there are still plenty of buyers around in Hampshire, West Sussex & Surrey, and many of them are chain-free and therefore viewed by vendors and estate agents, as ‘hot buyers’.
However, all buyers at the moment are feeling that the market is on their side and not going any higher, therefore they are being very fastidious about the property they want to buy, and especially the price they want to pay. The problem with this is that there are too many people thinking the same way. The upshot is that when a top quality, unusual, or perfectly located house becomes available, it will attract huge competition and often reach the asking price or beyond. However this only happens with the very best house in each price range, most other vendors have to listen to offers, or risk their houses languishing for weeks unsold.
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. We visit agents and view houses on a daily basis in this specific area, and so we are able to quickly perceive which of the categories above, any particular house will fall into, and advise accordingly. June 2012 provided us with the perfect example; for one client we were able to negotiate a 10% discount to the asking price for their purchase, whilst another property near Chichester attracted six Sealed Bids and sold for 20% over the asking price (we were able to predict the Sale price successfully). Every vendor and every house is a different situation and therefore bespoke tactics need to be employed accordingly.
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 slightly lower through the year. I don’t think there will be any sort of crash, but if you have to moderate your expectations, then you should be able to recoup, by negotiating with an 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 (no fees for sellers).