However, if you really want some juicy property – related dinner party conversation then just try to unravel the various house price reports. For example, according to the latest data from Nationwide, annual house price growth has remained under 1% for the sixth month in a row, with an average house price of £241,946. Yet the Halifax claims house prices were UP 1.1% on a monthly basis, but with an average house price of £236,619. Haart claims the market has fallen by 3.6% on the year with an average price of £217,785. The latest The Land Registry report states that the average house price in the UK is £226,798 with prices having fallen by 0.2% compared to the previous month, and risen by 1.4% compared to the previous year!
Zoopla reports a widening gap to 3.9% (3.3% a year ago) between average asking price and average selling price. However, this does not mean that property is selling for 3.9% below asking price (in fact, we often secure offers in excess of our asking prices). These figures are taken from a lower base than a year ago which can skew them downwards, as can a relative increase in the sale of lower-priced properties.
It can also be misleading to look at the difference between average asking price and average selling price, as the asking price is based on unsold properties, yet the selling price is on sold properties. This may sound obvious, but an unsold property is potentially an overpriced one, whereas a sold one is not. A more accurate measure would be to look retrospectively at the difference between the asking and selling price of specific sales. Unfortunately, these will always be out of date because there will be a lag of several months between an asking price being set, and a sold price being recorded at the Land Registry.
If you really want to know what’s going on, and how this could influence your move, then we don’t think there is any better gauge of market activity and pricing than simply to speak to your local estate agent! We have our finger firmly on the pulse of the market and frankly, if we record an increase in buyers or stock at a specific price range this week, then this will have a direct bearing on the prices we achieve for our clients next week. We may not be qualified market analysts, but we do know how to harness today’s market for the benefit of today’s sellers.
Why not put us to the test, and contact one of your local, very experienced team, for a fast, informal idea of the value of your property today.