This month’s market comment comes with a degree of optimism, but also with a gentle warning. But let’s get the bad news out of the way first. According to HMRC, UK residential property transaction volumes plummeted by 12.5% last month, down 2% on the year. This time last year, month-on-month sales were up 16.7% equating to 19.5% on the previous year. So this is a major adjustment. As ever though, government figures tend to be out of date before they are even published!
The good news comes from Rightmove, whose finger is firmly on the daily pulse, who say that record numbers of buyers are searching the property portal – an indication if ever there was one, of a healthy market. These buyers are, however, increasingly price-aware, with the average property selling for just 96.7% of its last asking price (which might well have already been reduced from the original asking price).
During these slightly confused times, it is inevitable that sellers will take an optimistic view of the market, while buyers become more cautious, hence the widening asking price/sale price gap. This certainly reflects Zoopla research of almost 2000 homeowners, 84% of whom expected their property to grow in value this year (up from just 14% in November).
Nevertheless, Rightmove reports that the average amount of time on the market is now 59 days, slightly longer than the 55 days this time last year.
In summary, the market is good, bad or flat, depending on what you want it to be! There are certainly enough figures around to argue your case either way, whether you are buying or selling, and we make it our business to harness these stats for our clients’ benefit. Please feel free to contact us to find out precisely how we can use this information to help you move – profitably!
Neil Newstead FARLA MNAEA MIRPM
Chief Executive Officer