February's Positive Start
Last month we reported a sense of renewed optimism in the air. Well we were right! The post-election-post-Brexit surge means that the property market is once again buzzing with activity. And it’s not only our own agents who are working flat out to service our clients - Rightmove reported a 15% uplift in buyer enquiries to estate agents generally in the month immediately after the election compared to the previous year, followed by a 12% uplift in sales agreed last month compared to January last year.
The latest Housing Report from NAEA Propertymark suggests that sales are already up by 20%, of which first time buyers represent 29%, up from 24% this time last year.
Mortgage lenders also report positive movement, with home purchase mortgages up 8% on the same time last year (December was up a staggering 24%). The Bank of England’s decision to keep interest rates on hold can only support further confidence in the housing market, as does continued low inflation and low unemployment rates. However, mortgage lending criteria remain tight.
This new era of political and economic certainty means that many people who might not have an urgent need to move are once again considering doing so anyway, representing a welcome return of the aspirational/speculative buyer!
So where does this leave sellers? Our view is that the traditional spring market will blossom early this year. The hype surrounding the demise of the Brexit doldrums will eventually wear off, and sellers would be well advised to grasp the moment now, especially as, according to Rightmove, the number of properties for sale is 8.6% down on this time last year. The right house, positioned correctly in this market, will get snapped up, sometimes over the asking price, especially when it is being compared to properties that might have been available for some time.
A new market requires a new approach to marketing. So if you are already on the market, now is a great time to review the situation with your agent. Benchmarking response rates, offers and general feedback against competing properties can be an excellent way to prepare a relaunch plan for your property, ultimately enabling you to secure a fresh buyer, possibly at an exciting price too, so you can get moving.
Why not call us on 01323 412550 in confidence for a no-obligation straight-talking discussion about your moving plans today? We’d be delighted to help and you might be pleasantly surprised!