Property Industry: What can we expect from 2014?
There has been much hype about the looming property price bubble so let me share the facts with you so everyone can see we are not on the way to boom and bust! Or at least we are not down here in the SW Corner of the UK.
Buyers are more and more conscious
2013 was a good year for Bradleys, we were awarded the title of the Best Sales Agent in the country for customer service as assessed by the independent Estate Agents review site allAgents.co.uk. 2013 saw us increase sales by 25% over 2012 which indicates that confidence has returned to the market. Prices rose just 3.5% over the region and that was consistent in both asking prices and sales figures. That rise took the average price of a property in the South West just over the 200K mark to £202,500 which is an increase of £7,500 from the average of £195,000 in 2012. These mediocre increases are a very clear indicator that the market is not about to go into overdrive! Certainly there is increased interest from buyers and certainly there are more proceedable buyers about due to the introduction of “Help to Buy” for the secondhand market. What is crystal clear though is the buyers are very savvy and spend their time on the internet establishing what is a good deal and what is overpriced so by the time they make contact with us they have a firm idea about how much they are prepared to pay and what they expect to buy for their money.
Advice to property sellers
My advice to sellers right now is that you have to compete for the buyer’s attention so it is important to have the very best presentation of your property that money can buy and get your asking price right, but above all make sure you use a reputable agent who will work his hardest for you. The choice of agent is much simpler these days, just go to allAgents.co.uk and see who is rated the highest in your area, you cannot go wrong.
So is now a good time to buy or a good time to move? The answer is a resounding yes. Help to Buy has made 95% mortgages available and has returned the first time buyer to the market place. Confidence is up in general for property and prices are going up, but in a controlled manner. We are all looking towards the next election in 2015 and elections usually spell success for the property market with Governments trying to create a feel good factor during the lead in. My advice is if you are contemplating buying or moving up the ladder then do it sooner rather than later as the low mortgage rates won’t last forever and the prices are starting to move. Currently there is a good choice of property available so take advantage of the very favourable prevailing conditions and you will only do yourself a very good turn.
Francis Marshall is the Managing Director of the BradleysGroup, the largest Independent Estate Agency in the South West and has 33 offices covering from Taunton to Penzance.