Happy New Year!

So, what does 2014 have in store for the housing market then?

This is the time of year when the usual suspects begin to offer their figures on what house price movement there was during the course of 2013 – 8.4% according to the Nationwide Building Society today– which generally leads to wholesale confusion amongst the home-owning public! In another couple of weeks, there will be plenty more data released by respected household names, offering their own insights into what they believe the market has done.

Let us not forget however that any building society figures are based only on their own mortgage data, and is therefore not a true representation of the market as a whole. Within the figure of 8.4%, you have London racing away with a 14% annual price increase, whilst the North East saw a 1.9% increase. Within London itself, some boroughs have allegedly seen as much as a 25% increase in prices over the last 12 months…which makes eye-catching headlines but I’m not sure this geographically tiny sector of the market (referred to as “super-prime” or “uber-prime” by floppy-haired estate agents called Hugo) has much relevance to us mere mortals!!

As we say to our clients – “it’s all relative”. If you’re buying and selling in the same market it is largely irrelevant whether prices are on the way up or on the way down. However, with big swings in values since 2007, it is hardly surprising that people are nervous of entering the house buying and selling process – after all no-one wants to get caught out and over-pay or, indeed, under-sell. Having had so little stock available for sale last year, I think that we will see a decent amount of houses come on to the market over the next 6 to 8 weeks. This should take a little bit of heat out of the price-increases we saw in the last quarter of 2013 and should lead to good levels of sales in the first half of this year and reasonably level prices…..a “normal” market, which is surely what everyone wants?!

Now, if only we could stop the usual suspects from criminally over-valuing new instructions coming on to the market, we might all have a good year in 2014……

,

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Price Reductions are a current market reality...

Like many buyers, I log onto Rightmove each morning to find out what’s happened in Guildford’s ever-changing property market over the last 24 hours: which houses have gone under offer and what new instructions have been added. However, as we edge into autumn, we’re seeing a significant rise in the number of properties marked Reduced Today and this is something we need to address. While this isn’t a new phenomenon - even in a busy market there’s always been a smattering of them - the post-Brexit landscape means they are now outweighing new instructions marked Added Today on a daily basis.

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