We burst into June experiencing some of our busiest levels of activity for quite some time, and we still haven’t had time to catch our breath!
Nationally, the Office of National Statistics last week released their figures for 2016, showing that 78% of neighbourhoods in England and Wales had an increase in the median price paid for property in 2016. This was interesting as the media hype at the moment continues to focus on doom and gloom for the property market which we simply aren’t seeing here.
June started with the general election – something we normally expect would slow the market down. In this instance though, the build-up didn’t even act as a speed bump. In fact, election week was one of our busiest weeks for tying up sales so far this year.
The actual result of the election turned out not to be the foregone conclusion that we all imagined it to be. Any level of uncertainty has traditionally cooled the market and so to find another hung parliament did make us think that the market would slow, even if just fractionally.
In fact, the remainder of the month has been quite different; and although the negotiations to form a coalition with the DUP took some time, business levels have remained strong. Why is this? The last coalition government we saw between David Cameron’s conservative party and Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats did not impact the housing market at all, and perhaps buyers are not concerned about another coalition? Or perhaps it is that we are just waking up to another market staller every day, whether that be a terrorist attack, a warning of price crashes, or political uncertainty. Perhaps we are just getting used to it?
Nationally, the media are reporting a quietening of the market, but here in Crediton at least, the mood is one of optimism. To show you the point, let’s take a look at how our figures have changed compared with June last year. Sales agreed are up by 62.5%; lets agreed are up by 87.5% and valuations are up by 116%. It’s definitely been busier for us.
I think the lesson we learn from that is that what is happening nationally doesn’t necessarily impact local neighbourhoods, and it is important that you speak to your estate agent to see what is happening on the ground where you live.
I would still sound this word of caution, and that is that despite the heat in the market, it is still price sensitive, and sellers need to tighten up price expectations and be realistic about offers they receive, but at the same time buyers must stay engaged and move quickly if they find a suitable property. We are still seeing the top end of the market moving well, with the White House at Kenn going under offer this month from a guide price of £725,000 and, the White Cottage going under offer from a guide of £495,000. The lower end of the market is also still moving nicely, with a property in Willow Walk going to best and final offers and achieving several bids well in excess of the guide price.
It remains a good time to sell. As long as the price is right.