Francis Marshall of Bradleys considers what lies ahead for the region’s property market.
There has been much hype of late about a looming property price bubble. So, as managing director of Bradleys, the largest independent estate agency in the South West, let me share the facts with you so everyone can see we are not on the way to boom and bust.
Last year was a good one for Bradleys. We were awarded the title of the Best Sales Agent in the country for customer service by the independent estate agents review site allAgents.co.uk. Last year also saw us increase sales by 25% over 2012, which indicates that confidence has returned to the market.
House prices rose 3.5% over the region and in my experience that was consistent in both asking prices and actual sales. That rise took the average price of a property in the South West just over the £200,000 mark to £202,500, an increase of £7,500 from the average of £195,000 in 2012.
These modest increases are a very clear indicator that the market is not about to go into overdrive. There is increased interest from buyers and there are more genuine buyers about, due to the government’s Help to Buy scheme. Buyers are very savvy and spend their time on the internet establishing what is a good deal. 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 for their money.
Sellers have to compete for the buyer’s attention. It is important to have the best presentation of your property that money can buy and get your asking price right. 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 so the first-time buyer has returned 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 the government trying to create a feel-good factor during the lead in. If you are contemplating buying or moving then do it sooner rather than later as low-mortgage rates won’t last for ever and the prices are starting to move. There is a good choice of property available so take advantage of the favourable conditions.
For more details, visit www.bradleys-estate-agents.co.uk