Lack of supply is the new housing problem, says Howards’ managing director

Meet the Agent

chris mitchellYour name Chris Mitchell

Your Agency Howards

What is your opinion of the local housing market at the moment? 

In our view the local market is now running at a fairly constant level of transactions, albeit well down from the period up until the end of 2007 but having bounced back from the lows of last winter. The key to achieving sales is value; value for money properties are selling in all sectors of the market; properties that are perceived to be overpriced are not selling and attracting very little interest. The main issue looking forward will be lack of new stock available for sale. New house building is running at the lowest level since 1920 whilst new instructions are only one third of those usually enjoyed at this time of the year. Supply is accordingly restricted and but for the current economic situation there is little doubt prices would be under severe pressure as demand would in normal times greatly exceed supply. 

How could the local market be improved?

More instructions are needed from vendors and lower deposits from mortgage lenders. We are currently in an absurd situation where lenders having lent up to 125pc of value when the market was at an all time high now reserve their best rates for purchasers with a 40pc deposit even though values have dropped substantially and their risk is vastly reduced ! 

What is your opinion on the recent scrapping of first day marketing – has it made an impact to your business? 

There was an initial impact however this has now abated somewhat and we are settling down to the new process, generally however properties can be brought to market within five days unless there is an unregistered title in which case it takes a little longer. Anyone thinking of selling where title is unregistered would find it well worthwhile to see their solicitor and register their title prior to approaching an estate agent. 

Are first time buyers getting a good deal at the moment? 

Yes – there are good value properties available and we are seeing more first time buyers than at any time since 2002. 

What kind of houses and in what area of Norfolk/Norwich are currently selling well? 

Well priced properties are selling in all sectors of the market throughout the area

What is your own idea of the perfect house and where would it be situated?

Half way up a mountain overlooking a lake with snow in the winter and sun all summer

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