By Nick Eley, a partner with Watsons in Norwich
Looking back at the Land Registry figures 2009 is a stark reminder of where the housing market had sunk to. In January only 457 transactions were recorded in Norfolk! Just 2 years previously (January 07) the figure stood at 1,488 with the high in June of that year standing at 2,180. The average price similarly fell with a low in June of this year at £137,004 from a high in November of 2007 at £166,558 whilst the latest October figure stands at £142,646, an improvement month on month for the last 9 months. It has been a challenging year, but I have been very encouraged by the continual improvement in the market both in transaction levels and demand for property currently outstripping supply despite the stricter lending criteria by lenders. We are experiencing a strong demand for good quality property in sought after locations through most price ranges but in particular period homes with original features, interesting contemporary property and at the other end of the market, those in need of improvement. In fact where properties require improvement, we have recommended to sellers on a number of occasions maintaining a keen asking price with a guide rather than fixed price resulting in a good level of interest ultimately achieving in excess of the guide. This needs careful handling but it is where the skill of an experienced professional agent will bring rewards in almost any market conditions.
Increasingly buyers start their property search on the internet but there is no substitute for a good estate agent. When properties come to the market there will be a period of time before it is available on the internet and most buyers will admit to compromising on key requirements as time progresses and their ideal home has not come to fruition. So get to know the agents in your area, the agent will probably identify the compromise before you do! Sellers beware of the agent providing the highest value and the lowest fee, a real temptation when there is a shortage of property. Remember buyers still expect a deal, sellers naturally want best price. Make sure you agent can justify the suggested figure with comparables. If the gap is too great between the buyer’s hopes and the sellers expectations you maybe getting your home ready for viewings for a longer time period than expected.
Nick’s on 011603 619916.