House prices. Who do you listen to?

Are property prices falling or rising? If you pay attention to the raft of price statistics that assail us each month you could be forgiven for not having a clue as to the answer. This lender says ‘up’, this one says ‘down’. Which is correct?  Even the Land Registry record of actual sold prices cannot be used as a guide because despite their historical accuracy they reflect what happened at least three months ago at exchange of contracts – and that price might have been agreed months before that. So even the Land Registry can be half a year or more behind today’s reality.

The answer to ‘up?’ or ‘down?’ is actually ‘both’ because house price statistics quoted in the press never show the micro level picture of a local market. With branches covering a large geographical area – from St Albans up to Leicester and over to Cambridgeshire – Harrison Murray see many variations in the property market. In some places prices have stayed firm and in some cases risen. In others it has become necessary to trim asking prices in order to attract buyers.

To determine what is happening in your area, ignore the misleading national statistics and make sure you speak to a reputable, knowledgeable and professional estate agency that will give you factual, local information.

Nick Salmon FNAEA (Honoured), Managing Director, Harrison Murray Estate Agents

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