Superb month for new sales

Marilyn Mansfield, from M Mansfield Estate Agents, Winscombe talks about the property market in Somerset

It seems hard to believe but this month it is two years since my daughter Abii and I opened our doors in Winscombe – obviously time really does fly when you’re having fun!  Seriously, though, many of my friends and former colleagues thought I had lost the plot opening a new estate agency in the teeth of one of the worst economic recessions since the 1930’s and, yes, it has been tough.

Despite 25 years as a residential agent and having worked through a number of downturns over those years, this one is without doubt the trickiest.

However the good news is that it is possible to detect a slight shift in the market of late in fact we had a superb month for new sales agreed during January. Many of those properties that have been for sale for a considerable period of time are starting to sell as the supply of new properties coming to the market slows down and demand increases. We are finding there is a pool of buyers who are in a position to proceed, either because they are in rented, have a buyer on their own property or simply have the funds to buy another home without selling their existing one. Clearly this is very positive but it is important to remember this pool of able buyers may not last indefinitely.

A true recovery in the market place will only take place if first time buyers can be helped to get onto the property ladder and lending criteria relax somewhat. Getting first time owners into the system will get the whole market moving and it seems there are some Government backed schemes out there to do just that. Unfortunately it would appear the majority of these are focused on new developments and whilst the national house builders and construction industry need help too, a sale of a brand new property does not create another buyer free to purchase on the general residential market. The chain simply ends with the sale of the new house, at least in the short term. In my view, consideration should be given to extending these schemes to include the entire market, not just the limited new homes sector.

As a nation of home owners, a strong property market helps us all and by that I don’t mean one with prices spiralling out of control, but a good steady market that helps the economy and creates a feel good factor – something right now, we could all do with.

For further information please contact Marilyn Mansfield on 01934 843016 or


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