More positive signs in the regional homes market

By Carl Eastwood of Strutt & Parker

AT last we are seeing some more positive signs in the regional property market with some of the ripple effect from London feeding through to the local market in
East Anglia.

It seems that 2012 will see the country market begin a long
awaited turnaround as prices begin
to recover from the sharpest fall in recent history.

This year is showing similar signs
to 2009; after a year of bad news knocking consumer confidence since the start of the 2012, there has been a positive shift in attitude and sentiment in the market.

There is a palpable sense of people wanting to get on with their lives and in order to do so, more realism in the market place.

This is probably borne out of the frustrations of lacklustre trading last year and people realising if they want to make the move then they have got to accept the level of the market.

All signs from our data, at
Strutt & Parker, is that the market has started to pick up with viewings for the first three months up 12% and the number of properties going under offer up 23%.

The British mentality of getting on with things is showing signs of re-emergence again in 2012 and there is no doubt this has stimulated the country market.

We are seeing a renewed amount of interest and confidence in the market but still critical to achieving a successful sale is realism in pricing.

Apart from a few spectacular deals, at the top end, the country market is still suffering with fewer bonuses coming out of the City.

This is in contrast with London where the market has risen by about 15% in the last year driven in particular by acquisitions by non-domiciles looking to buy here.

Despite the change in sentiment, sales are taking longer to exchange than before – what is key is to be well prepared before you come to the market so once the buyer is found a deal can be concluded as soon as possible.

There is no doubt that we are also starting to see money coming out of London as the differential in values between London and the rest of the country is probably at the highest it has been for many decades.

Last year saw a reluctance of people to move out of the capital but good value now seen in the rural areas, such as East Anglia, seems to have re-stimulated interest.

Of course we still need to tread carefully, but let’s hope we are
seeing the start of a much more confident market.

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