House prices and the autumn market
So what can we expect?
According to popular media sources all signs indicate that strong activity could return this autumn. And whilst Rightmove report that house prices may have jumped by another 0.9 per cent month-on-month in September, our view is that some steam has come out of the sellers’ market and individual selling strategies need to take this into account.
In September, East Anglia saw the biggest month-on-month jump in average asking prices, with the average price rising by 3 per cent to £249,860. However, there have been some signs that toughened mortgage rules, which came into force in April under the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) and force lenders to ask more questions about a mortgage applicant’s spending habits, have slowed down the house sale process.
We have also seen a shortage of stock coming onto the market in Essex and Suffolk and, bearing in mind many sellers will buy locally, this points to a potential reduction in transaction levels.
We will be selling plenty of properties this autumn but this year there are likely to be more disappointed sellers waiting longer to find a buyer, if they set-out with a pricing strategy that anticipates prices will continue to rise steeply up to Christmas.
Deciding on a marketing figure is so important to get right and we advise sellers to get two or three opinions from reputable agents and think hard before being tempted to overload the asking price. It is certainly a temptation for most of us – especially if one or two agents are gushing and bullish about how much more they will get for you than the competition! But, smart sellers ask their agent to back up the pricing advice with comparable evidence so they can make informed decisions. At Fenn Wright, we have the advantage of dealing with many, many local transactions because our own survey team conducts thousands of mortgage valuations – on properties sold by other agents – for the big lenders. So we see the most recent pricing evidence, not just historic figures from sales that were agreed three to six months ago.
If the price is wrong to begin with then the potential impact of the first two weeks of marketing is lost – and in the autumn that is such a shame as September and October can be very good selling months. Plus, there is always the seasonal factor in autumn of a market that will slow down as Christmas approaches. In our experience the successful sellers – the ones who will have moved before Christmas – will have priced correctly from the outset and had their properties beautifully presented to the market to encourage plenty of initial enquiries. A concentration of interest in the early weeks always helps to reflect a degree of competitive tension and motivates buyers to view quickly and act swiftly to secure a house of their dreams.
If the falling leaves and golden colours have you dreaming of a new house for 2015 get a FREE – expert – opinion on the value of your property soon. You can find the contact details for your local residential sales team here.