Bucking the national property ‘downturn’

People often tell us we are bucking the trend because they see so many Hobbs Parker sold boards as they drive around the area.

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It is true that we agreed 35 sales during October which we think are good results by anyone’s standards but I can tell you it doesn’t come easily and not without a lot of hard work.

The housing market is subdued and sellers are facing challenging market conditions but there is nonetheless market activity whatever the political or economic climate. We deal with buyers and sellers who want to buy and sell with many good reasons for doing so.

National statistics from the Office for National Statistics confirm that there are fewer people moving this year (around 10% less than in 2018) which means a smaller number of sellers but also a smaller number of buyers, this can actually create a favourable supply and demand dynamic. Money is cheap to borrow which is a strong driver and likely to maintain underlying demand. There are numerous mortgage options available from a diverse range of lenders which can facilitate buying power, the trick is for movers to do their homework.

The key for sellers is to try and offer their houses for sale at realistic prices, there is no scope for inflated guide prices at the moment so get it wrong and the result is that buyers stay away. This balance is hard and sometimes painful to find with many sellers reducing their asking prices more than once in search of the biting point, the figure at which demand is ignited.

Another important factor is the way that a house is marketed, what information is important and how is this promoted. It is not enough anymore to expect buyers to search through Estate Agents prose for the vital selling features, the agent needs to think long and hard about what is likely to attract buyers and then find a way to prioritise this visually. I spend a lot of time selecting professionally taken images and ensuring that the right choices are made.

House selling is not as easy as just finding a buyer, everything that needs to happen afterwards is almost more important, the test of a really good estate agent is the way that the transaction is managed day to day and the coordination of efforts to ensure that the sale is exchanged. The process can be stressful and the problems complex, experience is vital in these situations. My staff spend hundreds of man-hours on this side of the task and it is certainly where they win their accolades if all goes to plan.

Housing markets are full of ups and downs but one thing I have learnt after more than 30 years is that there is always a market and houses sell every day of the week despite our politicians best efforts to cock it all up!!

Alex Davies
5 November 2019

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