The autumn leaves have turned and the nip of winter is in the air it’s a chance to reflect on the current housing market and consider how it will fare over the next few months.

Reports of the state of the market around the UK are mixed, although there are some recurring themes. The subdued London and commuter belt market is having a knock effect in many places and price sensitivity and stock levels are still an issue across the board.

That said, prices in the West Country seem to be remaining steady. There are buyers in the market place and medium and small developers are still keen to obtain land for development.

Richard Webber, Partner in our South Molton office explains why those considering a move in the New Year should start to plan now and why getting the price right is key:

“Despite continuing political uncertainty, we have agreed a good number of sales through the autumn, although we would now expect to see a slight lull in buyer activity immediately before and after the Christmas period.  It’s important to note that lenders are still clutching at those purse strings tightly and buyer affordability is still stretched.

Looking towards the New Year, many agents may recommend delaying marketing until the spring, when the weather has improved and more people are looking, and for certain types of property this may be the right advice.  However, there can be some real advantages in launching a property earlier in the New Year when there are fewer competing properties coming to the market. While there may not be the quantity of viewings we tend to find that buyers viewing properties in January and February are serious about moving, therefore the quality of viewings tends to improve. I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of sales we have agreed in the months of January, February and March over the past few years.  
For anyone thinking of selling, it’s important to note that price point is critical. Having the right price on your house will determine how quickly it sells; price it too high and it’s likely to delay a sale or even to not sell at all. Get it right and you’ll see a more positive result. Unfortunately, it seems as though over-enthusiastic valuations have set a false ceiling in the market with many buyers expecting to achieve an unrealistic amount for their property.

The key here is to listen to your agent and be guided by their advice and local market knowledge. Look at similar properties on the market but be wary about taking their price on face value. Find out what is selling and what isn’t and why. That said, a good agent will want to value your property realistically. It will be important to them to ensure you have a positive experience and ultimately a sale!”

And so to our local office areas:

In South Molton and Honiton, we have noticed that with potential buyers from the South East struggling to sell, some of the larger properties are not moving as fast as they normally do. Once again we have noticed that the market is extremely price sensitive. If sellers mark properties just that little bit too high, sales are delayed. We are keen to make sure our vendors get the price their house deserves, but that it is priced realistically for the market. Our South Molton team were delighted to win the top accolade in Devon in the British Property Awards for first rate customer service; a testament to the hard work and dedication they deliver for all their clients.

In Tiverton, demand for properties within the Uffculme School catchment area continues to be high and the village of Sampford Peverell, which boasts a vibrant community and mainline railway station is very popular. The catchment area of Culmstock is also proving popular, we think it may have something to do with its pretty river, popular pub and café. The office recently sold a 14 home development in the village. They are also seeing more people who want something different from their next house, something either with character or something quirky.

Please do talk to us if you have any questions or concerns, we are here to help ease you through the moving process and all its inevitable twists and turns.