It’s pretty tough to gauge which way the property market is swinging, even for those who watch it avidly.
Just this month, the Halifax was announcing a slight drop in house prices (http://www.propertywire.com/news/europe/uk-property-price-index-2015080610832.html) while the Nationwide reckoned they were marginally up (http://www.propertywire.com/news/europe/uk-house-price-index-2015080410822.html). So, who was right?
The answer is they both were; each company uses its own metrics to analyse how the market is performing and, as a result, it’s not unusual for them to come up with differing results. The margin of difference may not be that large but, on this occasion, it was around the tipping point, which left one saying one thing and the other something which, at first sight, seemed to be completely different.
So where does that leave someone pondering whether now is the right time to sell their house or if they would be better to wait? After all, if experts can’t even agree, what chance does the average seller have of deciphering the vagaries of the housing market?
A lot of estate agents will tell you how that’s why they’re worth the thousands of pounds they charge in fees – and there’s no denying a little advice or guidance from someone who has worked in the property game for years is worth having.
However, having said that, a home-grown analysis of your local housing market can give you a pretty good idea of the state of play. Both Rightmove and Zoopla have some pretty useful tools on their websites and, as a result, it’s not all that difficult to assess what the asking price ought to be for your property. A little more research, and you should be able to see what homes in your area actually sold for. Another click of a mouse and you can even see a graph which illustrates recent price trends specific to your patch (http://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices-in-my-area.html).
For what it’s worth, at Esaleuk.com, we reckon we could soon see some changes in the market, particularly if the Bank of England delivers on its threat to raise interest rates in 2016. We’re already seeing lenders cut the number of cheap mortgage deals in anticipation of the move and figures quoted by the property media suggest fewer homes are going on the market as sellers wait to see which way things go. On the other hand, the lack of property available means it’s still a sellers’ market and, if you’re thinking of moving, now might be the time to jump.
The truth is that, until there is a single source of information on the performance of the housing market, some confusion is inevitable. But, if you need a free, no-obligation valuation or just some old-fashioned advice don’t be afraid to give us a call. We’d be happy to help…
A Home Buyers Drain Survey Infographic by Paul at Quinn Developments