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The chill wind that has blown through Britain’s housing market ever since stamp duty went up and the referendum vote went out has left thousands of homeowners stuck in in freeze-frame. This is not a problem faced by the small minority, one quarter of all homes currently listed on Rightmove have been on the market for at least 6 months, almost one in 7 has been listed for more than nine months and more than 50,000 have been on the market for more than one year.
The capital’s recently property boom is well and truly over- sales in the capital are down 60% even on the dismal levels reached in the months following the 2008 crash. In fact house prices nationwide fell for the third month in a row in May: that’s the longest sustained drop since the peak of the financial crisis. Booming exports have so far failed to provide a silver lining to the Sterling decline and concerns over Brexit, and the results of the General Election, as well as a housing shortage are being blamed.
So, the housing market is losing momentum and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors says estate agents have been reporting stagnant demand among new buyers since November.
However, what is the position locally? Many of us are familiar with all that is great about Romsey and the Test Valley and many buyers are still looking to move to Romsey and its surrounding villages, taking advantage of our excellent state and private schooling as well as the links to the Capital and the nearby commercial centres of Southampton, Winchester , Salisbury and Bournemouth. Hampshire has an abundance of quality food and drink grown, produced and reared in the county, so it is not surprising that the town hosts a regular farmers’ market. With the world’s most famous chalk stream (The River Test) running through, Romsey enjoys bustling streets, historic buildings, a museum, theatre and tranquil spaces to be explored, making it easy to see why the area is such a popular place to reside. The Test Valley is also comparatively good value, £1m will get you 2,786sqft on average, compared to Winchester (recently voted Best Place To Live) whilst only 12 miles away, will buy you 2,187sqft- 27% less.
Property prices in the Test Valley have risen by 9.6% (from May ’16 to May ’17) according to the latest figures from Land Registry data and Woolley & Wallis achieved 97%, 98% and 98% of guide prices on all sales in March, April and May respectively. We have several millions pounds worth of deals pending and whilst not across the board, demand appears to be outstripping demand and many of our homes provoke enviable levels of interest when the marketing campaign begins. Over the same period we have added over 300 applicants to our register, all eagerly looking to buy anything from mixed use land parcels, contemporary homes, trophy country homes, doer uppers and everything in between.
However, this, by common consent is a uniquely difficult market in which to value stock correctly and the picture could scarcely be more confusing with some areas in Britain are experiencing double digit price rises, while others are distinctly wobbly. Pricing property correctly has never been more important- or more costly if the vendor gets it wrong. Perhaps the hardest news for a seller is that in the current market, property still needs to be listed at prices that will entice them. Nobody wants to bid on a property in a vacuum, and buyers need the comfort of knowing that other people are in the market. Today’s vendors therefore need to price realistically to generate competitive bids. This leap of faith is essential for a successful sale and we can cite many example in 2017 which have resulted in Best & Final Offers or Sealed Bids, one property even achieving 33% above the guide price!
If you need assistance or advice on any property related matter, please do call in to our office (Woolley & Wallis, 4-6 Bell Street, Romsey, SO51 8ZN) or contact us on 01794 512129 or Romsey@w-w.co.uk. We look forward to hearing from you.