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Is the Housing Market Springing into Life?

Having thoughts that the housing market is springing into life is one thing; having the facts to support the hunch is equally important!

The Spring market to date has been strong and in support of this trend, Rightmove have reported that May has seen the number of sales agreed at this time of year up 7% on the same month in 2016. It is the highest seen in May for ten years (with the exception of a slightly better figure in 2014).

However, there is a nationwide fall in the price of property coming to market of 0.4% (-£1,172); the first price fall, at this time of year since 2009, and the first monthly fall in 2017. It has to be said, that this is a nationwide statistic.  We would not support this observation from a regional perspective, however we do accept that there is some impact to the market in terms of confidence and reluctance to commit during an election period and an extended period of potential volatility, partly due to the political climate in Europe and elsewhere.

We are benefitting from a high demand for viewings and good quality of purchasers. Numbers of people looking are slightly lower than we have experienced in previous years, but they are largely motivated to sell and buy, with many often already sold subject to contract or ‘cash’ purchasers.

Interestingly, there has been a significant increase in the typical first-time buyer market (properties with two bedrooms or less). It is now the fastest growing sector, and has seen newly-listed prices surge by 3.5% month-on-month and 5.5% year-on-year.

Rightmove have further commented that “Those at the traditional starter level are brushing aside uncertainty, with demand being fuelled by the ongoing desire for home-ownership, government assistance, and mortgage repayments often being cheaper than rent for a similar property. Increasing prices in this sector have not been enough to shake off the wish to own your first home, whilst in contrast sectors higher up the ladder with a larger proportion of discretionary movers have seen the greatest recent price wobbles.”

This is essentially how we read the market at present. We look wistfully for a return in confidence in the higher end sectors which have taken a pounding over the last two years and have accepted for the time being that this market is fragile. We do hold a lot of faith in the lower and mid sectors of the market which are, albeit for a slight hiccup in June, performing strongly against the current period over the last two years.

GSC Grays are actively seeking new stock to keep up with buyer demand!  There is a significant appetite in the lower and mid sectors of the market, with purchasers in favourable positions ready to commit. Whilst we are unsure of how confidence levels are going to impact on the market, we would suggest a ‘seize the day’ approach, hop off the fence and make the most of a relatively perky market!

For more information contact your local GSC Grays Estate Agency office here.

[team-member name=”Chris Arundel”]


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