March 2011 Property Market Update
28th March 2011
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Here is the good news as reported by Rightmove’s House Price Index:

More Offers - record levels of enquiries from potential buyers that were seen in January and February have finally started to convert to more dependable offers and completed sales.

Property Spending Less Time on the Market - Rightmove’s March House Price Index showed that the national average that properties spent on the market has shortened from 98 to 89 days.

Pace of Sales has increased – Normally, the spring season means that there is an increase in the number of properties being offered for sale.  However, the number of unsold properties per estate agent increased by an average of just one, according to Rightmove.   This means that the pace of sales agreed has picked up to the point where the spring sellers new properties being added to the currently listed properties has been nearly cancelled out by the number of sales, keeping property stock levels even.

The national average asking price has gone up by 0.8% -  Searches for new property on property portal Rightmove broke standing records for buyers searching for property in three out of the four weeks of February.  This increased interest from buyers likely underpinned new sellers’ average asking prices by a further 0.8% to £231,790. The increase is also supported by the continuing lack of new sellers who can afford to trade up.  

At this time last year, Home Information Packs were suspended making it easier and less costly for new sellers to list their property but there has only been an increase of 5% on the same period last year.  New properties being listed is still down by 26% on 2007’s pre-credit-crunch level. The average weekly listing figure is 27,815, and whilst a little higher than the 26,446 of a year ago, it is still well down on the March 2007 weekly average of 37,667. The restricted level of new listings indicates a lack of both forced sellers and traditional mass market sellers who are currently unable or unwilling to come to market.

Potential Problems for the Market:

Problems with Finance for Terraced Home Owners - Prospective buyers of terraced properties have been hit hardest by the tightening of lending criteria as the typical buyers of these properties are least able to save the necessary deposits.   In response to the lagging numbers of buyers for this type of property, sellers of terraced homes have simply stopped offering them for sale, resulting in a fall of 31% of terraced properties offered to market compared to 2007. Sellers of terraced homes will need to look to  buy-to-let investors or buyers with gifted deposits if they hope to sell their properties.

In Ealing we have higher levels of terraced properties than the national average and so the housing market in this area is likely to feel the dearth of sales in this sector of the market.

Bad News or Good for Ealing?
Some people might say that the following is good news and others might regard it as bad, but unless you plan to sell a property WITHOUT buying another then it is indeed good news.

Ealing’s asking prices actually dropped in March 2011 by 5.1%. First time buyers will be cheering that news as both a deposit and the purchase price will be cheaper and more within reach.  However,  any property owner might have experienced a sharp intake of breath at that news and wondered how a drop in asking price could possibly be good news.  But it is good news, so long as you have sufficient equity in your property and intend to buy another.

Here is how a lower asking price can actually leave a property owner with more money:
It may seem like a terrible time to sell your property in Ealing, but if you are trading up to a more expensive property this market is ideal.   Granted, you may have to reduce the price of your property by say, 5% to be competitive in the market.  However, the property you’re buying will also be reduced by 5%, if not more.  For example, a seller in Ealing may have been able to command a £310,000 sale price on their property in a stronger market.  However, in the present market the sellers take a reduced offer of £295,000 – a “loss” of £15,000.  The good news is that the same seller looking to buy a larger property that in the past may have been worth £450,000 will also get a 5% reduction in the asking price, making the price the lucky trader-up would have to pay only £427,500.  The purchase then would have saved them £22,500.  Of course the loss they took on the sale of their own property must be factored in, however, even with the £15,000 loss on their own asking price the trader-upper will be better off -  before the new property has even had enough time to have accrued equity, the trader-upper would be £7,500 better off then before they sold their property.

Thinking of trading up on your property in Ealing?  Call Northfields Estates now on 0208 840 6666 for an idea of how much money you stand to gain by selling and buying in Ealing.  Or request your free valuation online here.


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