In Kate's property special with Frances Finn on BBC Radio Nottingham, a number of property topics were discussed, these included property prices; 1930's properties; key issues in the market; focus on Southwell; fastest sales; sellers and self build.
Latest national news from the Land Registry shows our average house price is £158,377 only 5% down year on year (albeit based on an appalling 2008!). The East Midlands average house price is £125,185 and down by nearly 6% while Nottingham’s average house price is now £120,000, but still nearly 10% down year on year, so double the fall of the national average. This isn’t really a surprise as most of the ‘good news’ is coming from ‘down south’ in London and due to prices being so high, it can quickly skew the average.
However, be happy you are not in ‘Neath, Port Talbot’ in Wales, they were the worst performing region and average prices are down by 19%!
Sellers are receiving offers at around 93% of asking price, on average selling after 11 viewings and taking approximately 8-9 weeks to sell.
Focus on 1930s Properties
It’s often difficult comparing property prices from one region to another, so we thought we’d concentrate on a popular property type to compare different Nottinghamshire areas: 1930s semis and detached!
Here is a comparison of 1930 semis property prices across the Nottingham region (3-5 beds):-
Cheapest sold in Retford at Auction for around £87,000, most expensive was £217,000 in Loughborough.
For detached, probably looking at around £250k in places such as Beeston and Radcliffe on Trent.
Key Issues in the Market
Very much still finance. Lenders requiring large deposits and now seeing problems for buyers who are self employed. Case with one buyer, very small mortgage but was self employed in construction market, no real risk at all to a lender, can’t get a mortgage even with a massive deposit!
Have been picking up problems with lenders coming back with offers ten thousand less than the buyer/seller have agreed. However this is only happening sporadically now, whereas it seemed ‘rife’ earlier in the year. However, it is still an issue if the buyer offers more than the property was originally marketed for, lenders aren’t keen to offer the ‘extra’ money in these cases.
Come on lenders, you have no reason to be so mean, it’s essential that 5-10% deposits come back into play to move the market forward. You’ve overreacted to the market situation, inter-bank lending is starting to settle, HSBC and Barclays made huge profits, so no excuses!
Finally, still a shortage a properties on the market, so if you really do need to move but are holding back, it might be worth chatting to your local agent to see if they have buyers on their books that would be interested in your home. However, don’t be greedy, latest reports of ‘house prices’ going up have led sellers back into bad habits of wanting to sell their home for more than the agent recommends – don’t do it, especially in this market, it will back fire and you are likely to sell for less than you could have done if you’d priced it fairly.
Who’s top of the property pops when it comes to selling a property? Generally offers going through within a month which is fast, normally 6-8 weeks.
Beeston, offer within a couple of weeks;
Retford, offer within 48 hours and completed in a mere 5 weeks, similar for a property sale secured in Loughborough.
However prize goes to Southwell who received an offer within 24 hours and actually secured a completion within 1 week and 4 days – astonishing!
Most agents are expecting a slowdown, although some think that if the Stamp Duty goes back down to £125,000 at 1% instead of £175,000 ceiling, then the market will continue to be buoyant until Xmas, so they need the stock.
Focus on Southwell
This is a key area where they are short of four bed homes because of families wanting to move there for the Minster School. However, you need to bear in mind the Government are cracking down on people ‘cheating’ by putting the grandparent’s address down etc., so it's essential to be honest!
There is another way around this problem, it is a little known fact that apparently you can secure a place at the local schools if you live in Farnsfield, but you would need to check this out with the school as catchment areas can vary, but could be worth thinking about it if you can’t afford Southwell or find something that you want. You may want to consider it as an interim measure and you can still shop and dine out in Southwell. So always consider ‘nearby’ areas, often they grow in value more than areas that already command a high price.
Who’d be a seller in this market?
If you are selling it’s important to be aware that buyers are a) quite sensitive and b) quite fickle, especially at the moment as they are convinced the perfect property is within their reach!
In the current market, it could take up to 20 viewings to purchase your home. Don’t be surprised if someone who looked at your property three months ago comes back and makes an offer – they are the ones that have viewed everything else on the market, appreciate there is nothing ‘better’ out there and are likely to be more serious buyers.
If you receive an ‘insulting’ offer, don’t be offended, you are likely to try it on too when you make your offer! Any offer is good news. Politely say ‘no’ and let them know the minimum you would accept. On the other hand if you can get an equal discount on the property you are looking to buy, then don’t be proud, accept it and move on!
Don’t give buyers any reason to hate your property (ie leave it in a tip or have garish colours on the wall!). Make sure there are no cracks or wires showing – they are sensitive and will declare it will need rebuilding or re-wiring! Every room MUST have a purpose ‘this is for storage’ or ‘we don’t really use this room for anything’ does not encourage buyers to buy.
Forget the coffee and baking, unless you are doing it anyway, buyers are likely to think you are hiding something these days, they have all watched the property programmes and are quite savvy, so don’t try to fool them!
Self Build – Now is the TIME!
I know I bang on about this, but here’s the latest news from Plotsearch which is a database of land for sale:-
The RICS report an increase in house prices and highlighted what we are seeing in Nottingham, that a lack of supply is holding back the market as currently the number of buyers far outweighs the number of houses for sale, and although we are still selling only half the number of homes we were selling last year, the ones that are selling are doing so at a small increase (versus 2008, NOT 2007 peak prices).
However, the market for plots of land is looking much different. Since the start of the year, almost 6,000 new building opportunities have been added to the PlotSearch website, over 13% of which came onto the market last month, the highest number in a month since last October. The database has also recorded the highest number of available plots recently, with over 9,000 homebuilding opportunities currently available; a 45% increase on the years before the credit crunch. And whilst a Government property survey said house prices have risen 6% since May, plot prices have fallen by 7% in the last six months.
And it’s not just extra land that is good news, at the moment 63% of Plotsearch land opportunities are priced below £175,000. This falls to 47% when stamp duty is paid at £125,000.
There are some lovely plots around at the moment:-
Nottinghamshire - currently has 112 plots!
Mansfield – plot for a two bed semi only £39,995!
Cropwell Bishop – plot for a four bed home £240,000, this is quite high though.
A great way of building the home that you want to live in. In the Vale of Belvoir it is very difficult to get land, so is a great opportunity, just on the edge of the village, lovely plot!
Kate is one of the top property experts in the UK and regularly quoted in the press including the Telegraph, Independent, Times, Daily Mail and Express, and has appeared on BBC2, as well as featured on BBC Radio 4 and a number of local BBC Radio stations. Kate has also been a consultant to the property sector for a number of years and is the author of a number of books, including four for Which? - Buy, Sell, Move House, Renting and Letting, Develop your Property and the Property Investment Handbook. Contact Kate Faulkner at http://www.designsonproperty.co.uk/