William Wells of Mullucks Wells is warning sellers against inflating the sale price of their property in response to newspapers reports that another housing boom is on the horizon.
In August, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed prices rose again from May to June – for the fifth consecutive month. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors also said prices rose last month, at their fastest rate since November 2006, and that for the first time this year all areas of the country have seen price increases.
Director William Wells said, “The media has been full of reports about rising house prices and a forthcoming property boom. This is dangerous ground and although sellers are becoming more confident about the economic climate and the property market generally, the recovery is patchy, with many buyers chasing the same properties. Other houses - particularly those in more rural locations – are finding a thinner market. Estate agents therefore need to temper some owners’ expectations to avoid disappointment.”
A Halifax survey last month said it was the best time to get a mortgage for 14 years and said that there is now wider availability of attractively-priced mortgage products, which appeal to a range of purchasers - including families moving on, first time buyers and investors.
William Wells added, “Improved mortgages do appear to be easing the property stalemate in some areas in Hertfordshire and Essex. Properties below £250,000 tend to be faring better than in recent years. But this is not universal in all price brackets - and the higher the stamp duty bill, the tougher it is out there.
“Buyers will take into account all factors including how much it will cost to get from home to work or school, maintenance and heating costs. There are always areas where properties will sell - such as villages with good schools and a shop or pub. But many properties are a compromise and sellers must remain realistic when they are pricing and not get totally carried away by reports in the press.
“Although there has been a significant increase in activity in some parts of the market, particularly at the lower end, we are a very long way away from another property boom.”