As autumn draws to a close and winter is upon us I thought it would be interesting to cast an eye over the year to date and see how much the dynamics of the market have, in actuality, changed since its peak in 2006 and 2007.
2011 has certainly been a challenging year within the residential market as the housing sector continues to find its feet after the turbulent times of 2008. We have seen a steady stream of business continue throughout the year once the ice and snow affected January market was put behind us. We have consistently found that there are willing and able buyers out there although the buyers are very price sensitive. A pro-active stance to sales has had to be taken as the days of 2007, when a house would almost sell itself, are far gone.
The trend within the market has been that lower priced houses have sold well whilst the upper end of the market took some time to re-emerge. October, however, saw the same number of sales agreed on properties at prices in excess of £750,000 as were agreed in the preceeding nine months put together. Of the October sales it was interesting to note that three were agreed within a month of the launch of the marketing campaign and that one price agreed was almost 11% over guide price!
So what of the widely reported doom and gloom that we so often read about? The fact that the glory days of 2006 and 2007 are history and there is no life in the housing market at all? I would never try to claim that the current market is full of life, but I would argue against the death sentence that the press has imposed on house sales. The Tettenhall branch of my firm agreed the same number of sales in October 2011 as it did in October 2006 and a higher number than in 2007. Of course agreeing sales is all well and good – it is seeing the sale through to completion that really counts. The same branch saw the same number of completions take place in October 2011 as it did in October 2007 and more than in October 2006!
I admit that this was one month taken at random, it being the last month of figures being available as I write this article – other months may have fared less well in the comparison stakes. I also acknowledge that average sale prices are lower now than in 2006 and 2007 but, nevertheless, it makes interesting reading.
The market is now approaching its pre Christmas slumber and all of the analysts will no doubt be preparing their pessimistic forecasts for 2012 and beyond. Global prophesies are always of merit but I prefer to look at the local reality and I would like to think that next year will continue in the same vein as the year has ended – let us all wait and see!