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If, as a property seller, you’re worried about not getting a fair and reasonable asking price for your home, we have some words of reassurance for you: the market is still very much favouring sellers over buyers.
This is mostly due to the supply/demand imbalance which has existed in the UK housing market for a number of years now. With demand continuing to heavily outweigh supply, there are more buyers than there are homes to buy, which is to the benefit of sellers as the number of people you can target your property towards is higher.
Demand outstripping supply also means house prices stay high. It is economics at its most base level: if there is more demand, prices go up. If there’s more supply, prices go down as the consumer has more bargaining power and room to negotiate.
Eleven buyers chasing every available property
Currently, supply levels are nowhere close to keeping up with demand. Recent research carried out by NAEA Propertymark found that there are some eleven buyers fighting it out for every home, while supply diminishes.
In February 2017, the number of available properties to buy per registered estate agent branch fell to 38, down from 41 in December. It is also the lowest figure seen since July 2016, the month after the Brexit vote.
Average house prices continue to rise
House prices are also picking up again, after January saw the slowest annual rate of growth in more than a year. According to Nationwide’s latest House Price Index, house prices increased by 0.6% in February 2017. On an annual basis, meanwhile, prices were up by 4.5%.
While annual house price growth has been slowing, thanks to stamp duty changes and the Brexit vote, most experts have still predicted solid house price growth for the year ahead and the early figures suggest this will be the case.
Even with the political and economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the triggering of Article 50 (set to happen at the end of this month), the housing market has stayed strong and resilient.
Things are looking rosy in the capital
In London, more than anywhere else, prices continue to soar. Demand for homes in the capital is higher than every other region, with jobs, investment, commerce, tourism and financial services thriving.
It’s also one of the world’s truly global cities – drawing people from all over to live and work – as well as being a hugely popular tourist destination and a popular place for overseas buyers to invest in property.
Demand for homes is only going one way
With London’s population rising – predicted to be above 9 million by 2020 and around 11 million by 2050 – plus major transport infrastructure projects like Crossrail and HS2 implemented in the years ahead, demand for properties is expected to be greater still in the near future.
Increased demand means, as a seller, you have a greater pool of prospective buyers to choose from. It puts you in a strong bargaining position when it comes to setting an asking price and gives you the upper hand in any subsequent negotiations. With competition so fierce, your chances of pushing through a fast house sale are also higher because would-be buyers will be eager to act decisively.
It’s a great time to put a home on the market
Now, more than ever, is a great time to sell your property. It is, after all, no longer stocks, shares, and pensions where people tie up their money, but property. It’s seen as the best asset class available, the best way to make a return on your investment.
It’s why the first-time buyer market is so fiercely competitive. But it’s not just first-time buyers; a wide range of demographics make up the buyers’ market, from second and third-steppers, to downsizing retirees, landlords and wealthy foreign buyers.
Of course, high demand alone doesn’t get a home sold. Your property will need to be warm, welcoming, clean, tidy and pleasing on the eye. You’ll need to be flexible with viewings and work closely with your estate agent to market your property effectively.
If you would like further guidance on buying or selling a property in North London, East London, Hertfordshire or Essex, we would be delighted to help.
Find out how much your home could be worth on the current market by requesting a free instant online valuation.