While there is no particular pattern in the Wiltshire housing market at the moment we are happily seeing signs of more confidence from buyers and activity is on the up. One is always hesitant to herald the recovery, and it is likely that this is the end of the beginning, rather than the beginning of the end, but at last we may be witnessing some green shoots.
The first four months of 2013 were pretty dire in terms of rural housing stock and activity, but as soon as the weather warmed, so did the market. Anyone who keeps an eye on the property portals will see the increase in sales agreed and this is an exciting indication that lenders are lending, buyers are buying and prices are holding their own.
How should buyers view the market now and where should they be pitching offers?
The first thing to say is that prices are not rocketing away and are not likely to for the foreseeable future. But the market is firming, which means that vendors need not take as much of a hit on their sales as they have had to. To give an indication, the average offer that we have agreed on all sales since the beginning of June is only 1.8 % below guide price, while this time last year it was more like 5%.
As long as a property is pitched in line with its comparables, it is likely to sell reasonably well and buyers need to understand that we are now entering a more equitable market where deals are being struck at sensible levels.
You could almost say that the end of the buyers’ market is nigh. It certainly is for family houses in good locations, where the excellent schools in this area are attracting more and more families from London and the Home Counties, all vying for elusive property.
If you are a buyer, therefore, perhaps you should remember these points:
Do your property homework – you should know what sort of property you can buy for your money and be able to put a broad value on what you see.
Be decisive – if a house ticks 7 boxes out of 10, you should be thinking seriously about it.
Be realistic – don’t expect to buy too far below the guide price.
Be confident – that you are buying at the bottom of the market.