RICHARD STOVOLD, DIRECTOR
Seymours Estate Agents
The local property market remains positive with a strong demand for family homes. Supply is still critical in the market between £700,000 and £1,000,000 and currently demand is outstripping the supply. We had an open day on a family home in Burpham on Saturday 4th February at £985,000, we had 14 viewings on the launch day, four offers and we ended up getting best and final bids from all interested parties.
Annual house price growth overall in the UK ended 2016 at 4.5 per cent, the same as in 2015, and, month on month, prices increased by 0.8 per cent taking the price of an average home to £205,898. In Guildford, however, prices increased by 2.56 per cent in the last 12 months with an average house price of £571,324 – almost three times the national average.
Property has always been a safer long-term investment and so it is important to take a broader approach when looking at price growth and, if you look at the past five years, property prices in Guildford’s central GU1 postcode gave increased by almost 50 per cent since 2012.
Record prices continue to be achieved for properties in the town centre and strong competition remains for flats and Victorian homes within walking distance of the station, in particular.
Guildford also tops the charts when it comes to areas (outside London) with the most £1m-plus streets – 184 of the town’s roads have an average property value of over £1m – and we expect family homes in the £800,000 to £1.5 million price bracket to continue to achieve their asking price.
The majority of our marketplace is still price sensitive; buyers are reluctant to view homes which they feel are just too expensive or valued above other similar homes on the market. We often find the first three weeks is the key window of opportunity to secure interest and the all-important viewings and potential others.
The longer a property stays on the market, the more likely buyers will want to make a lower offer.
Over January, Seymours Burpham had 10 sales and the average sale price was £464,500. An average number of viewings for a month would be 200 viewings and we are expecting an average of 11 viewings per offer at present. This does change as we move closer to Easter, typically a busy time in the house moving calendar, as more buyers will be under offer on their own house sale and be ready to move. At the start of the year, many potential buyers are at the start of their search and sale process.
WAKEFIELD, WEST YORKSHIRE
SIMON MILLER, PARTNER
Largely due to its geography Wakefield has always had a consistent property market.
Only a stone’s throw away from Leeds, Wakefield and its surrounding towns and villages are extremely attractive to buyers looking for a good quality of life, and a cheaper alternative to Leeds.
Wakefield presents more affordable choices and we certainly offer a variety of properties to represent this. From country houses to terrace houses we have a good spectrum of property not just on our books, but also within the whole district.
Whether the requirement is to be close to the motorway, a good school, country walks, or shopping, the beauty of Wakefield is that no matter where you are those requirements are never too far away, and neither is the right house.
We receive a large percentage of our business from professionals and first time buyers who usually have a focus on our desirable suburbs for these very reasons.
The suburbs of Sandal, St John’s and Wrenthorpe are areas where properties sell quickly and more specifically re-furbished semi-detached bungalows in these areas are always an extremely quick sell.
But generally speaking any refurbished property, or incredibly well looked after/furnished property offered at around £200,000 or less in our popular suburbs will always sell quickly.
Wakefield has recently benefitted from a variety of new builds, some of which we have had the pleasure of marketing.
Offering high-spec living these developments have certainly made it easier for people to make a move, especially with the incentives on offer. From financial incentives like Help to Buy, Sales Assist Scheme, and Stamp Duty paid, to the security of the guarantees you receive, not to mention other offers such as part exchange, furnished kitchens, carpets etc. the benefits go on, it’s no surprise.
Wakefield really is a win, win town offering everything you need for an easy life, no wonder year on year we see an increase in the number of professionals relocating here.
DONCASTER, SOUTH YORKSHIRE
Moss Properties is an award winning independent agent. We have been growing since 2006 and Rightmove currently confirms us as the leading letting agent for new instructions and lets agreed. We have recently won an award with the Relocation Agent Network and are proud members of The Guild of Property Professionals.
The Doncaster property market naturally cooled off in December and in January 2017 we saw a slight drop in new properties coming to market (449)* compared to January 2016 (494)* the difference of 10 per cent doesn’t seem that significant but the amount of applicants we registered in January 2017 was 50 per cent more than our office registered in January 2016. With an increase of buyers in the market we’re witnessing properties selling in days and above asking price, for example last month our average purchase price to asking price was 102 per cent.
The increase of buyers in Doncaster has resulted in an influx of first time buyers taking advantage of the low mortgage rates, but more interestingly first time landlords who are simply not getting the return on their cash from the banks are seeking stronger returns in property. Experienced landlords looking to extend their portfolio, particularly from the South, are pinpointing Doncaster as an up-and-coming town for property investors. Which contrary to media reports, the tax relief changes currently being staged in by the government are not deterring them. In fact the number of managed properties continues to grow as we continue to acquire new rental properties.
Over the next few months I believe this story will continue; an increase in buyers coming to market, fewer properties coming to market and an increase in rental properties. With demand fiercely outweighing supply I think it’s imperative the government implements it’s proposal in the white housing paper to deliver between 225,000-275,000 homes each year to meet the current and growing demand.
*Figures from Rightmove.