As we approached the festive season the market held up reasonably well and we had a flurry of activity with buyers keen to secure purchases prior to Christmas. There has been a noticeable increase in the number of first time buyers as prices at the lower end of the Torbay and South Devon market have drifted back to affordable levels.
As ever, the market is extremely price sensitive so realistic pricing is the key factor in determining the saleability of most homes.
Those vendors who are prepared to listen to professional advice from their agent and consider the advantages of off setting any perceived ‘loss’ on their sale by negotiating a good onward purchase price are finding that they are able to sell at a realistic price and not be financially disadvantaged overall at the end of the moving process.
We expect to see a steady start to 2013 with a good number of potential vendors telling us that they are ready to move having held off for the last few years. Once again sensible pricing will be key to the success of the market and the gradual re-emergence of first time buyers and buy to let investors coupled with the traditional migration of retirement buyers to South Devon should fuel more activity in 2013.
Melton Mowbray is a traditional market town that sits in lovely countryside surrounded by unspoilt villages with pretty country inns. The area tends to be a commuter area to Nottingham, Leicester and Loughborough as the communication links are great.
The town is on the border of Rutland – famous for its reservoir with wildlife and water sports – and is a great location for those looking to purchase as second home in the country due to the quality of life available, especially for those with children leaving home looking for a more relaxed pace. The area is also excellent for families, with really good schools at Oakham and the Loughborough Endowed schools. Ratcliffe College is also very popular. There are very good road, rail and airport links and the area is a rural capital of food with an international reputation for its pies and Stilton cheese. Melton is one of the few remaining towns with a thriving cattle market – known as the fur and feather – and a pedestrianised market square.
The housing market here has been remarkably robust with property values remaining stable since the middle of 2009. The area boasts good quality housing stock with excellent schools proving attractive to buyers and the villages are extremely popular. The market has been strong with sales up 25 per cent compared to the same period last month.
Situated in the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells, we are surrounded by delightful Georgian and Victorian architecture, open common land and parks which have provided us with many reasons to be optimistic when talking about the local property market.
Couple this with excellent local schools and a main line rail service to London in approximately 45 to 50 minutes, we are continuing to experience considerable demand across all property price ranges from £100,000 to £2,000,000.
Whilst the property market has remained buoyant this year, the future for Tunbridge Wells also looks exciting with the redevelopment of the old Kent & Sussex Hospital site and its proposed planning for 243 homes, pre school and office building. The centrally placed old cinema site also remains a constant point of discussion with various plans for its redevelopment into homes, retail and possible hotel.
Property generally remains in short supply throughout the town in both the letting and sales markets, allowing rents and prices to remain stable with increases being experienced in those areas and styles that are in most demand. The only down side to this is that agents are experiencing pressure on selling and letting fees, with everybody competing to list new instructions in order to build stocks for the New Year.
Buy to let has remained very popular this year and with returns in excess of 5 per cent, property has become a very attractive investment for a much wider audience.
In conclusion, we are looking forward to positioning ourselves for what could be a very active first quarter.