Barnet Property Market Update, February 2023.
By Michael Holloway – Director Hunters Estate Agents Barnet
Having been in the property business for more than 30 years, I am proud to be celebrating 20 years as a partner in Hunters this year. During the two decades I’ve been part of the Barnet property scene, I have experienced the ups and downs of both the economic and property markets and the resulting impact this has on buyer and seller trends.
What we have experienced in the property market over the last few years has, by any standard, been exceptional and far from normal market conditions, today’s market is more stable and in line with what we would see as typical in terms of activity.
If you read the property pages of the media, you could be forgiven for believing that the property market is depressed. I often wonder where journalists get their information, as it rarely has little bearing of the reality on the ground. Whilst the current property market is certainly not the buyer-driven frenzy of 2022, the fallout from the mini-budget bringing an abrupt end to those times.
The London property market recovered fairly quickly and from the very end of last year, has gained in confidence, remaining at sensible levels with strong buyer activity and a much more realistic approach from motivated property owners looking to sell.
This has been further strengthened by more favourable reports of the UKs economic position, inflation showing downward signs and interest rates beginning to stabilise. This along with competition in the mortgage markets has seen some great deals for home movers and first-time buyers alike.
Inevitably, it is buyer and seller confidence that drives the market, and with these positive economic signals, people are gaining confidence. Consequently, we are progressively seeing more property being listed and increasingly more buyers coming to the market.
A balanced market
It was only a few months ago that we were talking about a strong seller’s market with buyers bidding against each other to secure an offer on their dream home. What a difference a few months and a mini-budget make.
Those frenzied times were unsustainable and couldn’t last, it was a boom, and with a boom comes the risk of a burst. Thankfully, it appears to have steadied and not burst, but in just a few months the property market has changed from a seller’s market to a balanced market.
The recent Rightmove House Price Index confirmed that the average new seller’s asking prices remain virtually unchanged in February, up just £14 on the previous month, their contention was that this is a sign that more sellers are heeding their estate agents advice to price property correctly the first time.
Overpriced property will limit the amount of interest from prospective buyers and lose out on the initial weeks of marketing considered crucial.
Today, price is more critical than in last year’s seller’s market. Sellers should not be persuaded to price their home too high, be sensible and remember, once you have agreed a sale, this will put you in a strong buying position for your onward purchase.
Ultimately property values always grab media headlines, but for buyers, and sellers who are themselves onward buyers, property values are not really that important. It is the gap between what you sell and buy for is critical.
Put simply, if you agree a sale at 5% less for your current home, you then have an opportunity to buy your new home at 5% less, and as most people trade up in value, in monetary terms you are better off financially…
Considering a move?
Please feel free to call me if you are considering selling your home in the Barnet area, either for an informal chat about the market and how we might help you with this or to book a market appraisal.
You can also use our Instant Online Valuation tool.
Ready to come to the market?
Spring is inevitably a good time and If I have already provided a market appraisal and you are ready to come to the market, I would be pleased to discuss the next steps with you.
Mortgage advice can be provided by Simpson Bowers, a firm of local independent financial advisors 0208 275 8555. I can highly recommend them as they have helped many of our clients, including myself.
Good luck with your house hunting.
Michael Holloway – Hunters of Barnet
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