A top up Sir?

Is your glass half empty or half full – that’s what struck me when I poured over yet another set of gloomy looking housing stats on Tuesday morning!

“House prices heading for a fall surveyors warn” said the BBC – because 44% of the members of the Royal Institution of Surveyors have apparently reported a fall in selling prices over the last three months.

Now I’ve done the maths and that means that over half disagree.  And I am right.  6% of those surveyed said prices had risen and 50% said they had been stable.

Talk about glass half empty reporting.  For a start only 265 estate agents were surveyed for this report – and of that number – more than half actually think the housing market is doing ok. 

I’m not sure what else the housing market could be doing.  Amidst talk of Government austerity measures and the October spending review the housing market will hardly see any sort of boom will it?

One month it’s a bit up the next it’s a bit down.  It’s called stabilising – and it’s what the housing market needs to do. The typical deposit that first time buyers need to put down has shrunk quite significantly – from 24% in July to 21% in August and figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show that the number of loans approved for house purchases is up 3% on the same time last year

So there is good news out there.  What’s more this latest set of stats was taken from the summer months when the property market is always a little subdued.  Everyone jets off to Faro – and worries more about topping up their tan than increasing their square footage.

To recap thenthe general consensus amongst estate agents is that the property market is stabilising.  Deposit requirements for first time buyers are on the way down and mortgage approvals are creeping up.  Yes the market is toughbut there is still a market and we all need to remember that. In short if you buy a new house now – it won’t be worth 10% more than you paid for it by Christmas but who wants a return to those days?

Basically if you are in the market for a new home then you’ve got to do your homework.  The problem with all these stats is that they generalise the situation and the reality is that the so called property market varies from county to county town to town – even street to street.  So buyers should start researching before they even start househunting.  Nethouseprices and upmystreet  are good places to start

In the meantime the key thing we all need to understand is this:  medium term our homes will hold their value and longer term will rise nicely and at a very sensible level (supply and demand pretty much guarantees that).

So at last some news to raise your (half full I hope) glass to!

Sue Warwick - National Sales & Marketing Director Miller Homes
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