2023 has been an interesting year so far. National statistics will tell you that the economic difficulties we are all facing combined with higher mortgage rates, are causing house prices to slide and some economists are suggesting that a housing price crash is on the cards. However national statistics lump all price ranges and locations into the same basket, and therefore can create a false impression for some areas of the market. In the south of the country we are very unlikely to see a crash in prices.
In Hampshire, West Sussex and Surrey there is still very strong demand for properties above £1m, although buyers are being a lot more cautious. The most desirable houses with no blights (roads, trains, planes, pylons, flood issues) are still attracting multiple bids, but the rest are floundering and vendors are having to lower their price expectations. This is causing a much wider rift between the ‘best in class’ houses and the rest, which some vendors are struggling to accept and so their houses remain unsold.
Something else for vendors to consider is that over 30% of sales are falling through at the moment and it is no longer a seller’s market . If you get good strong buyers for your house you should get to exchange of contracts as soon as possible, no longer can you afford to ask them to wait until you find your ongoing purchase.
It has been tough for buyers over the last few years with a dreadful lack of properties to buy, and more recently with the problem of climbing mortgage rates. However this Spring saw more houses becoming available and it feels as though inflation may be topping out. Borrowers have had a fantastic twelve years of rock bottom rates, and while it is very painful for many, the new rates will soon become the new normal.
If there is a further dip in prices then I think the second half of 2023 could be a great time to buy. I believe the continuing strong demand will prevent prices from sliding too far, but in the meantime there may be some good opportunities.
In the last 4yrs, over 70% of the properties we have bought for our clients have not been advertised on the internet. The benefits of instructing a buying agent based in the area you are looking who has expert knowledge, good local contacts, an excellent track record and a close relationship with all the local agents, is paying huge dividends in the current climate. We continue to get fantastic testimonials from our clients who have experienced the high level of professionalism and bespoke service that Stacks provides. In 2023, local knowledge and contacts are proving more important than ever.