House Prices Fall – But Local Market Conditions Count Most

Our news that house prices fell across most of the UK paints a gloomy picture of the property market, but it is conditions in the local market that counts the most when you come to sell, or buy.

When I say “local market”, I mean market conditions can differ from one street to another even in a small town.

If your house is in the catchment area of a sought after school, or overlooks the sea or is close to some other desirable feature. for example, then the value of your property could be increasing even though house values are falling in other parts of the same town, or even village.

So a view across the whole housing market in the UK will be gloomy at the moment – mortgages are still hard to obtain and chains are still likely to collapse, but it seems some areas are not only holding up, they are experiencing house price increases.

But why am I saying this now? Well, on the day when we publish Nationwides’ gloomy view of the property market, I received a note through the front door from a local estate agent. This is what it says:

“Due to an extreme lack of properties coming onto the market and the credit markets easing with more favourable mortgage deals available, we now find ourselves in the situation where we have lots of quality buyers and very few properties for sale.”

So according to one local estate agent, they just cannot get enough houses to match the demand from eager buyers.

Is that the optimism of an estate agent seeking more stock to sell in a very competitive market, or a genuine insight into the strength of our local property market?

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