The issue of house prices is a hot topic and close to every homeowner’s heart. Everyone has their opinion, but even that of experienced estate agents is no more accurate about the future of property prices than that of the layman. Prices are subject to micro and macro economics, political direction, taxation, the City, the Euro, the Dollar, and a whole host of tangibles and intangibles that all combine to influence the market.
Of course, a movement in the market can even become a self-fulfilling prophesy when subject to reckless or dramatic media headlines, prompted by the smallest shred of “evidence”.
Fortunately, most people have by now become somewhat immune to media hype and speculation, and look to the fundamentals of the economy to try to gain an understanding of the market – which still eludes most of us!
Ironically one indicator that is often misinterpreted is the one which is usually hailed as the most reliable source of all property data – the stats provided by HM Land Registry based on completed sales. Although newspapers will highlight the latest released figures, any estate agent will tell you that they are seldom an accurate reflection of current market sentiment. This can really only be measured by the activity levels reported by agents on an almost daily basis, and we can certainly testify that the current market in this area is far rosier than that reported by HM Land Registry.
For example, the latest HMLR figures reflect completions which happened up to three months ago, which reflect exchanges that happened up to six months ago that in turn reflect offers that were accepted up to nine months ago on properties that came to market possibly over a year ago!
When we provide homeowners with our market opinion, we take the fullest account of current buyer activity in the context of available comparable stock across the market, and find this up-to-the-minute approach helps us to secure the very highest prices the market will pay – today!