Welcome to this month's local property report where we tell you exactly what is happening in the local property market.  Open the national newspapers and you will read the reports. But have prices really dropped? Are there fewer buyers around? Is it all because of Brexit?

The market has been surprisingly resilient and the usual August Summer holiday slump has not materialised this year.  Whilst the number of enquiries across the board has reduced, this has mainly been amongst the browsers. There are still a good number of serious and proceedable buyers registering, however they are very aware of the current overvaluing taking place in the market and are not looking to factor in price increase at the moment.

We’ve analysed what happened in August. Our information is taken from the intelligence reports we get daily from Rightmove and Zoopla.

How many houses sold in South Somerset in August?

In August 2018, 203 properties sold (stc) in South Somerset.  176 were sold in the same time period in 2017 so this hot summer has actually made it busier in our locality. It is also an increase from July 2018, when 184 properties were sold. The South Somerset property market appears to be resilient, but this has come at a cost to many sellers who overpriced their property initially. This increase in transactions is a reflection of prices being adjusted to reflect the current market. The biggest difference compared to 12 months ago is the increase of sales between £125,001 - £250,000. It has risen from 96 sales to 113 sales this year - almost an 18% increase. This is again a reflection of the price adjustments that have been taking place. In fact, one corporate agent had a national campaign and reduced over 5000 property prices!

August’s breakdown is as follows
Up to £125,000           22 properties sold
£125,001 - £250,000  113 properties sold
£250,001 - £500,000  59 properties sold
Above £500,000         9 sold

Why has there been an increase in sales?

In the first half of the year, there was a lot of overvaluing taking place, particularly with corporate agents struggling to hit their head office targets and the listing only, budget agents being paid to list properties and not to sell them. Why would you bother to price a property correctly when you get paid to list it rather than sell it?  The results of this are that vendors have had to take the hit and adjust their prices to realistically reflect the market value rather than the inflated value use to trick them into using a particular agent. This has resulted in a large number of price reductions and active buyers now seeing value and buying.

What type of property sold?

I always like to see what has actually sold. Terraces are still the most popular selling home in South Somerset; in fact, there were 10 more sales in the terrace market this month compared with last month. Apartments sales were up by 3 however the biggest surprise was the decrease in sales for detached homes which was down by 21.

This has been an interesting development, yet not really a surprise. The terraced market tends to be driven by a need to move, such as a new baby or to get into a school catchment area. The detached market tends to be driven by confidence and aspirational moves. These are more affected by media coverage around Brexit and house prices, although recent news coverage looks far more positive.

On a positive note at Orchards Estates we saw a number of homes achieve the full asking price in August. Hamdon Close in Stoke sub Hamdon, Littlemead in Norton sub Hamdon, Burrough Street in Ash are just some of these. 7 of our own sales were actually sold within 10 viewings or less. The national average is 15! It shows if you get your price and your presentation right - your home will sell in a third less time. Why not find out more about this?
Sales by houses type
Detached                   37
Semi - detached        48
Terraced                    61
Flats / Apartments     15
Bungalows                 27

Sales by area

Crewkerne and Ilminster went head to head this month with 29 house sales in each town.

Market towns are faring very well in today’s market offering a desired lifestyle with reasonable pricing when compared to larger towns in the district?
Yeovil                    109    Properties  (18 were detached)
Martock                 7       Properties  (1 was a detached home)
South Petherton   11      Properties  (3 were terraced)
Crewkerne             31      Properties  (6 were bungalows)
Ilminster                18      Properties  (5 were semi-detached homes)Villages                 31      Properties  (5 were bungalows)
If you would like to keep up to date with the local property market, check out our website www.orchardsestates.co.uk. If you’d like any moving advice and how we are getting houses sold despite the drop in property searches online - please get in touch.  At Orchards Estates, we are here to help. Call us on 01935 277977 or 01460 477977.

P.S.  Here is a little video about someone who used our Switching, Simply service.  It really does show the importance of picking the right estate agent to sell your home