Welcome to this month's local property report where we tell you exactly what is happening in the local property market.

Thanks to many agents over-valuing in the earlier parts of the year, those sellers have now started to reduce their prices bringing the market into balance as buyers’ and sellers’ expectations meet. We are seeing strong demand from buyers and when a property is priced sensibly, they are selling fast and at, or very close to, asking price.

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

How many houses sold in South Somerset in September?

In September 2018, 182 properties sold (stc) in South Somerset.  178 were sold in the same time period in 2017 so the good weather this year must have made everyone feel energetic. There has been a decrease from August 2018, when 197 properties were sold. This decrease bucks the expectation of an upturn once the kids have gone back to school and proves once again that property market myths are not to be trusted. The biggest difference compared to 12 months ago is the decrease of sales between over £500,000. It has gone down from 11 sales to 9 sales this year - almost an 19% decrease. The slower pace at this end of the market is not unusual as it is not a “need-based” move. People here are often downsizing or changing lifestyles, unlike those with babies on the way or a job move, so they can equally choose not to. There has also been a surge in equity release happening so there are fewer properties coming to the market in order to release capital for the sellers.

September’s breakdown is as follows
Up to £125,000           23 properties sold (-14.8%)
£125,001 - £250,000  103 properties sold (+11.9%)
£250,001 - £500,000  47 properties sold (-2.08%)
Above £500,000         9 sold (-18.2%)

Why has there been an increase in sales between £125,000 and £250,000?

The stamp duty changes affecting first-time buyers have enabled more people to start their journey on the property ladder. This often happens within this budget range as many people buy together as a couple to pool resources. We are also seeing an increase in long-term serious property investors return to the market after many hobby investors have left the market with the tax changes last year.

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 although there 16 fewer sales in the terrace market this month compared with last month. Apartments sales were up by 6 however the biggest surprise was the increase in sales for detached homes which was up by 3 compared to last month’s drop by 21.

Another property market myth that houses sell better in the Spring is still in common parlance and influences many people. However, due to the number of inexperienced agents who have not worked in this market before spent the first part of the year wildly over-valuing homes. These detached properties have then of course not sold until the prices have been reduced over the summer. The expectations of sellers and buyers have at last aligned and those homes are now sold. If agents haven’t been in the industry for 10-15 years, they haven’t worked this market before and so regularly over-value property. In conjunction with this, the internet-based ‘order taking’ days are gone and a return to old-fashioned estate agency ensures the best results for sellers but inexperienced agents don't know where to find buyers.

On a positive note at Orchards Estates we saw a number of homes achieve the full asking price in September. Sandhurst Road in Yeovil, Queen Street in Tintinhull, Townsend in Marston Magna are just some of these. 9 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                        40
Semi - detached             39
Terraced                         45
Flats / Apartments          21
Bungalows                      20

Sales by area

Martock and South Petherton went head to head this month with 7 house sales each.

The effects of over-valuing by inexperienced agents could be linked to one local agent having to close their office due to lack of sales.

Yeovil                    96      Properties  (17 were detached)
Martock                 7       Properties  (1 was a bungalow)
South Petherton    7       Properties  (2 were semi-detached homes)
Crewkerne             28      Properties  (8 were detached)
Ilminster                27      Properties  (4 were actually land parcels)

Villages                 17      Properties  (5 were terraced)
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 the summer sale that affected 5000 homeowners this summer… https://youtu.be/F2PTuqz11QA