The Esher Property Market in 2018
Joe Dewar, Branch Manager – Curchods, Esher
2018 is already well under way and at Curchods we are consistently being asked two main questions that I thought I should help give some clarity to:
“Should I avoid moving given what’s going on with Brexit?”
“Have prices gone down?”
Should I avoid moving given what’s going on with Brexit?
The word Brexit made its way in to the Oxford Collins Dictionary in 2017 and must have been the most used word of the year.
The ongoing negotiations for our upcoming departure from the European Union dominated headlines throughout 2017 and this was sufficient cause for further delays in people’s plans to move home.
This led to a lower level of demand for property than what we have become accustomed to and we saw a reduced level of people successfully moving home.
At the end of the summer, however, we saw a wave of new buyers arrive with a “well we can’t wait any longer” mentality, which saw a surge in activity. All of a sudden we noticed properties changing hands at the rate we are used to and with a cautious optimism we were looking forward to a busy start to 2018…
January has delivered exactly that. If your fears of moving are based on Brexit and the doubt that it is casting over the country as a whole, then you can fear no longer!
For the vast majority of the country the referendum has not had a drastic effect, if at all, on their personal wealth and therefore nor has it on their ability to proceed with a move.
Buyers who planned to move a couple of years ago who have waited and waited are now two years further down the line in their desire to move and we’re already seeing this activity accelerate the pace of the market.
If the higher levels of activity aren’t enough to alleviate your concerns, perhaps consider that most homebuyers are looking at owning their next property for a period of 3-10 years.
Property prices in Surrey have increased 300% in the last 25 years and whilst Brexit no doubt will cause some short-term disturbance to the marketplace, history is likely to repeat itself during the term of your ownership with property prices growing once again.
It begs the question, why let Brexit put a hold on your own agenda?
In short, should you avoid moving given what’s going on with Brexit? No, not if you want to move anyway!
Have prices gone down?
If you pay attention to the online portals such as Rightmove, you’ll almost certainly have noticed huge numbers of properties having their price tags reduced.
Surely then that’s a sign that property prices have come off and my own home may have lost value over the last 18 months… Actually, no.
What the area has fallen victim to, is across the board over-valuation of property. With fewer and fewer people moving home, estate agents have been growing keener and keener to secure each individual house they value.
Unfortunately, when the competition is so high amongst estate agents it is not uncommon that higher and higher sale prices are quoted (and in some cases promised!) in order to secure the client’s business. Sadly, this leads to inflated marketing prices that, in a market that is steady at best, simply do not generate sales.
These prices then either reduce or the seller gives up when the lofty prices cannot be realised. As an onlooker to the market you could be forgiven for seeing all of these reductions and failed marketing attempts as a symbol of the frailty of the market.
This isn’t quite a fair reflection on prices.
Whilst marketing prices might be falling, sale prices have not. We’ve seen buyers quite happy paying the asking price and in some cases we’ve gone over the marketing price but that is a result of correct pricing and a realistic outlook from the seller.
If you can display blatant good value there are as many buyers out there as ever but, as soon as the marketing price starts too high, you could be in for a long journey!
So, have prices gone down?
No, but it is absolutely vital to start your journey to sell your home at a fair and reasonable market price.
Be cautious and do not be swoon simply by the highest valuation you receive.
Interrogate your estate agent as to how they’ve arrived at that price.
What research have they done?
How does that research relate to your house specifically?
How are they going to justify that price to buyers?
That’s a really important question that one, because buyers will need the price justifying and you can see your would-be estate agent in action!
You should get a good sense from how they respond to those questions and just how in line they are with where the market value should be.
I hope that’s helped any question marks you may have had over the property market and if you’ve got moving on the mind, I’d be delighted to discuss any queries or concerns you may have on 01372 462000.
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