As usual, there’s a lot of guff being spouted about what’s going on in the property market, and indeed even the expression ‘property market’ has little purchase when there are so many regional variations. Can one size fit all? As usual there’s no one size fits all figure/index/policy/price that fits each unique area of the UK. Here we’re talking about London and the Government’s one size fits all Economic Policy tends to work very much in our favour. London tends to have a preponderance of those with money and jobs, and therefore access to money, and with rates looking set to stay low for a lot longer than anyone envisaged (not a good sign of itself obviously) why wouldn’t you be helping yourself to an ING mortgage at 3.69% fixed for 5 years or a NatWest tracker at 1.99%. But the problem is people aren’t taking the plunge, and it’s obvious why… Daft agents persuading greedy sellers they can get more than is reasonable for their property.
If the average selling price in the UK is c. £163k and the average asking price is £236k. Need I say more!? I know Danny and his company, One London Property, are promoting a middle path between agents’ and private sellers but I really feel that just now is when you’ll need advice. Where Douglas & Gordon are getting sales, and they’re 33% less than this time last year, it’s where sellers have listened to us and lowered their prices. The odd thing is that much is made of prices coming down but careful here, what’s actually [needs to be] coming down are asking prices in London, and when that is happening suddenly buyers are sniffing about again.
Buyers ARE the real bellwethers of the Economy. Real selling prices haven’t really changed much despite some absurd statistics produced by one agency in central London showing that prices are up by 30% over the year, but almost no one I’ve met, except them, takes a shred of notice.So in my humble opinion the London Market is a mere 10% off springing into life again, sadly it might take till the Spring for that to happen at this rate though. Ed Mead is a Director of Douglas & Gordon and sits on the Property Ombudsman board. The Sunday Times Property expert for 10 years, he is also Agent Provocateur for the Daily Telegraph and regular TV pundit on GMTV, LBC and Highbrow financial news channels.