PUBLISHED: 15:33 23 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:08 20 February 2013
It's a marvellous market for people to trade up into a lovely country home. George Gray explains why
During the last quarter there has been a fair amount of positive comment regarding the property market. I have to say, I think we are in strange times! Many of us will recollect the property recession in the early '90s when it took some years for the market to fully recover, and in a couple of years there were false dawns, only for the market to slip back again in terms of values and volumes. High-percentage mortgages are not easily available or cheap, and we are now being told that interest rates are, perhaps by the end of this year, going up. Yet we are faced, unusually, with a remarkable shortage of property available on the market.
Buyers are active but looking for bargains. As I said in my last article, the key to success is realistic pricing. It is possible to create a competitive situation with bids from more than one buyer and to achieve the asking price (and sometimes more), but only when the asking price is really attractive or the property has some unique features.
The fact is that more buyers are taking the plunge. We have seen great support from buyers who are realistic in their views of the market; in fact, enquiries are up more than 25% since the start of the year and we have seen an increase of 30% in the number of people viewing houses.
Sales are also up; however, there are fewer sellers, so if this trend continues we will be left with an insufficient selection to offer our eager house hunters. Also, if the pundits of the press are right and the housing market really is close to bottoming, then we should consider that now is the time to sell. Remember that historically prices have taken years to recover so those who wish to wait may need to do so for some time. So take advantage of the more active market, particularly with more and more buyers deciding to get back on to the property ladder after a spell in rented accommodation. With low interest rates limiting any income from money on deposit, it has become more difficult to cover rents, so investing again in bricks and mortar seems a safer long-term bet.
The good news is that the rate of decline in values has dramatically slowed, and it remains a marvellous market for people to trade up into some of the lovely country homes that we have available. An example is The Blue House in Morcombelake at an asking price of £667,000. Situated between Lyme Regis and Bridport, this beautifully appointed detached house is set in nearly an acre of garden and woodland. Its elevated position offers treetop views and its open-plan contemporary-style interior is quite stunning. Moving from one end of the county to the other, Randalls Barn in Bourton near Gillingham is a barn-style family home; although relatively new, it has many character features and its pretty gardens back on to open farmland.
George Gray can be contacted at Palmer Snell Country & Fine Homes 01935 814531. www.palmersnell.co.uk