Metro - 04 April 2013
Easter Property Market
By Jo Eccles
With the long Easter weekend behind us, fingers are firmly crossed that the supply of new properties will pick up. Typically, properties are held back until after a bank holiday so the property market is now likely to pick up with new properties being put up for sale.
We’ve seen a real shortage of good properties on the market since the new year, so much so that in some cases, buyers are now snapping up some of the old, stale properties which have been sitting on the market since the end of last year.
This is particularly the case with buyers who aren’t so familiar with the market, and have started their search this year. Unfortunately, it can be easy for sellers to disguise the fact that their property has been sitting on the market for months as they will often switch to a new estate agent so that the new agent can say that it’s literally just been released – with no mention of the fact that it sat on another agent’s books for months and months last year. I’ve seen cases recently where I viewed a property with a client back in October and it’s still on the market now, for a quarter of a million pounds more!
The lack of supply means that the London property market definitely feels strong. This is great news for sellers who are commanding higher prices, but they also have to stump up more on their onward purchase, so the main ones who are really benefitting are the downsizers or those moving out of London. Hopefully, if more properties do come onto the market as expected, it may take some of the heat out of the market. With more choice, buyers can squeeze sellers a little more – assuming the seller does in fact need to sell. Central London is so detached from the rest of the UK, sellers don’t always need to sell and in some cases can simply name their price.