It’s time to get real about prices in North York­shire mar­ket

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Tim Blenkin

WHILE the best houses are still fly­ing off the shelf, the ma­jor­ity of sales are strug­gling to make head­way. Many North York­shire houses are over priced by be­tween 10 per cent and 20 per cent and wide­spread price re­duc­tions are, in the end, in­evitable.

The demise of HIPS may have helped to bring more prop­er­ties back on to the mar­ket but with new buyer en­quiries on the de­cline, prices have suc­cumbed to the laws of sup­ply and de­mand and are fall­ing. Most buy­ers need a com­pet­i­tive sit­u­a­tion to re­as­sure them but of­ten we find our­selves us­ing all our ex­per­tise to hold to­gether sales that are vul­ner­a­ble be­cause there is only one buyer fully able to pro­ceed.

It is im­por­tant to un­der­stand, how­ever, that this is a po­larised mar­ket with the higher end of the res­i­den­tial mar­ket be­ing driven by a few cash-rich buy­ers and the lower end be­set by prob­lems of job in­se­cu­rity and mort­gage lend­ing.

The best prop­er­ties will al­ways tran­scend mar­ket con­di­tions but any prop­erty viewed as even re­motely run-of-the-mill needs acutely com­pet­i­tive pric­ing to move it. An owner who can­not sell and does not re­duce the price, pre­fer­ring to “sit it out”, might be in for at least a three year wait. So what has sold in 2010? Copt Hewick Hall, near Ripon sold for a fig­ure close to its £5m guide price, one of three houses or es­tates over £4m suc­cess­fully sold by Blenkin & Co in the last three years. Within three weeks of our be­ing in­structed, con­tracts were com­pleted on a fine York town house at its £1.4m guide price, and two other very de­sir­able town houses also sold within a short pe­riod to cash buy­ers, one from London.

A fur­ther York city house in a very pop­u­lar ad­dress achieved a sale sub­ject to con­tract al­most im­me­di­ately upon com­ing on the mar­ket and its sale is pro­ceed­ing apace.

Our trou­ble-free house sales have in­volved down­siz­ers with cash in the bank or clear­headed, un­en­cum­bered buy­ers who have re­sponded to the right prop­erty at the right price and have pounced on the new in­struc­tion. All found buy­ers within two weeks, all were in im­mac­u­late or­der, and each of them a not-to-be-missed op­por­tu­nity. In the last few days an of­fer has been ac­cepted on a rec­tory near York, close to its guide price of £1.5m and with­out the prop­erty ever for­mally com­ing on to the mar­ket.

This sale was largely down to the de­ter­mi­na­tion of a buyer who recog­nised the prop­erty’s rar­ity value and sprang into ac­tion. But these sales are the ex­cep­tions not the rules.

Many prop­er­ties around North York­shire are ad­ver­tised at a price that will tempt few buy­ers. While sell­ers rarely have an in­ter­est in pitch­ing their prop­erty at a re­al­is­tic mar­ket value, many es­tate agents are com­pet­ing for busi­ness by pric­ing high to en­trap sell­ers, ap­par­ently from a de­sire to fill the win­dow or web­site.

Buy­ers from out­side the area – on whom we have his­tor­i­cally de­pended to boost prices – have of­ten com­mented that our lo­cal ask­ing prices are un­jus­ti­fi­ably high.

One such buyer, who has just sold in the edge-of-theCotswold spa town of Chel­tenham, is baf­fled: “For the ask­ing price of a typ­i­cal fivebed­room vil­lage house mar­keted by one of the York agents, I can buy a Cotswolds Ge­or­gian Rec­tory – it’s crazy! Why would North York­shire com­mand val­ues in ex­cess of an area fed by London bonuses?”

The up­shot is that 25 per cent of our stock now comes from dis­grun­tled own­ers who had their palms crossed with the sil­ver of un­re­al­is­tic val­u­a­tions from other agents, and have asked us to sort out the mess and find them a buyer.

On a hap­pier note, the York area is a pop­u­lar place to live with strong em­ploy­ment, a low crime rate, ex­cel­lent school­ing and su­perb rail­way con­nec­tions to Leeds, London, New­cas­tle and Ed­in­burgh.

York Uni­ver­sity, Nestlé and Aviva as well as the bio-sci­ences, IT, the dig­i­tal and cre­ative me­dia in­dus­tries and tourism add to the pros­per­ity of the area and off­set the loss of fu­ture jobs in the biggest em­ployer, York City Coun­cil.

If es­tate agents and home­own­ers can come to terms with lower prop­erty prices, and if cash buy­ers can learn to take ad­van­tage of their strong po­si­tion and make some cheeky bids to get the ball rolling, the lo­cal prop­erty mar­ket will be free to flour­ish dur­ing these dif­fi­cult times.

Tim Blenkin is owner of Blenkin & Co es­tate agency in York. www.blenk­i­nandco. com

SOLD: Copt Hewick Hall fetched close to its £5m guide price.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.