Time to get real, even at the top end of the mar­ket

Sell­ers are learn­ing that it pays to think about the price tag and to do it in per­cent­ages rather than pounds ster­ling. Sharon Dale re­ports.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

A DEL­UGE of ask­ing price data was re­leased this week and it proves quite clearly that greed doesn’t pay.

If you don’t set a re­al­is­tic price in the first place, your prop­erty can lan­guish un­sold for months even af­ter a se­ries of re­duc­tions.

Zoopla says that even prop­er­ties over £1m, where the mar­ket has been most re­silient, have has their fair share of dis­count­ing. Of all £1m-plus prop­er­ties on the mar­ket at the mo­ment, 27 per cent have had their price slashed at least once.

That’s be­cause buy­ers at the top end of the mar­ket are acutely price-aware and in­sist on value for money, so get­ting it right first time is im­por­tant.

Pa­trick Mc­Cutcheon, head of res­i­den­tial at es­tate agency Dacre, Son and Hartey says: “Even if a prop­erty is four or five per cent over what it should be, it can scup­per the pos­si­bil­ity of a sale. If the ask­ing price is fair then there’s a good chance of sell­ing. It’s when ven­dors go for a pre­mium that there are prob­lems.

“That’s not to say that buy­ers are look­ing for cheap houses, they they are sim­ply look­ing to buy at a com­pet­i­tive and re­al­is­tic level.”

For­tu­nately, says Pa­trick, the ma­jor­ity of sell­ers he en­coun­ters are re­al­is­tic.

“Most have their fin­ger on the pulse and know what’s go­ing on in the world, so they are pric­ing sen­si­bly.”

Har­ro­gate-based Tim War­ing, head of res­i­den­tial for Knight Frank in the North, agrees that price sen­si­tiv­ity is acute at the mo­ment.

He says: “There are buy­ers about but they are price sen­si­tive es­pe­cially about any­thing that has an Achilles heel, like houses near a road or a plot that is com­pro­mised by size or shape. Re­al­ism is key, though there are sell­ers who are pre­pared to sit and wait for the price no mat­ter what.”

Ac­tiv­ity at the top end mir­rors that of the rest of the mar­ket. It’s sub­dued but sup­ply and de­mand are gen­er­ally in bal­ance and agents are ex­pect­ing an au­tumn up­turn boosted by buy­ers who have been bid­ing their time.

“We have had buy­ers who have been hold­ing off but now they per­ceive that prop­erty is good value for money. We’re start­ing to see the Leeds pro­fes­sional com­mu­nity com­ing back to the mar­ket,” says Tim, who re­ports an en­cour­ag­ing trend that seems to be grow­ing.

York­shire’s tra­di­tional hotspots in the golden tri­an­gle, in­clud­ing York, Har­ro­gate, Ilk­ley, Wetherby and North Leeds are at­tract­ing more peo­ple from the south. Some are York­shire born and want to re­turn home but oth­ers have been im­pressed with the qual­ity of life on of­fer here.

Our fab­u­lous mix of coast, coun­try and city plus an en­vi­able road net­work and good raillinks to Lon­don have lured them up north.

Tim War­ing says: “Last year a third of our buy­ers were from out­side York­shire and we are now def­i­nitely see­ing them com­ing from fur­ther afield. It’s quicker for those who work in Lon­don to com­mute to places like York and Leeds than it is to deep­est Here­ford­shire and Glouces­ter­shire.”

Away from the golden tri­an­gle, es­tate agent Si­mon Blyth, who has branches in the Hud­der­s­field, Wake­field and Barns­ley ar­eas, is see­ing a steady stream of in­ter­est in mil­lion pound plus homes com­ing from those trad­ing up the prop­erty lad­der and oth­ers look­ing to in­vest their sav­ings:

“In­vest­ment is a driv­ing force be­cause peo­ple are look­ing for anal­ter­na­tive to the stock mar­ket or the bank. We’ve just had a per­son buy a £750,000 house with his sav­ings. He’s go­ing to move into that and rent his own home out. The rental in­come will pro­vide him with a bet­ter re­turn than the bank. He’ll even­tu­ally sell his new home and move back into his old one. We have an­other client who sold his £800,000 house four years ago. It’s on the mar­ket again and he’s think­ing of buy­ing it back and rent­ing it out.

“The fact is there has never been a bet­ter time to buy and those at the top end of the mar­ket are well aware of that.”

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