A first year full of challenge but plenty of hope for the future
IT has now been a little over a year since I took the plunge and founded DHP Croft, a residential agency and property consultancy in Yorkshire, and it has been a thoroughly enjoyable, if challenging, experience.
I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, as the residential property market is still emerging from the doldrums, but I have been heartened by the support of a wide range of clients old and new, colleagues and friends.
But what is the property market like in Yorkshire? During these first 12 months, we have noticed that there still remains a flight for quality and we have noticed that top-end houses, priced at realistic values, will sell.
However, a large range of property remains unsold and has been on the market for several months and even several years. This is purely down to people having unrealistic perceptions about the value of their home.
If the vendor is advised as to why their property is valued at the amount it is, then they have to take that on board in order to achieve a successful sale. If not and they try for what they think it is worth, the property will stand the chance of remaining on the market for a long period of time.
There have also been a number of transactions that have taken place “off the market”, as private transactions often achieve the best value as well as keeping people and their properties out of the public domain.
As for the future, we believe that the next 12 months will continue to remain difficult with pressures within the Eurozone and the difficulty in borrowing money causing nervousness and preventing property purchasing.
However, there are still a number of people who aspire to live in their dream home and others that have to sell for personal or work-related issues or relocation. Therefore, transactions will continue to take place and, as long as the parameters between selling and purchasing remain at a level where people are comfortable, the Yorkshire property market’s wheels will continue to turn.
Since launching last year, DHP Croft have dealt with a wide range of properties from aspirational family homes to city centre apartments, picture-postcard cottages, mews flats, country houses and estates together with development sites and land. As always, focused marketing, lateral thinking and attractive locations have been crucial to every successful transaction.
Overall, the market remains tough in Yorkshire and it still favours the buyer. However, vendors want to ensure that they achieve a maximum price while the buyer wants to feel that they have got their “pound of flesh”.
Sellers will have to accept that they must negotiate on price in order to achieve a sale while, at the same time, being realistic about the value that is attributed to the house when it is put on the market. There are still the sales where death, debt and divorce are factors causing a property to be sold against the vendor’s real wishes. More often than not, the purchaser can take advantage of those situations.
However, for the picture postcard cottage, the attractive family home and the unique country estate, of which there are many excellent examples across Yorkshire, this is an aspirational purchase and, if the buyer is deemed to be paying the full price, then it is not so much of a factor as they will be living in the property for many a year. That, in its own right, gives them some form of value back.
It also almost goes without saying that the vendor must ensure that their property is in the finest condition possible when it comes on to the market. Investment in making your property look lovely pays dividends.
Overall, I know there will be excitement and challenges in a testing residential property market, but I am looking forward with confidence and hope.
Toby Cockroft, DHP Croft, www.dhpcroft.co.uk