It is good news so far for the housing market in Yorkshire
SO finally it look like we have had some good news from the banking world.
A study by Lloyds TSB has stated that almost two thirds of towns in England and Wales have seen a year-on-year increase in house sales.
It would be premature and perhaps even reckless to suggest that the residential market in Yorkshire has returned to normal. However, there is clearly something happening when the aforementioned study reports that the Yorkshire area has the highest proportion of towns in England and Wales that have reported an increase in sales yearon-year. All in all, 79 per cent have shown this encouraging rise.
So what is causing this market activity after the doldrums of recent years?
I have been advocating for many months that the down-toearth commonsense and realism for which Yorkshire is known would be essential for the market to turn. Not surprisingly, I am delighted that both buyers and sellers seem to have heeded this.
Lest one forgets, neither can function without the other if sales are to be secured. As such, I believe that the market could be very fragile over the next few months, if sellers react to what seems to be positive market comment and immediately harden their stance on price then we could be in trouble.
The fact remains that if after seven or eight viewings you have a couple of offers close, but below your asking price, then that is the market price, however much you tell your agent, solicitor and friends (and quite often potential buyers) that, of course, you don’t have to sell. Similarly, I urge buyers, and particularly valuers acting for anybody wanting a mortgage that what potentially seems to be an improving yet realistic market place cannot be ignored. It should not simply be dismissed as a short term blip.
Consequently, if you then find there are other bidders for the same house, it is quite probably true that a quick-talking estate agent is trying to wind you up. So if you like the house, why not make an increased bid?
But surely common sense and realistic pricing are not the only factors driving the year-on-year increase in house sales across our region?
While I believe the above are major factors helping the market at present, there does also seem to be an acceptance that ultimately a property is only worth what someone is prepared to pay.
You should present your home in the best possible light, attend to all the outstanding maintenance works and heed what the house doctors say. What they advise makes sense.
Therefore, keep the house tidy, remove the clutter and touch up decorative knocks and chips of everyday living. However, you do not have to be obsessive. Not everyone lives in a state of complete organisation and potential buyers can sometimes feel uncomfortable if nothing is out of place.
I also firmly believe the unique “living package” that we offer in Yorkshire cannot be beaten anywhere else in the UK. We are situated at the geographic centre of Britain at the junctions of the M1, A1 and M62, two hours by train from York to either London or Edinburgh, a regional airport flying direct to 30 countries, two national parks and bordering a third to the south, miles and miles of dramatic coastline, numerous long-distance walks as well as castles, cathedrals and Minsters. The list goes on and that is before considering the attractions of the villages and towns across the region and the commercial centres that drive our economy.
I am sounding like an ambassador for Welcome to Yorkshire, but then maybe I am. When you consider that 36 per cent of my property sales so far this year have been to buyers moving into Yorkshire from elsewhere in the UK or from abroad.
Tim Waring is a partner of Knight Frank and heads their estate agency team in Yorkshire