Re­gion rid­ing high as trans­port links help bring buy­ers back

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Tim War­ing

SOME­ONE said to me last week: “Who in their right minds buys a house in De­cem­ber? It’s cold, wet, and foggy and that’s dur­ing the nor­mal win­ter let alone the ex­tremes we have ex­pe­ri­enced dur­ing this year”, It’s not an un­com­mon view­point.

So is my friend right? I would say that he cer­tainly is not. In fact, quite the re­verse if this year is any­thing to go by. Some might cyn­i­cally take the view that this is yet an­other ar­ti­cle by an es­tate agent with noth­ing bet­ter to do than to in­flate the win­ter mar­ket place or his/her ego (or per­haps even both). How­ever, per­haps it is worth hav­ing a look at the facts.

Year on year 2011/2012 our view­ings are up, So are of­fers and, not sur­pris­ingly, the same can be said of sales. So is there any par­tic­u­lar rea­son for this en­cour­ag­ing up­turn?

Well, I have used my reg­u­lar slot in the York­shire Post prop­erty sec­tion be­fore to ex­tol the virtues of re­al­ism and north­ern com­mon sense and I be­lieve th­ese have helped the mar­ket in this area.

Whilst th­ese con­tinue there is hope for the fu­ture. In fact, I think there is a quiet con­fi­dence re­turn­ing to the mar­ket place. A straw poll I con­ducted among fel­low agents across York­shire this week sug­gests I am not alone in pick­ing up this vibe.

Al­most with­out ex­cep­tion, this con­fi­dence boost is men­tioned with cau­tion, al­most whis­pered for fear of be­ing taken out of con­text or mis­in­ter­preted. No one dare men­tion the words “green” and “shoots” for fear of reprisal from frus­trated ven­dors who failed to sell dur­ing 2012.

So where does this all lead us to? Maybe an anal­y­sis of buy­ers will help. Through Knight Frank in Har­ro­gate this year, over a third of our buy­ers (38 per cent to be pre­cise) have moved into the area from out­side of York­shire, with an en­cour­ag­ing 62 per cent stay­ing put in “God’s own county”.

So why are so many peo­ple mov­ing here? Well, to read­ers of the York­shire Post I am preach­ing to the con­verted, but then maybe our fel­low coun­try­men in south­ern Eng­land are fi­nally re­al­is­ing that Wake­field, Leeds and York all have a train ser­vice that takes them to Lon­don Kings Cross in around two hours. Maybe word has spread that the A1 no longer has any round­abouts through York­shire.

In fact, there are now none from Ty­ne­side to Bed­ford­shire and it has been up­graded. Then there is Leeds Brad­ford Air­port and the re­turn of the flag­ship ser­vice with Bri­tish Air­ways to Lon­don Heathrow plus the ar­rival of Monarch Air­lines to com­ple­ment the pres­ence of Jet2. com and Ryanair.

Im­prove­ments to the re­gion’s in­fra­struc­ture is un­doubt­edly a ma­jor at­trac­tion. How­ever, for those of us al­ready here, there are other fac­tors that ap­pear to be driv­ing the mar­ket, in ad­di­tion to the afore­men­tioned north­ern com­mon sense.

Fi­nally, we seem to be ex­or­cis­ing the prop­erty ghost that, for many, has lin­gered since the heady days of 2007. There is now wide­spread ac­cep­tance that times and val­ues have moved on, and peo­ple are re­al­is­ing that there is no point in re­flect­ing on what your house was worth then.

As is ever the case, a prop­erty is only worth what some­one will pay for it and it is against this back­ground that sales are be­ing agreed be­tween buy­ers and sellers who are real­is­tic. I ex­pect this trend will con­tinue into the New Year but not against a back­ground of price in­creases. That said, I do not see prices fall­ing to any no­tice­able de­gree when buy­ers re­turn to the mar­ket. Ul­ti­mately, it’s all about sen­si­ble pric­ing and mak­ing sure your home is well pre­sented, but now is not the fo­rum for house doc­tor ad­vice.

So whether my sprouts of re­cov­ery (ex­cuse the top­i­cal Christ­mas pun) are air, road or rail driven or sim­ple ac­cep­tance of re­al­ity I am hope­ful that 2013 will see an ac­tive res­i­den­tial prop­erty mar­ket across York­shire.

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