‘If in doubt do nowt’ is wrong ap­proach to this healthy mar­ket

Mar­ket Re­port

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY NEWS -

Tim War­ing, di­rec­tor of Dacre Son & Hartley, www. dacres.co.uk

LAST WEEK, Prop­erty Post ran a fas­ci­nat­ing over­view of the house price growth, ac­cord­ing to Home­track, across our great North­ern cities. While val­ues in Manch­ester over the last 12 months may have risen more in per­cent­age terms than Leeds, it is in­ter­est­ing to note that the av­er­age house price in Leeds, at £153,400, re­mains above that of Manch­ester, at £151,200.

With the stream of head­lines com­ing out of White­hall, Wash­ing­ton and our neigh­bours across the Chan­nel, per­haps it’s no won­der that many home­own­ers are won­der­ing what the fu­ture holds for their prop­er­ties. I am pleased to say there is now clear ev­i­dence that post Brexit, post US-elec­tion and post Christ­mas, the hous­ing mar­ket in York­shire in 2017 is show­ing en­cour­ag­ing signs of ac­tiv­ity. I’m not the only agent in York­shire who is of this opin­ion.

The num­ber of view­ings that my own firm has un­der­taken in Jan­uary, par­tic­u­larly up to £250,000, is sig­nif­i­cantly higher than last year. Like­wise, the num­ber of mar­ket ap­praisals for prop­er­ties of all val­ues. The lat­ter is a tell-tale sign of in­ten­tion and not, I hope, just idle cu­rios­ity.

As to sales, the most com­pelling in­di­ca­tor is the yearon-year in­crease in the num­ber of buy­ers who are look­ing at this time of year and who are, in the short-term, frus­trated by the lack of sup­ply. You will re­call that at this point in 2016 there was a prospect of the

Brexit vote with signs of mar­ket hes­i­ta­tion start­ing to show. This was fol­lowed by the prophets of doom, most no­tably a cer­tain Mr Os­borne, warn­ing that a leave vote would re­sult in price drops of up to 18 per cent. The re­al­ity, wit­ness the afore­men­tioned Home­track statis­tics, has been an­nual growth of 4.9 per cent and 4.3 per cent in Leeds and Sh­effield re­spec­tively.

Although anec­do­tal, I be­lieve in other ar­eas of York­shire, par­tic­u­larly in the much pro­moted Golden Tri­an­gle, price growth over the last 12 months may well have been in ex­cess of five per cent. So the proof, I would sug­gest, lies in the prover­bial pud­ding. So why are sell­ers now de­lay­ing putting their prop­er­ties on the mar­ket? As I have said be­fore, some I sus­pect are fall­ing in to the well-known trap of hes­i­ta­tion or as a more down-to-earth North­erner might say “if in doubt do nowt”.

I can un­der­stand this to some de­gree, par­tic­u­larly as I write on a damp cold and over­cast Fe­bru­ary morn­ing, but for many the im­por­tant fac­tor is the dif­fer­ence be­tween the sale and pur­chase price. While it will in­evitably be seen as self-in­ter­est on my part, surely if you buy and sell in the same mar­ket, be this on a damp over­cast Fe­bru­ary morn­ing or sunny sum­mer af­ter­noon, does it re­ally mat­ter when you start the process given the time it might take to get to the day you ac­tu­ally move?

I have long ad­vo­cated that the best sales of­ten take place in the win­ter months and this year may well prove to be no ex­cep­tion when I look at some of the en­quiries we are cur­rently han­dling. All agents will tell you their cur­rent tales of suc­cess, in­deed we will know the out­come of a best of­fer sce­nario by the time you read this ar­ti­cle. If they are open, agents will also ad­mit some in­struc­tions may not be mov­ing as quickly as they might like de­spite sen­si­ble pric­ing.

In essence, it is all a ques­tion of mar­ket sen­ti­ment. I sus­pect we all thought the hous­ing mar­ket would be dif­fi­cult in the sec­ond half of 2016 but the re­al­ity has de­fied the ex­pec­ta­tion. There are buy­ers in the mar­ket and there are an in­creas­ing num­ber frus­trated by the lack of sup­ply. So, I re­main firmly of the view that 2017 will see a pos­i­tive hous­ing mar­ket in York­shire.

Tim War­ing FRICS is a Di­rec­tor of Dacre Son & Hartley base in their Har­ro­gate of­fice. 01423 877200 tajw@dacres.co.uk

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