Positive start to 2013
As a company we have seen that for the past three years the first quarter of the year has been the most active, with respect of people making the decision to move. We have consistently seen an increase in the number of applicants registering, which continues right through to April and results in the highest level of sales for the year.
Last year with the Olympics in the summer we saw a much slower market during the months of June, July and August. But on the positive side, from September we had a much improved finish to the year, which lends well for 2013.
It does seem that when Christmas is over the tendency is to consider moving home and also look to buy or sell up.
Although it is very early days, the signs have been positive already, with a high level of fresh applicants registering looking to purchase locally. We have also seen in statements in the national press that we should see an improvement in the property market over the next three years. We have had a good number of new and old clients contact us with regard to getting up to date marketing advice with a view to selling this year, and so with the above in mind we believe that we should see at least a steady market like last year with prices holding.
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Last year was overall a little unusual compared to a normal year. The Olympics did seem to have an effect on the property buying market. Our eyes where certainly more on our success on the track and on the water than the serious activity of moving home. However, overall we found prices generally holding and sales levels steady as per previous years.
Looking at the year overall I think the positive points would be that this area of the West Country does remain a popular place to live and to move to. We still have a good local market where people wish to remain in their villages or retire to bungalows around the towns. At the same time many new residents are moving from London and the South East to the many popular Somerset and Dorset villages. Our highly-recommended schools also attract many new families to the area.
I think we will see a pretty steady market this year in line with what we hope will be a recovering economy. Although with the early news of those famous High Street names moving into administration, the year does not start with a positive message.
The West Country has held up better than other parts of the country, and this year should not see any change in this view.
This is a good question but one that this year is difficult to answer. Certainly we would expect this year to see an improvement in the level of people considering making a move.
However, lenders are still not making it easy for the first-time buyers, and it is left to the developers who offer the best deals to get onto the property market.
We at Countrywide are fortunate that we offer free in-house financial advice to all our clients and do get some special deals from lenders for both first and second time buyers.
If you look at the market at present, vendors are beginning to be much more realistic with their asking prices. It is important if you want to make a move to consider the overall transaction. You will probably find you will not achieve your expectation on price, but should compensate for this with your onward purchase. For buyers, prices have come down and if the press is right then this year could be a good time to buy.
I think the best advice is that if you like the look of the property, view it and don't be afraid to make an offer. Looking at this year we have had some surprising offers accepted, based on a buyer's position.
Always talk to the agent, for although they act for the owner, they also want to help the owner sell and can advise you, and help you agree a purchase.