This year is a leap year – the 29th February only occurs every four years…
The current economic climate has prompted speculation suggesting a potential decline in property prices, and many buyers have been waiting to snap up a bargain. However, our experience suggests that they will either have to make a move now, or just keep waiting!
Bargains usually only occur in one of two scenarios; firstly, when the market is flooded with an oversupply of properties for sale. This means that to compete, sellers vie to make their property the best value available – in other words a bargain. This has simply not happened, as there is currently no compelling reason for people to sell en-masse due to any overriding fear about the future of the market. (This would of course be a self-fulfilling prophecy, but we have generally become immune to media “forecasts”.)
The second scenario is where people absolutely have to sell. This could be due to imminent repossession, a move towards negative equity, employment threats, or rising interest rates. However, despite recent increases, interest rates and unemployment levels remain relatively low, and there is no obvious reason for people to sell unless their usual personal circumstances require it – such as a job move, expanding family, etc.
So, we find ourselves effectively in a “normal” market. Whilst this is distinctly different to a “boom market”, it does not generate the panic-sellers required to provide bargains for hopeful purchasers. Sorry about that!
The reality is that in this stable market, sellers are cool, and there are few bargains to be had. Our advice to buyers is that if you see something which you can afford, in which you could be happy, then go for it, because the chances are that your dream home also fits the bill of other buyers who will kick themselves for having missed it!