The price of houses are on the up again and the big question that’s dividing the UK is whether you buy or sell – and that seems to depend on where you are in the country.
At the moment, it’s a sellers’ market in Wales and northern England, while down in the south it is buyers who are holding the cards, as it were. It has been reported that house-sellers’ asking prices are sitting just below record levels in October as the autumn market gained momentum.
The average price on a property coming to market across England and Wales is £309,122, which is an increase of 0.9% or £2,623 compared with September.
The average asking price across England and Wales is now just £1,349 below a record high reached in June. Prices have increased for two months in a row, following falls in July and August in the weeks following the vote to leave the EU.
The great property divide
It appears that a north/south divide has also emerged in the autumn housing market.
Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said estate agents in the northern half of the country reported a quiet week or two after the UK voted to leave the EU, but most then saw a quick return to good levels of buyer enquiries and sales agreed.
He went on: “In contrast many in the southern regions saw more prolonged hesitancy among buyers, with it taking until September before a marked pick-up in activity.”
Combining the housing market in Wales together with the North of England and the Midlands, the number of homes on the market is down by 11% compared with a year ago – hampering buyers’ ability to negotiate.
Meanwhile, the supply of available homes across southern England is up by 16% compared with a year ago – meaning some buyers may be able to take their time.
Shipside said: “This increase in the number of properties up for sale should not be misinterpreted as a glut of unsold property, but rather as an increase from the very low number of properties that agents have had on their books in the last few fast-selling years.
“While there is still underlying high demand in mass-market sectors, some find that affordability has become over-stretched while others judge that prices have risen beyond their true value.
“While many properties are still selling, in market sectors where there is now a lot more choice, buyers need enticing by an attractive price or by properties with special finish or appeal.”
In Wales, asking prices increased by 0.6% month on month, taking them to £178,178 on average. The South West and the North East were the only regions to see asking prices fall month on month, with decreases of 0.8% and 1.8% respectively.
London saw the biggest monthly increase in asking prices, with a 2.4% increase taking the average price tag there to £645,833.
Simon Tizzard from the Tizzard Property Group said “if the right house in the right area at the right price comes onto the market it’s gone within days, either getting very close to the asking price or achieving over.” Simon specialises in East London accommodation in the E16 area of London, especially Royal Dockside which is close to London’s City Airport.