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House prices strongest since May 2007

My Estate Agency career at Sewell & Gardner started in May 2006 so I have seen quite a varied story and conditions in the market through these years.  It started brightly as buyers bought with their hearts and paid no real attention to websites and their valuation tools.  People were happy to pay over the odds and not lose a property for the sake of a few thousand pounds.  So I thought this selling and buying lark was fun and decided to make the jump from my 2 bed terrace to a family 3 bed semi-detached house in Watford.  I didn’t actually need to move, as I had no family of my own at that time, but, like my car purchases, I was a little impatient and impulsive:  I have only been driving 7 years and have already had more than 10 different cars!

My wife made me sell this one!

Anyway, back to property.

So back in May 2007, with only a year under my belt as a Negotiator in the Rickmansworth Sales Office I purchased my new home for £267,000.  I didn’t really want to go over the stamp duty threshold but what’s £17,000 (plus £5,510 stamp duty) when properties make money over night…? This is fun, I thought at the time!

So a few months later and along came the BIG CRASH.  By March 2008 my property was worth no more than £250,000 and I had spent £10,000 on doing it up as well.  I had spent all of ny savings on getting married and to cap it all off interest rates were going through the roof.  To say I felt panicked would be an understatement and at that moment in time I thought “what have I done??”

Fast forward to 5 years later and having taken a number of calm steps backwards I laugh at how distressed I felt.  My house is now up to around £300,000 and I now have a wife and a lovely new daughter, who is enjoying our big garden.  Our home has potential to be extended to the back, side and into the roof and I am sitting on a great investment.  I know categorically that property is the best investment bar none.  It doesn’t matter about the short term prognosis to me now and I would never get obsessed about the price I am paying (unless of course it was for a resale project).

My garden complete with ‘Wembley’ stripes

This is generally how people feel again about the property market and it is great to deal with people who are also emotionally motivated.  Properties are selling over asking price, many are going to “last and final bids” and some are literally walking out of the door.  According to Hometrack (http://www.hometrack.co.uk) house prices have risen by 0.5% in September and this is the highest monthly increase since I bought my house back in May 2007.  On average prices have probably risen in the region of 5% in the last year and this is expected to continue.  The market has improved immensely in the last 12 months and I put this down to rising demand, low mortgage rates and gradually falling supply.

The upward surge in prices that we have seen has really accelerated over the past 3-4 months and we have seen buying activity similar to that as the period we were all describing as ‘the top of the market’.  People are buying with their hearts again.

Love hearts

Normally in June, July & August the market starts to tail off and people turn their focus to Christmas and the next year ahead.  That hasn’t happend this year and we have seen the market go from strength to strength and vendors achieve prices beyond their expectations and us as a company agree record sales figures.

To say it is bouyant would be an understatement and we expect prices to continue to rise.  Hometrack also states that 41% of markets across the UK registered higher prices in September as apposed to just 6% this time last year.  The only issue now is that stock levels are becoming low but there is still massive demand.  In particular in London and the South East, more property to sell is required.

Take a look at our website and see the properties that are under offer.  If you have something similar and are thinking about the move touch base with myself or my colleague Matthew Lemon and we will gladly offer our specialist advice.

Chorleywood Sales: 01923 285886 and Rickmansworth, Croxley Green, Watford Sales: 01923 776400.

That is 3 blogs for me in a month so I may go quiet for a while now and give the others some air time.

Happy October!

All the best,

Watford, Rickmansworth, Croxley Green, Chorleywood







Joe Rylett, Property Marketing Manager

Contact me on joe@sewellgardner.com

or call 01923 776400