Market Thoughts column: Confidence is rising

David Hulett is a director at Henderson Connellan in Market Harborough
David Hulett is a director at Henderson Connellan in Market Harborough

In comparison to the doom and gloom of previous years, the media as a whole appear to be putting a very positive spin on their expectations for the housing market for 2014.

Without question, this is the first year since maybe 2007 that we have had to hit the ground running into the new year with many buyers keen to do business as soon as possible.

We saw fantastic sales results in December, which have continued into January, along with a host of fresh clients asking us to market their homes.

Increases in property prices have been well documented in the press but the reality is nobody knows what will happen for definite.

One statistic I found particularly positive was published by Halifax and it stated in its fourth quarter Housing Market Confidence Tracker that 51 per cent of homeowners thought the coming 12 months would be a good time to sell, against 39 per cent who thought it would be bad.

This was the first time since 2011 that the majority have backed selling.

Everything I am seeing from the market has been extremely positive with increased confidence levels from all involved. Since 2009 onwards I have met many clients with a pent-up desire to move house but many have been governed by negative equity or market uncertainty.

This could well be the major changing factor in 2014 and no doubt confidence levels will increase.

At this time of year, the Mail asks me to offer insights or advice to anyone thinking of moving.

The best advice I can offer is do your research and be realistic. A good estate agent should always value your property with plenty of comparable evidence and be able to justify their valuation – if you think the value is incorrect, ask them to justify their figures, if they can’t, look elsewhere.

Our brief is to achieve the best possible price for your property within a realistic timescale. But how do you know what the best price is?

The best prices tend to be achieved in the early stages of marketing. This is usually because the property is fresh to the market, buyers sense a level of competition and therefore do all they can to agree the purchase and remove it from the open market.

In a rising market, it is more evident than ever that the quality of marketing will make a real difference to the final selling price.

Put simply, the better a property’s marketing, the more buyers are likely to be interested.

The more interested buyers, the higher the price.

David Hulett is a director at Henderson Connellan in Market Harborough.

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