Northampton Property Market – Asking Prices Drop but Values rise



Those of you who regularly read my weekly articles in the Northampton Property Blog will know I like to keep abreast of the Northampton property market. Something attracted my attention this week about the local property market, something I wanted to share with my many readers.

Over the last month, there appears to have been an anomaly in the local property market, whereby asking prices in the town have dropped, yet property values have increased.  The average asking price of a Northampton property, according to Rightmove, fell 1.4% this month yet the average value of a Northampton property rose by 0.5%.
So how does this relate in monetary terms?  This anomaly has driven the average asking price of a Northampton property down slightly to £221,800 whilst the average value is now £220,000.

So why the difference? Technically an ‘asking price’ can be any price that a homeowner wants to place his or her property on the market for. Unfortunately, many times this is done without research and can result in overpriced properties that don’t sell. As the summer months are normally slightly quieter those left on the market wanting to sell often temper their asking prices in these months to try and generate interest in their property.

On the other side of the coin, the property ‘value’ is the price that a willing buyer is prepared to pay and a willing seller is prepared to sell at.   Therefore, in a nutshell, Northampton property values are continuing to rise and those homeowners in Northampton who have properties on the market, last month on average, reduced their asking prices… great news for property owners and buyers alike!

In previous articles, I have spoken about the continued fundamental shortage of property coming on to the market compared to buyer demand. That is especially true for homeowners wanting to upgrade to a better house/better location.  I can appreciate Northampton home owners are reluctant to put their own property on the market speculatively and wait for the right property to become available and some high demand locations can suffer from a property stalemate.

Most homeowners don’t want to sell and have nothing to buy.

But that’s the beauty of the much maligned English and Welsh house buying process. You can find a purchaser for your property, then ask them to wait. By agreeing a sale (subject to contract) before you try to buy sounds concerning to many, but with fewer properties for sale you need to have a buyer for your property or you will be treated as a less serious buyer yourself. If you cannot find the right home for you, you can slow the deal with your purchaser until it comes along. If nothing suitable does comes along and you lose your buyer then the worst outcome is that you have to find another purchaser or take your property off the market and stay put for now, and as long as you mention this at the start they must not commit to any costs until you have agreed your onward purchase.

However, for the landlord/buy to let investors, these potential problems are nothing further from the truth. As I write this article, there are over 220 flats for sale, 274 terraced houses and 176 semis for sale in Northampton.  Landlord/Buy to let investors can normally pick up some bargains in the Autumn months, as sellers who are selling their homes often have a pressing need to sell by this time.

The types of houses a Northampton landlord typically buys, are not the same types as the homeowners wanting to move to a posher area of the town as they are attracted by larger semis and detached properties. The best types of properties for buy to let are the smaller flats, terraced and semis (not the big detached ones). There are in fact too many of these smaller properties for sale… just look at the numbers of properties for sale (mentioned in the previous paragraph). 

I would love to hear your views