Northampton Property Market – Summer 2018 Update

I was recently reading a report by Rightmove that a North South Divide has started to appear in the UK property market – so I wanted to see if Northampton was falling in line with those thoughts.  In the North, there are 7.12% less properties on the market than 12 months ago, whilst in contrast, in the South, there are 14.7% more properties on the market than 12 months ago.

With the decline in the number of properties for sale in the North compared to 12 months ago, that means the North is more of a sellers’ market.  However, on the other side of the coin, there is a significant rise in buyer choice in all of the Southern regions, showing there are signs of a buyers’ market, which in some markets is a driving force for a buyers’ market and some downwards price pressure.

So, looking closer to home at asking prices and the number of homes on the market. In the East Midlands region, according to Rightmove, the average asking prices of new to the market properties are 4.6% higher than 12 months ago yet 0.2% lower over the last month.  Now I must stress, this is asking prices – not what is happening to actual property values.  Also, regionally, there are 4% more properties on the market than 12 months ago.

Even closer to home, overall, the number of properties and building plots for sale in Northampton has increased by 25%, going from 1,165 properties for sale a year ago to 1,451 properties for sale as I write this article, meaning Northampton does in fact match the regional trend.

Looking at the individual types of Northampton property, you can quite clearly see the different markets within Northampton.  The two sets of figures that stand out are the increase in semi-detached homes for sale, rising 33% along with the increase in Apartments by 23%.

Although these figures don’t tell the whole story because in certain areas of Northampton, certain types of properties (particular locations and Primary school catchment areas) are in short supply.  This has caused some frustration with buyers of those types of properties with this lack of supply, which in turn has sparked some very localised asking price growth within those hot spot areas, although sometimes to levels where sellers optimism turns into silly over the top asking prices.

This means the property sticks, which isn’t sustainable, therefore as a consequence, there are certain parts of the Northampton housing market with upward asking price movements being offset in part by intermittent asking price reductions where home owners or their estate agents have been over optimistic with their initial marketing asking price.

What does this mean for homeowners and landlords in Northampton?

If you are planning to sell your home or buy to let investment, the key for determined sellers is to set your asking price correctly from the start.  It’s so vital to be competitive to attract buyers.  Everyone has access to three main property portals (Rightmove, On the Market and Zoopla) so can easily compare your property against similar ones.  When you do search these portals, make sure you ask the website to show properties that are sold subject to contract as well to check what properties are selling for in your neighbourhood. Unless you have something highly unusual or unique, this perhaps isn’t the best market to set an optimistic asking price in hoping to find someone who would pay that silly price.

And if you are buying in Northampton?  The numbers of buyers are lower than a few years ago, although those buyers that are in the market have become quite serious.  The times of time wasting “carpet treaders” (estate agency slang for the same type of people car dealers call tyre kickers) are long gone.  Those buyers that are in the market are real buyers, wanting to buy, but only at the right price.  We live in a 21st century society that is “time-poor” so nobody is wanting to even view a house, let alone pay over the odds if they believe the asking price is too high.  So, if you are buying, do your homework, ask plenty of questions of the agent, find out the motivation of the sellers and the real reasons behind why they are moving… and you might just bag a good deal?

I would love to hear your views

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