Ben Hudson looks at a new property market in the wake of the incomparable past two years.
The thing with changing property markets is that eventually we adapt to each manifestation. Changing markets are a bit like a pandemic. First they are a surprise, next, sadly, some people are harmed by the new normal, and then we learn how to handle the threat.
Then, just when we begin to get comfy, something happens and we have to learn all over again in a new market. This is where we are now.
Property market watchers, looking for signs that the post pandemic property party is over, have been on high alert for some time. But they don’t have to watch too closely as all the signs are there for anyone to see. The days of putting a property on the market at almost any price, and then exceeding that figure in a market awash with cash buyers desperate to move, are over. We may never see their like again – or, at least, not for decades. Today’s buyers are a new breed. Rising mortgage interest rates, the increasing cost of living and an uncertain and often unstable world have led to understandable caution.
So with what sort of new market must we become familiar? There are some interesting patterns emerging. It is becoming more of a buyers’ market. There will be a wider choice for buyers, who will feel less pressured to make their final choices. Sellers will have to become used to delay and uncertainty.
How often have we heard that a property’s three most essential things are location, location, location? Well in this new market those things will become price, price, price. In a market with greater choice attracting a buyer becomes more challenging. There are two ways to overcome this: correct pricing and making your home as buyer-friendly as possible – clean, tidy, decluttered, sweet-smelling and great-looking from the kerb.
Oh, and there is another way to succeed in selling: make sure you have an experienced estate agent who understands how to adapt to changing times and markets.
Finally, sellers shouldn’t despair. The post-pandemic party may be essentially over, but for sellers with a great estate agent, good housekeeping and accurate pricing there is still time .