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Thought i'd post a quick update on how i'm seeing things around St Albans.

I recently viewed a property that had been bought in 02 for £220k, and was now on the market for £375k. It was clear the place still needed work and had barely been touched since it was bought. The EA was dismissive when I said it was at least £75k overpriced, but it subsequently got taken off the market.

A similar house on the same road went up at the same time for £475k!! Surprisingly enough that was taken off the market too.

I still get emails from various EAs about new properties, and of course keep my eye on Rightmove. Prices aren't budging, and in most cases are above peak levels, but most aren't selling as far as I can tell.

Many of the better properties on my shortlist have gone under offer, but then often come back onto the market, and those that do go under offer have been there for at least a few months, some more than a year.

So it looks like everyone's still sitting tight and being optimistic with regards to prices, but not many people are biting....

Edited by mcskiver
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You are right. Witness the drop from the already thin 36 sales registered for June (per Home.co.uk) to the paltry 11 in August (per nethouseprices.co.uk) for AL1. How are the EA's surviving? Is that about 1 sale per office? Traditionally sales volumes drop off a cliff from here on in a "normal" year as you'd want to have moved in before term starts etc.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Don't know to much about the St Albans market but prices are rising fast in nearby Harpenden. Anything half decent coming onto the market gets snapped up within days, weekend mass viewing and then generally sold by the following Monday/Tuesday. I have heard of people putting in asking price offfers even before they have viewed, and bidding wars taking place.

Only fly in the ointment is if people want to stay in the area they are finding it difficult to compete with the buyers coming in from London, net result lots of sold STC and incomplete chains with the EA's getting nervous.

Don't really know what to make of it maybe the old adage holds true, something is worth whatever someone else is prepared to pay for it or maybe a fool and there money......

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Don't know to much about the St Albans market but prices are rising fast in nearby Harpenden. Anything half decent coming onto the market gets snapped up within days, weekend mass viewing and then generally sold by the following Monday/Tuesday. I have heard of people putting in asking price offfers even before they have viewed, and bidding wars taking place.

Only fly in the ointment is if people want to stay in the area they are finding it difficult to compete with the buyers coming in from London, net result lots of sold STC and incomplete chains with the EA's getting nervous.

Don't really know what to make of it maybe the old adage holds true, something is worth whatever someone else is prepared to pay for it or maybe a fool and there money......

Interesting viewpoint.

I would have thought Harpenden always had this problem competing with Londoners - even when transaction levels were normal. Why the sudden change? Mortgage finance perhaps? So there's a stalemate; they've easily SSTC but can't afford their next house? More equity/bigger deposit required to move (I wonder why?). You're saying that the weak point in the chain is near the top? Why do they agree to sell their home if they haven't got their finances in order? They are walking a fine line with their potential purchasers, who most likely will get cold feet before exchanging.

On that note, there were Zero completions in Harpenden in August (per Nethouseprices.com) and 16 (per home.co.uk). Even 16 is dire! I suspect the apparent buying frenzy is a classic smoke and mirror effected by desperate EA's. I could be wrong though. Why apply logic to such an emotive subject?

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Interesting viewpoint.

I would have thought Harpenden always had this problem competing with Londoners - even when transaction levels were normal. Why the sudden change? Mortgage finance perhaps? So there's a stalemate; they've easily SSTC but can't afford their next house? More equity/bigger deposit required to move (I wonder why?). You're saying that the weak point in the chain is near the top? Why do they agree to sell their home if they haven't got their finances in order? They are walking a fine line with their potential purchasers, who most likely will get cold feet before exchanging.

On that note, there were Zero completions in Harpenden in August (per Nethouseprices.com) and 16 (per home.co.uk). Even 16 is dire! I suspect the apparent buying frenzy is a classic smoke and mirror effected by desperate EA's. I could be wrong though. Why apply logic to such an emotive subject?

I guess the London effect has always been there, it just seems very strong at the moment.

Its not necessarily that people can't afford the next house, peole move downwards and sideways as well as upwards, there is just a dreadful shortage of decent houses coming on to the market combined with very strong demand, the perfect recipe to drive up prices, and the prices have gone up very rapidly in the last 2-3 months some properties are even exceeding peak autumn 2007 levels which i find completley astounding.

The attitude is that if a purchaser is lost no problem re-market and go for a higher price which has happened on 3 or 4 properties.

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Bit baffled by these comments on Harpenden. I've seen a property just last week that was so dramatically underpriced I was going to go for it, but it sold the same day. Seemed like a deliberate ploy to me as any idiot could see it was going to be extremely desirable.

Apart from that, most of the properties on my radar (£300-450k) have been hanging around for months, and some with price drops in the last few weeks. No sign of desperation according to Rightmove....

This one recently knocked 25K of the asking price: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-22570207.html?minPrice=325000&maxPrice=450000&minBedrooms=3&displayPropertyType=houses&oldDisplayPropertyType=houses&pageNumber=1&fromSummary=true&backToListURL=%2Fproperty-for-sale%2Ffind.html%3FlocationIdentifier%3DREGION%255E597%26minPrice%3D325000%26maxPrice%3D450000%26minBedrooms%3D3%26displayPropertyType%3Dhouses%26oldDisplayPropertyType%3Dhouses

The next one 10K: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-13195401.html?minPrice=325000&maxPrice=450000&minBedrooms=3&displayPropertyType=houses&oldDisplayPropertyType=houses&pageNumber=1&premiumA=true&fromSummary=true&backToListURL=%2Fproperty-for-sale%2Ffind.html%3FlocationIdentifier%3DREGION%255E597%26minPrice%3D325000%26maxPrice%3D450000%26minBedrooms%3D3%26displayPropertyType%3Dhouses%26oldDisplayPropertyType%3Dhouses

The 5th one has been on since at least July: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-22690006.html?minPrice=325000&maxPrice=450000&minBedrooms=3&displayPropertyType=houses&oldDisplayPropertyType=houses&pageNumber=1&fromSummary=true&backToListURL=%2Fproperty-for-sale%2Ffind.html%3FlocationIdentifier%3DREGION%255E597%26minPrice%3D325000%26maxPrice%3D450000%26minBedrooms%3D3%26displayPropertyType%3Dhouses%26oldDisplayPropertyType%3Dhouses

I agree most of them are not the most desirable properties, but there's certainly no panic-buying, unless there's a whole market of properties just not even getting advertised...

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Bit baffled by these comments on Harpenden. I've seen a property just last week that was so dramatically underpriced I was going to go for it, but it sold the same day. Seemed like a deliberate ploy to me as any idiot could see it was going to be extremely desirable.

Apart from that, most of the properties on my radar (£300-450k) have been hanging around for months, and some with price drops in the last few weeks. No sign of desperation according to Rightmove....

This one recently knocked 25K of the asking price: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-22570207.html?minPrice=325000&maxPrice=450000&minBedrooms=3&displayPropertyType=houses&oldDisplayPropertyType=houses&pageNumber=1&fromSummary=true&backToListURL=%2Fproperty-for-sale%2Ffind.html%3FlocationIdentifier%3DREGION%255E597%26minPrice%3D325000%26maxPrice%3D450000%26minBedrooms%3D3%26displayPropertyType%3Dhouses%26oldDisplayPropertyType%3Dhouses

The next one 10K: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-13195401.html?minPrice=325000&maxPrice=450000&minBedrooms=3&displayPropertyType=houses&oldDisplayPropertyType=houses&pageNumber=1&premiumA=true&fromSummary=true&backToListURL=%2Fproperty-for-sale%2Ffind.html%3FlocationIdentifier%3DREGION%255E597%26minPrice%3D325000%26maxPrice%3D450000%26minBedrooms%3D3%26displayPropertyType%3Dhouses%26oldDisplayPropertyType%3Dhouses

The 5th one has been on since at least July: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-22690006.html?minPrice=325000&maxPrice=450000&minBedrooms=3&displayPropertyType=houses&oldDisplayPropertyType=houses&pageNumber=1&fromSummary=true&backToListURL=%2Fproperty-for-sale%2Ffind.html%3FlocationIdentifier%3DREGION%255E597%26minPrice%3D325000%26maxPrice%3D450000%26minBedrooms%3D3%26displayPropertyType%3Dhouses%26oldDisplayPropertyType%3Dhouses

I agree most of them are not the most desirable properties, but there's certainly no panic-buying, unless there's a whole market of properties just not even getting advertised...

Agree your 3 examples have been hanging around for a while and would appear to be reasonably priced compared to some of the houses I have seen sold within a couple of days of the 1st weekend of marketing. For example

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-23662360.html?minPrice=550000&maxPrice=600000&maxDaysSinceAdded=14&minBedrooms=3&includeSSTC=true&_includeSSTC=on&pageNumber=1&fromSummary=true&backToListURL=%2Fproperty-for-sale%2Ffind.html%3FlocationIdentifier%3DREGION%255E597%26minPrice%3D550000%26maxPrice%3D600000%26maxDaysSinceAdded%3D14%26minBedrooms%3D3%26includeSSTC%3Dtrue%26_includeSSTC%3Don

I appreciate this may not have appeared on your radar, but my experience is anything half decent above £500K is being SSTC very quickly. Obviously that is different to sold, and the prices may not be realised, but I'm guessing here they must be getting very close to asking if they are posting SSTC after the 1st weekend.

Which property was dramatically underpriced, i'd be interested to know there's not much that gets underpriced in Harpenden much less dramatically underpriced.

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This is the one: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-23677660.html?minPrice=375000&maxPrice=400000&maxDaysSinceAdded=14&minBedrooms=3&displayPropertyType=houses&radius=0.25&oldDisplayPropertyType=houses&includeSSTC=true&_includeSSTC=on&pageNumber=1&fromSummary=true&backToListURL=%2Fproperty-for-sale%2Ffind.html%3FlocationIdentifier%3DREGION%255E597%26minPrice%3D375000%26maxPrice%3D400000%26maxDaysSinceAdded%3D14%26minBedrooms%3D3%26displayPropertyType%3Dhouses%26radius%3D0.25%26oldDisplayPropertyType%3Dhouses%26includeSSTC%3Dtrue%26_includeSSTC%3Don

It's Kinsbourne really, but a great location. £400k for this doesn't compare with the other properties around that price.

Maybe those higher price brackets are selling more like you say? Not a price range i've really looked at in a while (and certainly couldn't afford it... :)).

Well I certainly didn't think it was dramatically underpriced and I would be keen to hear your thoughts after viewing the following 2 links.

http://www.ashtons.co.uk/clientUpload/pdf/HPN080186.pdf

http://www.houseprices.co.uk/e.php?q=fiddlers+hill%2C+harpenden

Please also note it is actually in Bedfordshire and the council tax is collected by Central Beds, so if someone was buying for a coveted Harpenden school place would they be eligible. Not a bad price rise in 5 months approx 33% I suppose 109 is worth a little more as its end of terrace compared to 111 being mid-terrace but 33% ??

On the plus side if anyone does buy it at that price there's a great pub 200 yards down the lane.

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Didn't know that was Bedfordshire, that's interesting.

As for the price, I agree it's quite high, but for me this is quite a unique property (God i'm starting to sound like an EA) so personally I would take more of a risk on a property like this rather than wait until next year and hope that something like this comes on the market. But it's all a personal thing. I've been renting for 2 years now and although I expect prices to drop further, I don't expect to see many properties like this in such a rural location yet close enough to commute into central London.

Thanks for the information though, I hadn't seen any of the links you posted and would certainly think twice now if it came up again!

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  • 2 months later...

Area people here still keeping an eye on St Albans at all? I used to live there and am thinking of moving back.

I saw one of the flats from the block I used to live in (bought in 1993) up for sale on rightmove here

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-28004720.html?locationIdentifier=STATION%5E8570&insId=1&sortByPriceDescending=false&minPrice=200000&maxPrice=400000&minBedrooms=2&maxBedrooms=3&radius=0.5&pageNumber=1&premiumA=true&fromSummary=true&backToListURL=%2Fproperty-for-sale%2Ffind.html%3FlocationIdentifier%3DSTATION%255E8570%26insId%3D1%26sortByPriceDescending%3Dfalse%26minPrice%3D200000%26maxPrice%3D400000%26minBedrooms%3D2%26maxBedrooms%3D3%26radius%3D0.5

(apologies for long link)

so looked up on houseprice.co.uk and found this history (note some 2 bed terraces, mainly 2 bed flats like the above, a few one bed flats) and adjusting for the mix

http://www.houseprices.co.uk/e.php?q=millers+rise+st+albans&n=100

it looks like 2007 they peaked around 220/230k and went down to 175-200 earlier this year. What price are they on for now? £250k, ie a 25%+ uplift on earlier in the year and 15% higher than the "peak" in 2007

On the same road you can see on rightmove there are two 2 bed terraces under offer at asking prices £310k and £320k respectively whereas one sold in 2007 for £277k

Seems very strange to me, and somewhat annoying as I would like to buy. Naturally this seems to be the case higher up the chain as well.

Ah those happy days when at 27 I bought on eof the things for £65k

P

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This is worth looking at and updating occasionally.

http://www.home.co.uk/guides/house_prices_report.htm?location=st_albans&startmonth=08&startyear=2007&endmonth=09&endyear=2009

Although the price of semis seems to have risen again, all others are still showing negative from the peak.

Also sales volumes are still down between 30% & 50% from peak, and were down by about 70% at one point if you check back.

Where it goes from here who knows, but this year could get interesting, especially after the election.

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  • 7 years later...

Anyone got any current insights or anecdotes into St Albans market? I’ve been tracking for a while and looks like it’s slowing / perhaps dropping slightly. Good properties still selling but taking longer and some quick reductions in asking prices for some properties.

Currently weighing up whether to sit it out for hopeful drop in prices.

thanks

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  • 4 weeks later...

Anyone got anything current to share? I see that good houses are currently still selling quite quickly but anything with an slight issue is sitting on the market. It feels to me that people have reached their limits.

The market has changed significantly from 18 months ago when everyone was going to sealed bids, people overpaying as they’d missed out on previous properties etc.

However, was talking to someone the other day who thinks prices will continue to rise as people on London realise London has topped out for a while, sell up and move out. Obviously this is all centred on them being able to sell in London. It was a perspective I hadn’t considered.

Anyone care to share?

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I’d say conservatively half of all buyers, probably more, are ex-London here. Perhaps it’s just taking a little longer to slow here as we are only 20 mins into London so prime ex-London territory rather than other areas that people have been pushed into as prices have bubbled.

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On 23/11/2017 at 11:08 PM, bobbo said:

Apartments aren't selling. Granted there are houses that might attract Londoners with money to burn but the prices are so high now I'm sure other options (Hitchen?) are available.

Hitchin is looking expensive now too, particularly as it’s quite a bit further away from London. We did look there as an option and liked it as a town but is more isolated 

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  • 1 month later...

Starting to see listings on Zoopla that will result in a nominal loss since previous sales in '15/'16 factoring in stamp duty, let alone improvements and finance costs, if they can sell for asking that is...

Edited by bobbo
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On 19/01/2018 at 12:13 PM, bobbo said:

Starting to see listings on Zoopla that will result in a nominal loss since previous sales in '15/'16 factoring in stamp duty, let alone improvements and finance costs, if they can sell for asking that is...

Here’s hoping it’s the start of something. Although there’s sod all quality on the market. Lots of stuff being reposted as new to market or listed with multiple agents. 

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Fascinated to see the post of listings from 2009.....I’d say every one of this has near doubled in price since then.  And I thought they were dear then!

 

Harpenden has definitely cooled, but give the meteoric rise, that’s to be expected. While it’s lovely, it’s hugely overrated in my experience (lived around here for nearly a decade) and while a nice place to have a family, it’s sterile and has way too many very privileged people to the point it’s tiresome.

 

Back on track.... we’re actively trying to buy near by (wife and kids very happy here). Houses priced sensibly, sell. Those that aren’t or are flawed, stick.  We’ve bid strongly on a few places but not got them, on at least two occasions I’m convinced something underhanded has gone on.  Alas, we are where we are.

 

Things aren’t flying out the door but there still seems to be people willing to pay prices higher than in the past.  It was almost ever thus.

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  • 4 months later...

A friend recently bought and it looks like prices have stabilised over last few years - see previous post.

I'm now getting ready to emigrate and having handed in my notice, my house is back on the market. 350pm. more than when we moved in and 150 higher than recently negotiated rent I'm paying now! I don't even think they are expecting to do any upgrades.

most other nearby stuff if priced even higher. 

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  • 434 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


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