Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Buyers market

House buyers at lowest level for a year

The imbalance between supply and demand showed further signs of easing during February as potential new buyers stayed away from the housing market, research showed today. Only 258 house-hunters registered with estate agents during the month, the lowest level for a year and down from 291 in January, according to the National Association of Estate Agents. At the same time, the average number of homes estate agents had on their books rose slightly to 56 from 55, as recent price rises tempted sellers back to the market.

Posted by dill @ 07:55 AM (2380 views)
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21 thoughts on “Buyers market

  • If you are a struggling estate agent right now, you have the government’s ringfencing strategies for homeowners to thank for this.

    Commission on reduced house prices is better than no commission at all after all.

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  • It’s not complicated: There are no buyers because no-one can get a mortgage for the ridiculous asking prices.

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  • The group said bad weather during February may have caused buyers to stay away, while numbers may also have been hit by people receiving their Christmas credit card bills and the end of the stamp duty holiday.

    Yeah right, because an expensive credit card bill is likely to offset the decision to buy a house with an average price of £165,000. The excuses are getting weaker and weaker – to the point of hilarity.

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  • matt_the_hat says:

    The next one will be its too sunny to spend time looking for houses

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  • It is hilarious – MrFlibble.

    It’s also worrying that by implication people think sunny weather for one week and no larger than normal credit card bills can lead to house-buying interest.

    But, just to show that it’s safest to hedge your bets, the best line is

    Gary Smith, president of the NAEA, said: “It’s encouraging to see that the bad weather hasn’t deterred agents from making sales this month even if it has stopped some house-hunters from registering with an agent.”

    Which was a coffee all over the monitor moment.

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  • Never mind the fore coming Tescos to finish off most estate agents, they have also between them missed a significant trick as Paul points out.

    Houses were selling at 20% off peak and homeowners would have accepted that they had been overvalued and more would have come to the market.

    We now see (in South Hampshire) people hoping to beat 2007 peak prices which as Paul points out is hurting estate agents who’ve done these ridiculous valuations to get an instruction.

    Everyone is taking the gamble that interest rates won’t increase and/or taxes won’t increase and/or wages won’t actually fall.

    So far these ludicrous gambles have paid off in the housing market.

    However now the housing market has been exposed to high multiple lending, interest only repayments, Buy to Let and Self Cert Mortgages, I think it truly is at peak for the short to medium term. (1-5 years).

    To keep the housing market going and buyers interested further falls are necessary and IMO quite likely.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    Can that really only be 258 nationwide, or is that per agent? If nationwide, that figure is more or less nil. The article is not clear and press release is not on NAEA site.

    @ MTH, don’t you mean “House prices wilt in summer sun”?

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  • little professor says:

    It’s 258 per estate agent, the telegraph article is badly worded

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  • If estate agents have an average of 258 buyers and 56 houses on their books, then prices will not be coming down soon.

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  • Only to be expected after a month of scattered cloud, a brisk north-easterly wind and temperatures dropping to 3-4 degrees overnight.

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  • Yeah right, because an expensive credit card bill is likely to offset the decision to buy a house with an average price of £165,000. The excuses are getting weaker and weaker – to the point of hilarity.

    I was looking to buy, but I put it off because I had an important decision to make first.

    Should I stick to plain biscuits or change to chocolate covered ones instead?

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  • nomad – If you’re looking to buy, at how many agents do you register your interest? I think the average has got to be around 5 or 6, so that would be about 47 buyers per agent. Of course some properties are listed at multiple agents too, so the 56 would come down a touch too. Furthermore less buyer registrations will end in a completed transaction than houses on books.

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  • happy mondays says:

    hpwatcher said
    I was looking to buy, but I put it off because I had an important decision to make first.

    Should I stick to plain biscuits or change to chocolate covered ones instead?

    Sounds like a reasonable explanation ! I am holding back until i find the correct Slippers & smoking jacket to go with my shiny new house!

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  • Last year we had the surreal situation where people were buying a new home without selling their old one, because they thought their old home was worth more than anyone would offer.

    That took up the slack in the market, and has left a lot of empty properties lying around.

    My hunch is that the situation has changed now, and that for every person daft enough to land themselves with two mortgages now, there will be someone getting increasingly anxious to offload their old home.

    The demand from true FTB’s is extremely low, and looks to be well below the number of properties released by the deceased. Nett migration presents a demand that is clearly less than current construction levels, although the migration stats may not be reliable.

    Overall, there does not seem to be an engine for price growth, and when interest rates start rising (which they will) and the govt’s delaying tactics on reposession run out of time, the long delayed, but ultimately inevitable, collapse in prices will occur.

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  • cynicalsoothsayer says:

    It doesn’t matter how many buyers register with estate agents if they can’t afford the prices.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    HPW, definitely chocolate coated.

    Nobody ever lay on their deathbed thinking “I wish I’d bought plain biscuits instead of chocolate coated”.

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  • Point taken 6-6-6. A good illustration of the national pastime/obsession n’est ce pas? Since we sold in 2007, having initially been very keen to buy we are now coming to terms with long term renting – mobility is good. We have never registered as potential buyers with any agents – selfishly I have not wanted Mrs Nomad to be introduced to that perfect, must-have property.

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  • people forget the same people register with most agents but most properties are sole agency….so there could very easily be more properties on the market than buyers

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  • MW – Nobody ever lay on their deathbed thinking “I wish I’d bought plain biscuits instead of chocolate coated”.

    ROFL

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  • “Nobody ever lay on their deathbed thinking “I wish I’d bought plain biscuits instead of chocolate coated”.”

    Unless perhaps they were dying from obesity

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    LetThemFall: “”Nobody ever lay on their deathbed thinking “I wish I’d bought plain biscuits instead of chocolate coated”. Unless perhaps they were dying from obesity”

    Epic fail!

    If you’d stuck to plain biscuits all your life but werel dying of obesity you’d be thinking “Oh s*d it, I might as well have gone for chocolate coated!”

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