Buyers and sellers play ‘wait and see’

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HPI UKNew sellers in November cut their average asking prices by 3.2%, the biggest monthly fall recorded since December 2007. Rightmove has now seen falls in four out of the last five months, and with continuing as we move into the tougher winter selling season, anyone who is serious about selling will have to ensure their property stands out as a bargain buy.

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove comments: “Agents report that the Christmas slowdown has come early this year, as both would-be buyers and sellers are adopting a ‘wait and see’ policy until the direction of next year’s housing market becomes apparent. The combination of high unsold stocks, the mortgage famine, a shaky economy and the normal winter slowdown gives an ideal scenario for bargain-hunting buyers. Those buyers who are currently lying in wait may wish to pounce this winter rather than next”.

The Bank of England’s latest figures for mortgage approvals show that the ratio between new property supply and successful mortgage applications is still stuck at around 2 to 1. While not every property sells, and not every buyer needs a mortgage, the continuing restriction on the number of mortgages approved shows the on-going mismatch that is helping to cause stagnation in the market. The slowdown is starting to be enhanced by the fact that many people may prefer to put off their home-moving activity until after Christmas.

Shipside adds: “Those buying as well as selling may have to reduce their price aspirations, but if they get 10% less on theirs whilst achieving a 10% drop on their purchase then they will come out ahead. However, if a lower price means that your equity won’t fund both your moving expenses and a large deposit, then you may be forced to stay on the sidelines.”

13 Responses to “Buyers and sellers play ‘wait and see’”

  1. cherry Says:

    It was reported on sky news that people who had paid for ID cards will get their money back. What about all those people who paid much more money for their HIPs! Anyone who is willing to start a group to get our money back please email me. WHY NOT?

  2. Ashley Leahy Says:

    I think that the government should be doing a LOT more to help first time buyers – including making it easier for them to get mortgages. The first time buyers are the backbone of the residential sales market, and without them – chains will not be built. You get the impression that this government has just one thing in mind – cuts!….it’s scaring the life out of people too – and the media should appreciate the responsibility that they have to be more objective, instead of just the usual “doom and gloom”… some positive news for goodness sake!!

  3. margaret parson Says:

    Hello, I am looking for a flat in Largs Scotland and it seems things are different there. The seller is expecting more than the listed price and it seems like it is not the buyers market yet. i am in the U.S. right now. It looks like it is easier to buy property in England than scotland. i would appreciate any advice about buying while in the U.S. Thank you Margaret

  4. clairep Says:

    Hi Margaret,
    Check out our buying guides here:
    Hopefully these should provide you with the advice you need.

  5. Simone Nelson Says:

    Hi Margaret

    We are in Wester Ross and our house has been on the market since August – our property details have been downloaded over 1000 times and we have had 7 prospective buyers. One of whom planned to view 35 properties. The house was valued at some £60,000 leass than it was 2 years ago. So I would say that the situation for us has ground to a halt – so you ought to be able to find somewhere very easily. But maybe looking for a ‘flat’ in Largs is where you are making the mistake. Apart from Agents details I have found Street View most helpful in giving one a the feel of the area. Of course you need to start with a Postcode.

  6. michele Says:

    HIPS !!! I agree absolutely with Cherry’s comments above.
    I put my property on the open market in April,paid the £300 HIP fee as my agent advised we could not proceed with marketing the property until it had been processed…and low and behold it was announced less than 4 weeks later that HIPS had been abolished!!!(which by all the feedback I got had purely been a hindrence and of little use whatsoever).
    And I for one cannot believe that the people taking the money off me and the estate agents had no inkling that this was on the cards !!!
    Now thanks to this government it does’nt look as if my house will ever sell.

  7. Mark Says:

    A few Months ago we put our house on the market due to an expanding family. Times are hard enough at the moment for most of the UK but what makes it worse is 2 weeks after we paid £250 for the HIP the goverment scrap it. Surely the housing industry must have had an idea that this was about to happen and yet the estate agents we used never even said “wait a couple of weeks and save yourself £250″.

  8. Louise Says:

    I find trying to find a house very anoying at the moment. We have just sold ours – we had it up 2 and a half years ago and it was priced at 162,995. The house we wanted at the time was up for 197,995 but they took it off the market so we took ours off. We then put ours back up again a year ago for £145,995 and sold it for 140,000. Not bad you may think but the house we originally wanted as gone back on the market in the last few weeks for £217,995!!! I just feel really lost for words – some estate agents are causing for too many problems in a market that is falling all the time. How can this be justified. We are thinking of pulling out of our sale because we cannot find a property that has been realistically priced and that we now can afford. Are other people finding the same problems?

    One very sad a frustrated person.

  9. Steve Says:

    Well i’m glad for one that it look’s like i’ll be getting my £30.00p back for,my I.D.Card? However, on the Gov’s track record they’ll probably refund it to someone else? As with HIP’s well as of late it just makes the Gov. look as though they are a bunch of crooks “Scamming” the public whenever?

  10. Sue Says:

    We have the opportunity to purchase a repossessed house, its on for 279k we have sold our house so in a good position to offer, but are not sure as its a repossession how low under the asking price we should offer, its a very sought after location, and we want the house but the house needs work, new kitchen, decor throughout. Also why does the stamp duty go from £2500 at 250k to £7650 at 255k ?

  11. IRENE SCOTT Says:

    Hi we sold our flat in livingston in april this year although a quick sale we had to drop it 12k we only had it 1 year but hated it we payed £540 for our homereport and it has not been abolished in Scotland as we understand it the Scottish goverment passed this as a law in the Scottish parlament

  12. James Says:

    Cherry, you’ve paid a private company for the HIPS product because it was a requirement at the time. It’s annoying, but thats the way it goes sometimes.
    Ashley, why should the government help first time buyers? We’re in this situation because banks lent money to people they shouldn’t have for far far too long, artificially increasing the value of houses for years. The banks were stupid, the borrowers equally so. The banks have simply returned to the lending criteria that they had before the craziness began, because it is sensible to do so. Now we have to have this period of stabilisation where house prices will inevitably drop to a level that people can actually afford, which includes first time buyers. Totally agree with your comment about the media though. It seems that they are a law unto themselves. They need reigning in.
    Sue, stamp duty:
    The bands for the tax year 2010/2011 are 0% paid at 0 – £125,000, 1% paid on properties costing between £125,000 and £250,000, 3% between £250,000 and £500,000 and 4% for more than £500,000.

    3% of 255k = 7650

  13. Prabhu. Ravangave Says:

    Dear Margaret Parson,
    I live in Millport, which is across Largs. 10 minutes by ferry, Ihave few apartment on the sea front. Please get in touch or email me we can do some about your requirements…………………….Prabhu

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