Comment: Mixed messages on how things are looking in the local market

Homes in St Albans and Stevenage are typically selling in about 17 weeks. Picture: Getty Images/Fuse

Homes in St Albans and Stevenage are typically selling in about 17 weeks. Picture: Getty Images/Fuse - Credit: Getty Images/Fuse

My Rightmove addiction is well documented, but since we’ve been thinking about moving my obsession has ramped up a gear.

I check in about four times an hour - the dream home could come on at any moment! - and have noticed an awful lot of properties hanging around.

So I was pretty surprised to read that the typical local sale is apparently done and dusted in about four months (17.4 weeks in St Albans and 17.9 in Stevenage).

Because, while the odd property is certainly being snapped up sharpish, there are an awful lot that are remaining on the market for far, far longer than that.

At the higher end, it's easy to see why. Even in the more affluent parts of Herts there'll only ever be a very small pool of buyers in a position to afford somewhere like 53 The Park.

It's been on the market for nearly two years now and, while it's currently advertised as POA, it's understood that offers are welcome in the region of £5 million. Bit beyond my budget unfortunately.

There's no shortage of examples at the lower end of the market, too, and it's common to see reductions across all price brackets.

Local agents tell me that bidding wars are still happening - as has always been the case, it only takes two interested parties to create a 'best and final' situation, however wobbly the market may seem in general.

I can also confirm (from miserable personal experience) that decent family homes close to good schools remain in chronically short supply. If it's one or two-bed flats you're after, you may find yourself spoilt for choice, however.

Most Read

Whether buyers are generally more cautious at the moment is unclear - the B-word is understandably a cause for concern for many - but sales are certainly still happening.

And while the 17 week average is longer than the national figure of 15.4 weeks, I'd be more than happy with that when and if our house ever makes it to the market.

For now, I'm off to join Property Portalaholics Anonymous.