Have no fear - the House Price Index is here

Alasdair Melville on the House Price Index report, released today

Alasdair Melville on the House Price Index report, released today - Credit: Archant

Today the Land Registry released its latest report on the House Price Index, that hallowed knowledge of all things property - the dread that fills the faces of clients when we start to mention it is palpable - the colour drains from their faces, but fear not! We bring good tidings.

The initial views of the report show that property has risen in value by an average of 5.3% bringing the national average house price in England and Wales up to £186,553. The South East saw prices rise by 0.7% since August, and prices have risen by an average of 8.5% since the same time last year.

Throughout Hertfordshire the average price is now £311,247 with Greater London showing an average of £499,997.

The data goes on to show that Sales volumes are significantly lower this year than at the same point in 2014 and even 2013, however still appear to be buoyant when compared to figures for 2011 and 2012.

The number of sales over £1 million decreased by 9% from July to September. The bulk of sales took place in the £300,000 to £400,000 price range.

The home counties are leading the way in terms of house price growth according to the latest figures. The report also shows that repossessions are following a downward trend, showing that mortgagors are keeping on top of things.

The data seems to support the gruff and surly chorus of agreement in the press that the Stamp Duty changes have started to pinch at the heels of £1m+ market, with fewer would-be buyers willing to take a bite out of the sixty grand tax sandwich that will be fed to them if they go through with it.

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It seems that while it is of course still possible to make deals happen at a higher level, the nomansland between the sub £935,000 properties and the £1m+ properties is set to widen with the latter becoming more cash heavy and thinning the herd. This is however great news if you’re looking at going on the market for under £900,000 as you’re suddenly going to have a lot of hungry buyers, and a larger proportion will be free of finance constraints, if lugging along a lengthy chain, but we can’t all have our cake and eat it too.

The data also suggests a noticeable dip in stock levels, which I know has been felt by colleagues throughout the industry and has even forced some redundancies in local firms who are tightening their belts - the first thing to go is the staff. We keep getting CV’s from highly experienced and qualified negotiators who are knocking at every door looking for a job.

Leading into the winter months with the family focus turning from School places and late summer breaks to Pumpkins, winter clothing and the panic buying of Christmas presents before the family comes to stay, the market is set to bed in for what could be a tough winter for Estate Agents (don’t all laugh at once), yet still the prices are creeping slowly up which could mean a boon for anyone wily enough to take advantage of the huge demand and a marketplace with less and less competition.

Selling in Winter isn’t something that only the brave can do, it’s just a case of getting the presentation right. Think about what makes indoor and outdoor spaces appealing during winter - evergreens, red berries, a roasting fire, homely smells and a warm welcome. If you’re stuck for inspiration and you need to get moving, drop me a line - 01582 346 111.

And remember, since we’ve got the Land Rover, when we get all that snow we can still bring people up for a viewing! You’ll just have to put the duvet back upstairs and change out of your pyjamas.