Comment: More ups and downs as the market finds its feet

The St Albans market seems to be holding up well, despite a more mixed picture nationally. Picture:

The St Albans market seems to be holding up well, despite a more mixed picture nationally. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

According to Nationwide’s latest house price index, we’ve just seen the largest monthly fall in prices in 11 years.

While this obviously isn’t great, it’s hardly surprising given the seven-week market freeze which began back in March.

In a massive understatement, Nationwide’s chief economist described the medium-term outlook for the housing market as “highly uncertain”.

But while things look bleak on the surface, there are plenty of positive stories locally to give vendors hope.

Take the socially distant property viewing I wrote about last week, for example. This garnered a great result for the vendor, with a handful of competing offers, including one at £10k over the asking price.

Indeed, there have been several examples of asking prices being achieved locally since lockdown restrictions were lifted a few weeks ago.

Obviously, completion is some way off in all of these cases, but the fact that such strong offers are even being made at the moment is a positive sign.

The days of crazy bidding wars do seem to be a thing of the past however, something confirmed by our Secret Estate Agent in his column this week. Good news for anyone who’s ever bought a house, frankly - having been there, I can confirm it’s exactly as miserable as it sounds.

Our sale is continuing to plod along, and we’re hoping to complete in a few weeks. Exciting, slightly scary times - particularly when every other online discussion on the topic sees someone piping up about what a terrible time now is to buy and how they wouldn’t dream of doing something so stupid.

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While I can’t comment on the rest of the country, I feel the St Albans area is always going to be a safe bet for anyone who’s able to stay put and wait for the current house price uncertainty to abate. Fingers crossed I’m right!