BBC Radio Nottingham Property Market Update

publication date: May 25, 2011
 | 
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
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BBC Radio Nottingham Property Market Update


So what's happened to property prices in Nottinghamshire?


The main survey reported at the end of every month is the Land Registry which is produced from actual sales recorded by the government when a home is sold. The latest report suggests that nationally prices have been falling, albeit slightly, each month since January. Our local Nottinghamshire market seems to be following this picture and despite prices bottoming out in 2009 and holding up to the summer of 2010, prices, on average, have fallen back over the last six months, in line with a weaker economy.

According to the Land Registry, the average price for a home in Nottinghamshire is around £121,000, averaging from £70,000 for a terrace through to £186,500 for a detached property. Historically, prices in Nottinghamshire are around 15% below the 2007 peak (Land Registry). Nottingham City Centre has a lower average price of £90,000 which ranges from £63,000 to £160,000. 

National Picture vs Nottinghamshire

The number of sales in Nottinghamshire however shows a better picture, with 14% more properties sold at the start of the year versus 2010 and 10% up for the City Centre, albeit buyers have been striking a better bargain. So for buyers and sellers, the market for the first quarter of 2011 appears to be a bit busier from a volume perspective, but prices are a little weaker.

New Build Properties
From a new build perspective though, the Land Registry data doesn't help at all as they don't track new homes sales. Another resource that you can use though is the Smart New Homes information which gives a guide of what's happening to volumes and prices. Nationally new build prices across the UK fluctuated between £215,000 and £220,000 over the last year and have pretty much held their value since the credit crunch.  In Nottingham itself the average prices for a new build home over the last 12 months has ranged from £180,000 to as high as £199,000, suggesting the current £185,000 price recorded for March 2011 is potentially a good time to hunt for a new build deal.

Doom and Gloom in the Media!

Sadly most property price surveys are produced more to gain PR exposure than they are to be helpful and informative to the public! Unfortunately they do influence people's decision to buy or sell a property. Currently the news headlines are not supportive of the markets. Latest headlines include:- 

Daily Mail: House prices fall by £40,000 in four years as fears grow that slump will continue until 2015

The Guardian: House prices at 21-month low

This will influence people's willingness to buy and sell as will people's confidence in their own finances, including their job prospects. At the moment, the news is full of impact of spending cuts, rising inflation and local authority or government job losses as well as historical property price falls.

Securing mortgage finance appears to be a bit of an issue with some banks being very happy to agree to lend money at Mortgage Agreement in Principle stage, then find "any excuse" to reject the application once someone's found a property. Mortgages are increasingly complex, so it's essential to speak to a mortgage advisor first rather than trying to do this part of the process by yourself.

So bearing in mind the gloomy news, people feeling they are out of pocket and mortgage finance not really being eased, the likelihood is the property market will take a bit of a slide downward over the coming months.

As we know though what's happening nationally and even at Nottingham level can be very different to what's happening in individual areas and property types, so we've been chatting to local agents to get their view ‘on the ground' as to what's really happening in your local areas!

Local Property Prices - Nottingham
 
The picture for each of these areas shows that the market is perhaps a bit weaker than it was last year. More people seem to be looking and as such the time to sell is down - quite substantially in Mapperley. The buyers that are buying though are making offers a good 10% below the asking price, suggesting sellers are willing or have no choice but to negotiate.

The data though is only as good as it checks out with agents on the ground. We spoke to agents in Ravenshead who say the market is steady at the moment, with plenty of properties to choose from. Ravenshead is apparently still proving attractive to those seeking good junior schools as well as having an excellent nursery.

As the stats suggest, vendors do seem to be more realistic about their pricing and accepting offers, which means that Three to four bed properties are the most popular, but there are few first time buyers around. Properties that are struggling to sell include ones with a very small garden or half and half homes ie ones partly done up.

Mapperley agents are saying they are much busier than they have been, but this isn't impacting on prices. Buyers are being cautious about the offers they make and if something is overpriced, they won't even bother making an offer. There are a few first time buyers around, but more property investors on the hunt for ex council houses and Victorian terraced.

Kirkby in Ashfield agents report the market is "not too bad" as long as prices are realistic. It's a popular place for first time buyers, but they struggle with the deposits required. Three bed semis are the most popular with two bed terraces struggling a bit. Kirby in Ashfield buyers tend to be looking for a property in pristine condition or they'll want a very good bargain to take on the work!

READ MORE For all the properties featured in this Nottinghamshire market update, plus News in Property and What's new?

Listen again to Kate Faulkner on BBC Radio Nottingham! 

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