The Inside Edge
Any developments in the property sector will bring mixed news depending on your position in the market but some experts are predicting an influx of price reductions as vendors begin to lose patience. The prospect of listing a property for months or even years without the merest hint of a sale is expected to drive down the asking price of some homes and the key for bargain hunters is simply to be in pole position when that figure is dropped.
This may not represent the market as a whole: Many buyers may still prefer to wait, rather than sell for less than they had hoped but in those cases where a quick sale is imperative, there will be some real bargains to be had.
Grainne Gilmore of Knight Frank summed up the issue succinctly in saying that,
“To achieve sales, vendors will have to cut their prices.”
Knight Frank go on to predict a significant fall in house prices in the UK as a whole which goes against many predictions of a static market in 2012. Those predictions include a seven per cent drop in Wales, six per cent in Scotland, northern England and the West Country and four per cent in other parts of Britain. Even in London, where demand for property has increased, a drop of three per cent is being forecast.
The Daily Telegraph is currently highlighting a number of properties where the prices have dropped significantly but these are all listed at prices approaching £1m or above which would tend to suggest that the good news only applies to a certain sector of the buying public.
However, there are healthy price reductions right across the board and property buying expert Tracy Kellett, from the BDI Home Finders buying agency offers advice for any would-be bargain hunters.
“Look for properties that are compromised a little, but can be improved once you’re in. For example, a Seventies house is now out of fashion and tends to be cheap because it’s considered ugly. However, you can transform it by using an architect to add capital value even in this market,” she advises.
However, Kellett did go on to emphasise that those buyers in more favourable positions are more likely to benefit from any price cuts.
“Remember that cash is king. If you don’t need a mortgage, consider buying a property that is hard to get a mortgage on, such as an apartment above commercial premises. And exploit what I call the ‘vendor position’. If the seller is in debt or is in the throes of a divorce, they will want to sell immediately and settle for a lower price,” she concluded.