Property consultancy Carter Jonas has seen a delicate but positive start to the housing market so far this year in and around its Peterborough and Stamford areas of operation and the agent is sensing that this mood will prevail until the spring – traditionally the busiest time for the property market.
The first quarter of the year is likely to bring a steady market in which ‘star’ and ‘best in class’ properties will continue to stand out from the crowd when reasonably valued and priced for sale, according to the firm’s head of residential sales in the area, Paul Norton.
Inflated market appraisals - which see some estate agents give a deliberately high, initial guide price to a property just secure the initial instruction in full knowledge that they will have to reduce the price months down the line to attract sales interest – is something which Carter Jonas highlighted as a blight on the local market last year and which, it hopes, the canniest vendors will become wise to early this year.
Paul Norton explains, “It’s in nobody’s interest to give inflated guide prices as it gives an unrealistic sense of the market for vendors and buyers alike.
“Neither is it in an estate agent’s favour in the long term, in terms of reputation.”
Mortgage finance is still an issue for some buyers but, in the premium end of the market, there’s a distinction to be drawn between those needing finance and those with money to spend on the right property in the right location for the right market price, according to Carter Jonas whose local office registered its first informal tender of the year with offers over the guide price on a former rectory.
So far this year, Paul Norton and his residential sales team have a number of active buyers in the market, seeking the right property.
He concludes: “The traditional winter hibernation period began in the autumn last year with the market going quiet much earlier than usual before November and December.
“However, early signs are that a number of purchasers in a position to buy are emerging and are prepared to take measured steps towards selecting and securing the right property.”