In my role as a Buyer’s Agent, I was doing my estate agency rounds last week and the strong message came across that offers are being made, but deals are not being done! It reminded me of when I took over a national agency office in 2009. The Credit Crunch had hit, but I was being told Winchester was recession proof.  The banking industry was in turmoil, job security was awful and there seemed little light at the end of the tunnel.  We believed that we were probably 20% off the pace and for houses to sell we needed to reflect this in the guide prices. Through implementing the strategy, houses started to sell and the market, with confidence returning, started to bounce back.

The current symptoms with the ‘cost of living crisis’, interest rates and world economics impacted by things like the war in Ukraine and the Israel situation are not so impactful on day-to-day living.  Interest rates become an issue when remortgaging, but many people are secure for the time being, unemployment is very low and there still seems to be plenty of money in the system. We have probably seen the market come back 10% over the last year, since the dizzy heights of the Covid years.

This takes me back to the beginning, offers being made, but sales not being agreed.  The difficult medicine to offer vendors with houses not selling is a large drop, otherwise in all likelihood the achievable price will just follow the market down rather than get ahead of it.   It probably means houses are now worth somewhere between 15% and 20% from the height of the market.

Of course, I would encourage sellers to take the medicine.  As a buying agent, buying a house for the right price is one of the things we are employed to do.

So our current challenge is now to understand and interpret pricing, be that a trend from a particular agent or possibly an over enthusiastic vendor through to assessing a seller’s motivation.

There is not a one size fits all approach to this, as in some cases houses are still going to best and final offers, but it is where our knowledge of the market and the area intricacies come to the fore.