Well, I think we can all agree that 2016 was a bit of a surprise year: Britain votes to go it alone; Ed Balls gets votes to remain (albeit in a TV show); Leicester City romp home at 5,000-1; and then the Trump card is played. Who could have foreseen all that?
It would be nice to think 2017 might be a bit more predictable and certainly the forecast from Knight Frank’s research department is a little more reassuring. Despite all the uncertainty of last year. for us 2016 was our best-ever year with August and November in particular proving record-breaking months. This strong finish is likely to mean we have a strong start to this year. Certainly the number of valuations we are carrying out is already up on last year.
Traditionally the time to sell a house is in Spring, when the weather eases and the gardens begin to bloom. However, this year we would counsel our clients to consider going earlier, thus side-stepping the traditional competition and getting ahead of the game. The lack of stock is resulting in our houses receiving strong offers, often above guide.
But a word of caution here. If there is less stock to be had, that can lead to some inexperienced agents inflating prices in order to secure the property. This is not at all advisable. Buyers have never been as savvy as they are today. They have details of sold prices and comparables at their fingertips and will not be hoodwinked by big prices where they are simply not justified. Beware, therefore, the agent who tries to buy your business by inflating the price of your home. It is a risky strategy that rarely garners a good result.
So what’s the message from us? If you’re looking to sell, 2017 might just be a vintage year as low stock will ensure strong prices for sellers. Brexit, Balls, Leicester and Trump have proved the world can change overnight but the housing market in our community is relatively immune to the drama and life goes on.
If you want to know how much your home could be worth in 2017 or are simply seeking some property advice do give us a call.
Hungerford-based estate agent Knight Frank handles residential property for sale across West Berkshire, North Wiltshire, North Hampshire and South Oxfordshire. We have a particular knowledge and track record in villages around Marlborough, Hungerford, Newbury, Wantage, Andover and in the Pewsey Vale.