Pricing key to preventing crash

Hamptons International today report that despite a 10-15% fall in house prices since autumn 2007, properties that are realistically priced are being sold – with competitive bids taking place in high demand areas.

The report says there is still a steady market for houses that are priced correctly, with a current average of 6 buyers for every seller, particularly in the capital. Across London, Hamptons has witnessed a continual stream of sales, with viewing levels up 12%, when compared to the same time last year, and April generating the strongest sales figures for five months.

The agent was also keen to play down some reports predicting house price falls to the value of 30% – especially when activity is still taking place at the 10-15% price drop level, although further house price drops could take place if consumers don’t take stock of changing market conditions and adjust prices accordingly.

‘The current house price drop happened relatively quickly and has resulted in many would-be buyers and sellers holding back. However, there is still a market for houses with realistic guide prices. The right product, at the right price and in the right place will sell’, said Mark Anderson, managing director at Hamptons International.

’One of the major problems facing the UK housing sector at the moment is the number of properties on the market, priced at 10% higher than they should be,’ he continued. ‘This has caused real stagnation and one of the biggest dangers facing the property sector now is, if consumers take 6 – 12 months to realise the necessity to re-adjust their pricing to more realistic levels then house prices may fall further.’

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