Prime regional markets in the UK are the pluckiest, proving they are more resilient to the credit crunch than mainstream and central London markets, says a new study.
Average values fell by just 0.5% across the country during the first quarter of the year with annual growth at 4.9%.
On a regional basis, the Midlands and the North recorded the biggest falls with values decreasing by 2.1% this quarter, pushing average annual growth into negative figures at -3.3%, says the research from Savills. In the South East, uncertainty amongst city buyers in the £1m to £2m market has contributed to price falls of 0.8% across the country in this range, larger drops than in-demand regional areas experienced. For instance Scotland continues to fare most strongly although growth for the quarter was marginal at 0.3%.
In the price ranges where access to mortgage finance and the impact of the credit crunch is less of an issue, values have held up, explains Lucian Cook, Savills director of research (www.savills.co.uk).
The £4 million plus market has proved to be the most robust due to scarcity of stock, he says, while no change was recorded for the £2 million plus sector.
Sellers need to be realistic, reacting to a lower demand environment, Mr Cook adds. There is no point pricing at last years figures plus a bit extra. Some sellers have not got the message yet and still hold out for headline amounts.
There also is a real difference between A plus property and C minus, suggests Mr Cook.
Best in class stock is trading well above last years figures in some areas, like Salisbury, according to Savills, while blighted homes can be more difficult to sell.