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Has anyone else sensed a dramtic change in the property market in the last few weeks?

(28 Posts)
artichokes Sat 21-Feb-09 21:59:20

I am just interested in whether our experience is unique or part of a trend.

We have been on and off the market for a year, we last took our house off the market at the end of Nov. At that time we had to keep dropping our price and struggled to get viewings. We had only one offer that was VERY low.

Last week we went back on the market after a 2 month break. We are at a slightly lower price than before christmas but we have been innundated with viewings, 5-6 a day. After 4 days on the market we have had two offers, the second of which is near asking price (and higher than the offer we received last Oct). Meanwhile we have offered on another house and found ourselves in a bidding war...

We feel like the market is really picking-up and the worst might have passed. But this may be some weird bubble distorting our perceptions. Have others found the same?

wannaBe Sat 21-Feb-09 22:13:00

tbh I think it has more to do with the time of year than the market picking up again.

The time before christmas is notoriously bad both for viewings and sales in general, and the market does tend to pick up more in feb/march anyway.

ataraxis Sat 21-Feb-09 22:16:14

I know a couple of people who have put their houses on recently, and sold within a week at full asking price (not specifically 'priced to sell' - so maybe.

tattycoram Sat 21-Feb-09 22:17:40

I'm idly looking at the moment as we need to move at some point (we're in South London). Houses that are dramatically lower in price are being snapped up - I've seen a couple dropped from £550ish to £400ish go within days (info from propertybee). Things that haven't dropped have been on hte market for ages. So I think if things are moving it is because some vendors are thinking let's cut our losses and run.

I do also think that some people need to move whatever, and if you are moving area from one house to another of a similair value, then you might just be sick of waiting and want to get on with things.

tattycoram Sat 21-Feb-09 22:18:28

I don't think that it means that the market is bottoming out though. I still think there is a way for it to go.

artichokes Sat 21-Feb-09 22:20:17

I know what you are saying about the time of year. But we were first on in spring last year March-May and we did not even get one offer. We were then back on Sept-Nov and got very few viewings and the very low offer.

Similarly, the house we are bidding on has been on the market for a full year. In those 12 months they got no decent offers and now they have two couples fighting for their house. So I do not think it can all be explained by the time of year.

LadyMuck Sat 21-Feb-09 22:21:55

Definitely there seem to be more viewings and more offers in terms of family houses locally. Not sure how flats are doing.

artichokes Sat 21-Feb-09 22:24:12

Tatty - yes, I am sure partly it can be explained by teh fact we are now asking for far less than last spring. Similarly the house we are offering on is asking for 22% less than a year ago. But it feels like the prices people are asking for now are finally close to prices people are willing to pay, so maybe prices will not have to drop any further.

JimmyMcNulty Sat 21-Feb-09 22:30:31

Dead cat bounce / suckers' rally. If you look at previous crashes there is always at least one - the last year of falls every month is unprecedented and a marker of how serious it is this time. Doubt the bounce will be much of one this time however as we are only at the start of the recession and the lending problems are a long way from being solved. As others have said spring is the time for it - last year there was no spring bounce at all which is unheard of. In 1992 papers started saying the end was near (there were a couple of months of uptick) and it was 1996 before we were out of it.

tattycoram Sat 21-Feb-09 22:32:40

I agree with you in that a £550 house probably won't drop further than £400. But once those sales have gone through then surely that will affect the prices of other houses in the street, and then other houses in the area. So the question is whether those are desperate, isolated incidents or whether there will be a more global drop. At the moment, those price drops are still rare-ish as far as I can see

Sorrento Sat 21-Feb-09 22:38:12

I have absolutely no doubt activity will increase, January is divorce season so those people will get the house on the market for spring, plus there will be plenty, like myself looking but no intention of buying yet.
It'll be more interesting to see how many completions and new mortgages actually go through when the Halifax/Nationwide figures are released.

wombleprincess Sun 22-Feb-09 05:45:11

have a friend who is a mortgage broker and she said she has been flat out for the last two weeks, after doing next to nothing for the last 3 months.

EffiePerine Sun 22-Feb-09 07:51:56

No sign of things picking up on the small flat front unfortunately (but great news on the house Artichokes!)

BlameItOnTheBogey Sun 22-Feb-09 08:03:22

I know I keep bleating on about this but we were gazumped last week and the area we are looking at is definitely experiencing an uptake in sales. I think this is probably temporary but it is encouraging buyers to think they can raise their prices again.

traceybath Sun 22-Feb-09 08:09:11

Not sure really.

Around here (villages around bath) thinks don't seem to be moving much but then lots of vendors are still asking pretty much what they were 12-18 months ago.

We sold a year ago and have been in rented since. We won't buy for a while yet as we would struggle to get a mortgage now as wouldn't have 25% deposit more like 15% which would have been fine 18 months ago. Also DH has own business so a riskier proposition for a mortgage.

Also Gordon Brown talking today about responsible lending will i think continue to impact. If we go back to borrowing just 3x a salary i just don't see how we can have bottomed out yet.

Good luck with the house though artichokes.

Dubh Sun 22-Feb-09 08:12:12

Have to agree: Dead cat bounce.

You just need to look at the job market. There are swathes of redundancies on the way and therefore repos.

Banks still aren't lending to business or individuals.

It'll bomb again in a couple of months, but if you can sell your house in the meantime that's great!

Jampot Sun 22-Feb-09 08:53:53

We are in rented too having sold a year ago and Ive been looking at the market locally for ages. One particular agent is very confident that the market is now picking up but a couple of others feel that things are stabilising although one of those did previously suggest a 10% drop this year. There are definitely more sold signs around now however any house I have seen that has subsequently had an offer on it has been made by people in exactly the same situation as us, renting with a pot of cash. I suspect the flurry of sales is more down to large cash holders wanting to take advantage of any low interest rates rather than an excellent selection of chains completing.

It would be interesting to hear what people who are selling are being told by their agents. Are they being advised to hold out for a higher offer or take it and run?

faraday Sun 22-Feb-09 15:11:44

I think to a certain extent many of the sales that are going through are almost 'like for like' in that if someone sells for a given price and has masses of equity if not outright ownership, in some ways, they have nothing to lose, really, in buying in again at the same or slightly upgraded price (ie another small, affordable and easily obtainable mortgage). They'll be going for the 'roof over head for the next 10-20 years' thing which barring catastrophe they'll always be able to afford the mortgage on regardless if the house value drops to 10% of what it currently is!

You'll also be seeing people who have chosen not to buy at silly money over the last 8 years coming back in with their pot of deposit who have also decided to buy when they can afford (like perhaps now) rather than wait for the elusive 'bottom of market' thing.

I can't for the life of me see how prices can be stabilising out in the general market yet. There are absolutely no factors in place to cause that to happen.

And for fear of being patronising to artichokes, are you sure you haven't got emotionally involved in the potential home thus have engaged in a bidding war seeing as your 'choice' has been vindicated by someone ELSE seeming desperate to buy? I know I felt momentarily pressured to put in an offer on a house 10 days ago because we had to wait for another couple to finish their tour before we could look. Their tour hasn't resulted in an offer yet, and I have to confess, we've had 'a chat' and like so many others, we're really just touring the houses now to see what our money will NOW buy which we wouldn't even have been allowed over the threshold of a year ago!

artichokes Sun 22-Feb-09 20:01:50

Sorrento - you suggest that alot of the new activity will be people like you, browsing but not buying, but that doesn't explain the offer I received and the offers on the other house.

Faraday - don't worry, I do not feel patronised at all. However, I am absolutley sure I have not engaged in a bidding war because I feel my choice has been vindicated by someone ELSE wanting the house. WE saw the house a year ago when it was first on teh market and we LOVED it. However at that time its asking price was 425k above ours so we couldn't really afford it. Now its new asking price is 250k above our new asking price and so we can afford it and are going for it.

Another four viewings are booked for our house tomorrow. That is 16 viewings since last Wednesday. I do feel, that in our small neighbourhood at least, the market is very different to the way it has been. But I also believe that the housing market is very different in different areas.

Sorrento Sun 22-Feb-09 20:22:50

And good luck to you, if it goes through, I actually fully expect to see a rise in activity and maybe even prices this month but that doesn't mean the crash is over.
We've a long way to go yet, the redundancy factor hasn't kicked in yet and if I'd sold in 2007 and had money i'd earnt through HPI I might be tempted to be happy with a 10% discount myself, however I didn't and so I can wait for 30/40% drops.

artichokes Sun 22-Feb-09 20:34:25

That is interesting because we have already seen 20-35% drops here. Not just 10%. Our askign price is 20% lower than peak and the house we want is asking 25% less than when we first saw it. So maybe it crashed quicker here and now people who were holding out for 25% off are coming out of the woodwork.

Sorrento Sun 22-Feb-09 20:43:35

Here it's 11% tops and a lot of those are houses I wouldn't live in for free.

Blu Mon 23-Feb-09 13:55:47

Speedy sales in SE Llondon!

My collegaue decided (at christmas) to try and sell her flat (Inner SE London) and buy a house in outer / suburban SE London.

Last week she marketed it for the first time, has had a stream of buyers, one of whom have put in an offer. She has seen a house she really wants, it had previously been reduced from £285k to £260k....she wanted to put in an offere - someone else this week has offered £250k, so she is offereing the asking price! All within a week. All at low prices compared with previous years, but it means she gets a 5 bed house with a garden for not much more than the price of her ex-local authority 2 bed flat!

BoffinMum Mon 23-Feb-09 14:05:59

It seems to be picking up in Cambridge a bit. Houses seem to be selling within 6-8 weeks unless they're priced stupidly or need a lot doing to them. I think we've had a 10% price drop since summer 2007, but there is definitely a spring boost of some kind going on. Rents have gone up 10-20% in the last 12 months. Admittedly Cambridge can be a funny market, though.

Lizzylou Mon 23-Feb-09 14:10:34

I work in an Estate Agents on a Saturday, had a very busy day this Saturday and the previous 2 to be honest.
We sold 10 houses in the past fortnight, it used to be 1/2 a week the last quarter of 2008.
Mix of houses as well, it was just cash-rich investors who were buying in the main beforehand snapping up the repossessions at v low prices, but now all types of houses are moving. It changed noticeably when the Halifax came out saying that house prices had risen c1% for the first time in months, think that people had been waiting for the bottom of the market.
This is East Lancashire

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