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Housing Market Overview - June 2011

by Steven Walker - Managing Director, Collinson Hall

The national picture for price trends remains mixed, with issues around mortgage availability and terms seeming to dominate. A position that can be confusing for those following a local market; in this instance, St Albans & the surrounding areas.

In the extract from the June Rightmove House Price Index Overview  it is the last sentence in the last paragraph that really strikes a chord.

“Earning power and the ability to raise a decent deposit are the deciding factors, rather than your location on a map”

St Albans sits demographically in a strong position and although not immune from property fluctuations is well placed to provide buyers with both of these key characteristics.

If you accept the view put forward by Rightmove (and they do have the volume of data to back this up) where does this leave people in the St Albans area?

Certainly we are seeing plenty of activity but with a note of caution about over-optimism in a market where a pragmatic approach to a pricing strategy is important.

A wider supply of larger properties is available giving the opportunity for people to buy where they might have struggled previously with less availability. This availability is crucial as it is the incentive for people with smaller properties to put their own properties on the market.... and the cycle continues.

A significantly rising market might give people more urgency to not lose out but there is an opportunity now to get the kind of house you might really want rather than feeling pressurised to accept a compromise.

In many respects a good time to be buying and selling.

The rental market continues to perform well with rents to landlords edging upwards as a result of the strong demand from tenants. This in part a reflection of people who have the earning power to get through a demanding referencing process but not yet the savings for a deposit to put towards a purchase – or of course the preference to go the rental rather than ownership route.

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