By Steve Roulstone
In surfing the net for Current Property News, I note with interest two sets of figures that have been published this week. Firstly the Rightmove calculation of asking prices throughout the country and secondly The Average House guide published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Bothe offer many varied statistics, breaking down details by region and County as well as National.
Significance of the gap.
When you look at the two headline figures, it is quiet significant that the asking price on average across the Country is £20,000 higher than the actual selling price and with the push of the Rightmove report being that on average house prices are at an all time high again across the Country, it does look as if sellers, knowing they will get offers no matter how the word the price within sales particulars, are asking at a higher level and negotiating on average a 10% lower price than that asked for.
But what is also apparent is that the difference in average prices between London and the rest of the Country is vast and still growing. Since the peak of 2008, prices in London have risen by 14.9% whereas prices in the rest of the UK have fallen by 4.3% during the same period. This such a significant swing that it does make the average figures somewhat irrelevant, but the regional figures given by Rightmove are very informative and definitely give significant information for those needing to track values across this time frame.
It is good for all interested parties to receive information both in this manner and broken down in to regional statistics that both reports give. For example I have a property myself that was initially marketed in late 2007, it is currently rented (no surprise there then!) but as the Tenant has asked about the opportunity to purchase, it is easy for me to work out what would be the current price using the averages published in these reports. Both parties can use then for the same reasons, definitely allowing initial conversations to take place without the expense or time needed to get the property re-valued.
I cannot see how this situation does anything but assist people by keeping them informed. For the professionals, some of the mystique of pricing houses is removed, giving the vendor and buyer better confidence in the asking price and indeed any offers made as well. A definite win – win situation and I applaud Rightmove in particular for the manner in which they present the information and make it easily available for all.
Look and you will find.
The only disappointment and yes there had to be one! Is that the BBC who I have oft criticised for the way in which they place a negative spin on anything to do with the housing market have chosen to scale down the amount of reporting now that the shock and horror of house prices falling has lessened and we have all learnt to live with what the market delivers? Like most, I see slow growth continuing which most commentators agree with. It seems the BBC is only happy to give more time to the housing market when it gives them the opportunity to report on bad news and it looks as though our market will continue to receive little air time from the BBC for the foreseeable future. Time will tell if I am right!