Kate Faulkner's Market Update for BBC Radio Nottingham

publication date: Feb 17, 2012
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

Kate Faulkner's Market Update for BBC Radio Nottingham

Listen again to Kate Faulkner (approx 1hr 22 mins in)

Latest property price and rental headlines from Land Registry/Belvoir rental index

Average house price in England & Wales @ £160,000

  • 12% lower than height of 2007
  • Only 5% higher than lows of 2009
  • Current trend, -1.5% down year on year

Average house price for Nottinghamshire @ £119,190

  • 16% lower than height of 2007
  • On a par with lows of 2009
  • Current trend, -5% down year on year

Average house price for City of
Nottingham @ £84,642

  • 20% lower than height of 2007
  • Double dip hit - lowest previous price recorded was £85,514
  • Current trend, -4% down year on year

Rents stabilising at £550 per month

  • In line with heights of 2008
  • Some rents had fallen by up to 20%
  • Current trend, small rise

Here are the full statistics for East Midlands and the Nottingham area from the Land Registry:-

National Picture vs Nottinghamshire

Market Summary

In the main, 2012 is likely to be tougher year than 2011 for house prices in the Nottinghamshire area, although there will always be pockets which remain ‘resilient'. For the first time since April 2009, average property prices have fallen below the lows and will probably fall further. Predictions are from modest falls of 3%.

Reason for the ‘downturn' in prices is the rise in unemployment, likely increasing difficulties of mortgage finance and general ‘doom and gloom' which leads to buyers and sellers ‘battening down the hatches'.

What Should People Do?

Staying Put!
Consider adding value to your property through DIY or getting local trades people to upgrade your home. Extra bathrooms, a new kitchen, but also things like maintenance, fixing roofs, upgrading heating etc. are worthwhile considering - there are some amazing bargains out there in the stores.

First Time Buyer
Be cautious about ‘rushing' to beat the Stamp Duty relief for properties over £125k. The savings you will make won't last long if you haven't got a bargain buy. For example, if you buy a property for £140k, save £1,400 on stamp duty, but prices fall by 3% - that's a loss of £4,200. For those thinking they can't afford to buy, look out for shared ownership offers and deals from developers - there is a lot of help about, but bear in mind when looking at new builds, just check how much you pay versus what a second hand home would cost.

Trading Up
Go for it! As long as your job is secure, you know you are going to stay there for at least seven years - if you can sell and secure a good deal on your next property, then it's worthwhile.

Trading Down
This is tougher to make work from a financial perspective, but if you've lived in the property a long time, you probably own it outright or have a smaller mortgage, so it's worth making sure you move to somewhere you are happy living than trying to maximise the money you make from the property.

2012 is potentially a bumper year if you can find deals that stack up. Rents are good, so buy to let is an opportunity, but you must know what the legal rules are you need to abide by and make sure you use a specialist letting agent to help advise you. Renovation is tougher to make work in this market, but building a property from scratch is definitely worth considering if you have the time, knowledge and resources available.

We asked local agents if they felt there was a ‘best time' to sell during the year. Normally there is a Spring/Autumn rush, but now they tend to find the season runs throughout the year and in 2011, even the normal summer slowdown didn't happen, in fact for many they turned out to be their busiest months!

All agents agreed the key elements to selling successfully:-

1. Pricing has to be sensible, over priced properties just won't attract the viewings
2. Unless the property needs a lot of work, it's worth at least giving it a fresh lick of paint
3. Property needs to be tidy and free of clutter

Word of Warning!
It isn't easy to hold ‘chains' together at the moment due to the uncertainty in the market place and the difficulties matching buyers' and sellers' needs. As a result, one thing that is essential is to get good quality legal help. Using cheap conveyancing at the moment doesn't save money and can cost you the property in the long run.

It is worth choosing a legal company that is proactive, you can pop in and talk to or they have a telephone and on-line updating service you can use. Ideally use a 'no sale no fee' and 'fixed fee' conveyancing company so you know what your costs are upfront.

Local Area Features

One of Nottingham's ‘safe havens' since the credit crunch, Ruddington does well as it is cheaper than West Bridgford, but with good amenities and a lovely village feel. There are few properties for sale though, so sales and prices still being maintained, with one in four properties for sale already sold.

Chatting to agents such as Tom Reynolds from Thomas James, they are finding buyers are happy to purchase newly refurbished properties but will also carry out some work on a property in the hope of being able to make some money in the future.

Thomas James says if you're not sure what to do property wise, pop in for a cup of tea and they'll chat through the different options you have.

According to Haart, it's mostly 3-4 beds that have proved popular sellers as people have some equity and can trade up, especially in the £160k to £270k market. They aren't really seeing the double dip the figures for Nottingham are showing.

Here is an example of a Nice family three bed 1930s property for around £160-£170k

Arnold has nearly 500 properties for sale in the area, with just under one in five sold, so not a bad market, but not quite as healthy as Ruddington. This is to be expected as city centres don't tend to perform as well as outer suburbs and village locations during a downturn.

Haarts in Arnold say that most of the buying and selling is due to families moving, but there is a healthy investor market and even first time buyers are out looking at the moment.

Buyers are keen to find ‘doer uppers' and you might find you end up competing to buy them. Several three bed semi-detached proeprties which needed updating have just sold thanks to multiple offers received.

An example of a 1930s semi nearly 20% cheaper in Arnold versus Ruddington, around £140k

A 'Wow' property in Mapperley Park, Nottingham
- Offers in the region of £1,600,000 

Wow Property in Mapperley Park, NottinghamWow Property in Mapperley Park, Nottingham

The property is built over three storeys, includes a lift, five bedroomss, four en-suites, waterfall, lagoon style swimming pool, in all - approx 6,000 square feet of living space - huge!

Bargain property to Rent

Bargain Property to Rent, Nottingham

A 2 bedroom house in Elm Bank, Nottingham with an asking rent of £395 pcm.


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