Kate Faulkner on BBC Radio Nottingham

publication date: Aug 1, 2012
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

Kate Faulkner on BBC Radio Nottingham

National Picture vs Nottinghamshire

Summary of key points:-

  1. The housing market still remains in the doldrums but figures are slightly improved versus April 2012
  2. Apart from Nottinghamshire, all prices for June 2012 are above 2009's lows
  3. In Nottinghamshire, prices for April were £1,000 below 2009 levels, for June prices had slightly improved, only £850 down on previous lows
  4. Nottingham and East Midlands property prices still running at 17-18% away from 2007 heights after five years
  5. For the average Nottingham house price from the peak in 2007 to keep up with inflation, it would need to be £163,000 - it's actually £118,000, 27% below where it should be
  6. For June, the number of sales in the East Midlands were up 14% versus the previous month
  7. But the time to sell went up from nine to 13 weeks
  8. Average rents in Nottinghamshire for 2011 were £550 rising almost to £600 per month
  9. Average rents in Nottinghamshire are still similar to rents in 2008, five years ago!
  10. A mismatch exists between what sellers believe they can get for their property and what buyers think the property is worth, this holds the market back

What's happening:-

  • Lack of first time buyers after the ‘rush' to get onto the market before stamp duty levels were reintroduced.
  • Banks put up their mortgage rates, despite no increase in interest rates, making affordability tough.
  • Sellers are still finding it difficult to adjust prices, many who bought around the peak price their property by calculating:-
    • I bought it for £145,000, spent £10,000 on it, so I'd like to price at £154,950 reality is, it's really worth around £120,000 - £125,000.
    • Buyers then want the property for less than this to ‘bag a bargain'
  • Some areas which previously were able to charge a premium, now are struggling to do so
  • Investors are still very keen on Nottingham, helping to hold the market up and keep more sales going

Focus on Newark
Selling around three out of every ten properties, which isn't great, but properties well priced are still moving. First time buyers are searching for properties around £80-£115k, but it's still tough to find properties at this price as sellers are struggling to come to terms with property price values falling.

Terraced and three bed Victorian semis are good sellers, but buyers need to be aware of the maintenance costs and certainly should understand the implications of the utility bills from the Energy Performance Certificate. Buyers need to consider the reality of owning and running an older property versus the costs of a new build.

Many buyers are still interested in doing up properties for a profit, but this is tough to make pay in the current climate. Any work that is done has to be done to a very high standard.

Expectations are property prices will remain stagnant for some time to come.

Three bed 1930s properties sell for around £150,000 and two bed Victorian terraces for around £90,000.

Focus on Beeston
Interesting times for Beeston with the start of the new tram access which is due to finish in 2014. Paul Sweeney from Robert Ellis says ‘property prices are pretty static at the moment' but with the changes coming, there is a view that Beeston will mirror West Bridgford with great transport links to the city and a real ‘local café culture'.

A good area typically for investors, Beeston is finding rather than professional investors buying up property, student mums and dads are investing their property rather than leave the money in the bank, reassured they have not just got their kids to university or college, but they have also helped them on the property ladder for the future.

It is still possible to renovate a property and sell it on for a profit in this area, but it's vital to make sure you buy the right property and carefully look at how you add value, so take advice from the local experts!

In Beeston there are two pricing structures for property, depending on the area you purchase, for example cheaper areas you can get a three bed 1930s semi for just £130,000, in the more expensive areas, it could cost as much as £250,000. Two beds will cost from £100,000 to £125,000.

Bronze Property
Just as Rebecca Adlington has gained Bronze, so Mansfield has the Bronze medal for great properties at great prices and easy access to Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield. Three bed properties for less than £60,000

Silver Property
Should the GB gymnastics team have had a silver? Well Sam Oldham from Keyworth perhaps should have done! Great three bed property for just over £125,000, lovely inside, gardens to the back and front.

Gold Property
Well unfortunately at the time of this interview, no golds yet at the Olympics, but plenty to choose from in our fantastic property stock, including the amazing ‘Green Street' which has built homes to "achieve level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) and Building for Life Gold standard". Alternatively we have Cropwell Manor, a brand new five bedroom mansion in Cropwell Butler, done in regency style


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