Summary of Latest Property Market News: February 2009

Summary of February 2009 Property Market News!

February stats confirm that for now, some property markets are starting to move in the right direction.

Buying and Selling Market READ MORE
House prices reports are still showing a loss year on year, which ranges between 9 and 17%, but transactions are still down by around 40%. The 'good news' about the market is really coming from some sellers that have decided to move and price aggressively. Meanwhile buyers are realising that they can afford properties now they couldn't before and if they are planning to stay in the property for some years, and have a decent deposit, they buy. 

The other reason buyers are buying is because they see a fall in property's to choose from. This is because the supply of properties for sale is drying up. 

We have secured, what we consider the best data to track what's really happening across the UK in these difficult times, is information from For Sale Sign Analysis (FSSA). FSSA track estate agent market share by monitoring the number of boards for sale and sold in a local area by agent. 

During the good old days of early 2007, on average, 40% of boards were sold versus for sale. Back in October, with a huge excess of stock on the market this fell to an all time low of 14% nationally. However, here are the latest figures:-

Sold versus For Sale Sign Boards*

Month Percentage Sold






March (to date)


*Data provided by FSSA, for more information on this data, Contact us

What this data clearly shows is that demand and supply are starting to become more balanced - and depending on March's and April's figure, the situation is improving. The best performing areas are:-

Catford, Walthamstow, Fleet, Tottenham & Wood Green which have a ratio over 30%

And the worst peforming areas are:-

Oldbury, Kidderminster, Cheadle, Bearwood which have ratio's of sold to sale boards of less than 10%!

However, lets not get too excited, this just means parts of the market are showing some signs of recovery. However, unless our lovely lenders start lending at 90-95% levels, we still can't get back to the level of transactions we would normally have and the market cannot begin to recover until then, 

Renting and Letting READ MORE
This market is now one of the biggest property markets in the UK from a transaction level. Yet rarely does the media report on it!

Yet, despite the doom and gloom of how bad the property market is, this absolutely does not relate to renting/letting. Here, rents are only slightly down year on year, but volume is at it's height.

Tenants that negotiate hard are getting some great properties at slightly reduced prices. Landlords that are on top of their game, pricing properties fairly and keeping them in good condition are managing to secure good tenants, with few voids.  

Although the market is tipped a little in favour of tenants due to the increase in supply from 'accidental landlords' who can't sell, this stock won't stay on the market for long. So although currently, tenants are doing well as are good landlords, come the summer, the likelihood is that the supply of properties ready to let and demand from tenants is likely to match more closely, stabilising rental income and even increasing it in some areas during 2009.

Auction Market READ MORE
With investors loving great properties coming through auction houses at bargain prices, the auction market is booming. Percentage of lots offered sold has consistently increased since October and although sales values are down by over 25%, volumes sold are increasing and lots sold reached record levels of 72% in February 2009. The biggest percentage sold for the last two years.

Self Build and Land READ MORE
Residential land prices have fallen dramatically as cash strapped developers batten down their hatches. Green and Brownfield land prices are down by nearly 50%, with self build plot prices down around 15% or more.

However, latest news from BuildStore suggests interest is increasing for Self Build as enquiries for mortgages are reported to be up by 40% year on year.

Small Commercial Market READ MORE
Although the stats for commercial property still make very poor reading, prices have now fallen so low that cash rich investors are starting to realise the returns in commercial property are starting to look attractive.

However the major problem for many landlords remains having to pay out business rates on empty properties, so deals are being done where landlords offer rent free space to avoid these costs!

Property Investment Market READ MORE
One of the highlights of the current market is cash rich property investors snapping up property bargains across the UK via auctions or buying property prior to distressed sellers being repossessed.

However the sometimes unethical practice of sale and rent back schemes may well have a short life this year as new regulations are likely to be coming in by summer 2009.

Property Overseas READ MORE
The overseas market for some British owners has been devasted. The issue is not how cheap you can buy property abroad, but more how on earth you find a buyer to sell your property to! However the investment market continues to prosper with high net worth individuals looking abroad for good capital growth returns.

For more market commentary on a national or local level:-
Contact Kate Faulkner on 07974 750562 or 0845 838 1763. To read more about Kate, please visit ABOUT US, see Kate on video and for media appearances, contact:

Sylvia Tidy-Harris
STH Management                    
Tel  +44 (0) 1530 263221
Mob  +44 (0) 7970 646872
Fax: +44 (0) 1530 264018



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