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House Price Market Update for February 2011

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Activity in the property market for February showed the usual seasonal uplift in the number of buyers coming onto the market and the number of sales being agreed. Under 'normal' circumstances we would probably have seen a bounce in house prices as a result by now, but in the main the increased activity is still poor versus pre-credit crunch and indeed activity in 2011 seems lower than 2010, so prices remain subdued.

There are some interesting dynamics as a pocket of areas and postodes around the country seem to be picking up and doing well, with some properties even ending up at sealed bids due to the demand, but this continues to be a rare occurence.

Buyers appear to be spending a lot of time looking and making the odd offer, while sellers are trying to hang on to as a high a price as possible, making negotiations very arduous and causing quite a few fall throughs post the offer stage.

Kate Faulkner's Comment on the Housing Market
Mortgage lending is still very much in the doldrums and the two new initiatives for First Time Buyers, the 'Local Lend a Hand'
and the latest initiative in the budget to help 10,000 FTBs, just isn't enough. In 2010 there were around 180,000 first time buyers, so between them, these initiatives will at best generate a 5% increase in activity, when as a market volumes are down by 50%. From a developers perpsective this will help them as it equates to a shot in the arm of around 10% of their annual sales, so from an economic view point, retaining jobs in the industry and encouraging builders to build more, it should be welcome support. Needless to say if 10,000 families do take up the iniative, it's good news for them.

From Kate's perspective though, "The fact remains though that the government needs to be creating an environment where sales can increase from 600,000 a year back to the million or so we had before the credit crunch. Tinkering with tiny budgets, putting pressure on the buildling industry with massive changes from the Localism Bill and then suggesting a new plan that helps councils financially benefit from auctioning off their own land, then granting planning permission - and keeping the proceeds - is nothing short of ridiculous."

Kate says "We have two to three years to ensure property prices don't 'spike' in the future by building more affordable homes and matching planning permission and building to demand. So far, the Coalition Government's policies on housing are to guarantee that house prices will go up in the future."

Grant Shapps has claimed that a successful market is when 'house prices are stable' and he wants to be judged 'on the number of new homes built during his time'. Kate's view is "Sorry Mr Shapps, if this is what you are really hoping for, the policies you are setting are going to come back to haunt you very quickly!"

For Regional Pricing Information, see below and READ MORE

READ MORE - Read Kate's latest summary on the property market and find out what's happening in your area, ignore the headlines, let Kate help you work it out for yourself. READ MORE

Performance and commentary since January 2009:-

Headline Statistics for February 2011

Jan 11           
Jan 10Feb 10Mar 10Apr 10 May 10Jun 10Jul 10Aug 10Sep 10Oct 10Nov 10Dec 10
Jan 09Feb 09Mar 09Apr 09May 09Jun 09Jul 09Aug 09Sep 09Oct 09Nov 09Dec 09

Headline Statistics

Statistics

+/-

Source

Month

Average Prices

£163,177 to £230,030

+0.3% to -0.9% YoY

Land Registry Lowest
Rightmove Highest

Jan/Feb data

Transactions*

57,244*

-4.32% YoY

Land Registry

Aug to Nov 10

Time to Sell

10.00 Weeks

Slightly down on last month

Hometrack

February

Number of viewings to sale

12

Up on last month

Hometrack

February

Offer to Market Price

92.4%

Up on last month

Hometrack

February

% change in new buyers registering with agents

+14.7%

Increase on previous month

Hometrack

February

No of houses sold by agents

6

Up on previous month

NAEA

January

% sold versus for sale boards

23.4%

Slightly up on last month

For Sale Sign Analysis

February

Number of new mortgages

45,723

Slightly up on last month

Bank of England

January

*  Per month

Sold versus For Sale Sign Boards data*


Month 2011

Jan

Feb

Percentage
Sold

23.1%

23.4%


Month 2010

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Percentage
Sold

26%

26.4%

25.4%

26.5%

30.9%

25.5%

26%

25.8%

22.3%

24.4%

24.8%

23.3%

Month 2009

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Percentage
Sold

16%

12%

17%

19.5%

21.1%

28.3%

29.5%

30.2%

36.3%

27.3%

31%

34%

26.7%

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

Click here to see our latest buying/selling articles

Links to useful Buying and Selling Reports

Price Indices
There are at least seven property indices and other companies that comment on the property market, please checkout the links below:-

Rightmove    Halifax    Nationwide   RICS 
Communities    Financial Times    Land Registry

Other Useful Property Analysis

Savills Latest Property Focus Q1 2011

Winkworth's Winter 2010 Market Analysis

Knight Frank - Residential Market Update and Forecast

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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