Is the countryside living bubble about to burst?


We know the pandemic sent the property market berserk with prices, particularly outside of major cities where demand saw prices rise at a rate never seen before. Buyers fled cities, particularly London and headed for the countryside for fresh air, open space and larger properties with home working potential.

By the time the first lockdown ended, two years ago, places such as Yorkshire and Derbyshire were so sought after, that homes were selling before hopeful city dwellers could even travel up the motorway to view them. Some estate agents reported a 250 per cent increase on buyers from outside of their area.

But life has started to return to normal, Covid-19 is rarely mentioned in news bulletins, replaced by the cost-of-living crisis and whispers of another recession. So, is the countryside property market about to burst?

The main issue is that there is a major shortage of properties in these areas now, so estate agents certainly won’t see the volume of transactions they have seen over the last couple of years. Furthermore, people are keeping an eye on their finances, taking into account the state of the economy, inflation and whether they can remain working from indefinitely or whether there is an expectation for them to return to the city offices.  Buyers are more reluctant to make a move whilst so much uncertainty is on the horizon.

Far from the frenzied ‘above asking’ offers which have been commonplace over the last 18 months, the market is adjusting to a more sensible approach, and buyers are certainly cautious, offering 10 per cent or more under asking price.

I think the answer to whether the ‘bubble has burst’ is yes, in the sense that the level of activity seen was simply unsustainable. What happens from here on out, whether prices drop off a cliff edge like in 2008, or whether they gradually resume to more sensible levels will determine what buyers and sellers do next.

The worst outcome for those who have made the leap to the countryside is to find themselves needing to move back closer to the city for work but unable to sell due to a declining market. If companies are forced to make redundancies then we could see a reverse of last year – people moving back to the cities to look for work.

If you are looking for a quick sale, for whatever reason, and would prefer an offer market discreet transaction, can offer free advice and/or a no-obligation offer on your home within 24 hours.

Phone number:
 0207 938 3007

SOLD – House of Horrors Halloween Special!

Do you have a property with a not so appealing past? Perhaps you bought it at a knock-down price and now are worrying about trying to sell it on? Well, fear not, apparently even properties with the grisliest of pasts can appeal to some people.

The house of horrors, 195 Melrose Avenue in Cricklewood, is where Dennis Nilson murdered his 12 (or 13) victims. Yet in 2016, the two-bed flat in leafy North London was sold at a bargain price of £493,000 to an undeterred buyer, despite the gruesome warning on the advert.

Obviously, this is an extreme example, but death is never an easy topic and sellers who disclose a grim past are often concerned that the property’s past will make it impossible to sell.

Firstly, I think it is important to note that nothing happens to the value of a house where a death occurs naturally. However, if a traumatic event happened at a property, sellers should disclose what happened as this may influence the future owners’ decision.

A dark history is definitely going to make a sale harder due to deeply rooted superstitions. A property’s market price could be greatly diminished by a tragic event like a murder or paranormal activity, and even being located next to a cemetery can cause a drop in price.

However, it is important to remember that unlike many years ago, now a simple search on Google can reveal the past of any house that ever appeared in the news or had some history written about it in the papers. For this reason, transparency is always the best approach.

According to The Property Ombudsman’s Codes of Practice for Residential Estate Agents,  Agents “must by law comply with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (or the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 where applicable).

The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 requires agents to disclose any information of which they are aware or should be aware of in relation to the property in a clear, intelligible and timely fashion and to take all reasonable steps to ensure that all statements that they make about a property, whether oral, pictorial or written, are accurate and are not misleading. All material information must be disclosed and there must be no material omissions which may impact on the average consumer’s transactional decision. Where information is given to consumers and/or their representatives, it must be accurate and not misleading.”

Of course, this is a bit of a difficult area of legislation as it relies on the seller disclosing any information, they know about the property to the agent so that that information can be passed on to any potential sellers. However, agents have a duty of care to do their due diligence and find out any information they can.

 If you have a property with a history which you would prefer not to discuss with estate agents, or are concerned about how it will sell, WeBuyProperty is happy to have a no obligation chat with you about the property.   We will provide honest feedback for the best steps forward for you to sell your property as discreetly and hassle free as possible.

Contact us on: 0207 938 3007

Tired of Living in a Flat? 

If you own a property and are considering selling up, you will almost certainly be aware of the mini property market boom.  This has resulted in the average property price increasing by 7.5 per cent year-on-year, hitting a new record high, according to Halifax bank, as well as an estimated 140,000 more home sales than last year currently waiting to be completed.

The issue of trying to sell a flat in the current circumstances… 

However, not all is so rosy if you are looking to sell a flat. Covid-19, the subsequent lockdowns and our new found remote way of working, has led to a surge of  flat-owners wishing to sell up and move to somewhere with more space and more land, or at best with a garden / outdoor space.

The issue is that with so many having the same idea, the demand for flats has diminished and owners, unlike those selling a house, are finding it difficult to find a buyer. This is of most concern to those who don’t just have a desire to move, but a strong need, such as a new job in a different location, attempting to be in the catchment area of a school in time for the application deadline or needing to sell for financial reasons.

Most recently, there has even been reports (in The Times) of some estate agents not wishing to take on any more one or two bedroom apartments unless the vendors are willing to accept a significantly reduced price because supply is far outweighing demand.

There are also three other factors at play which are contributing to the demise of the flat:

Typical buyers – Since flats are more affordable on the whole than houses, they have always been a good option for first-time buyers taking that initial step onto the property ladder. Unfortunately, many young people work in sectors which have been most impacted by the pandemic including hospitality, retail and travel which has contributed to the decline in demand.
Cladding – Many buyers have been prevented from purchasing flats in buildings which have cladding that has not yet had an EWS1 form signed off to prove the building is safe. (Read more in our blog HERE)
Leasehold Scandal – Four of Britain’s biggest developers are currently being investigated after buyers argued they are caught in a leasehold trap of rising ground rents and unfair fees.

Of course, there will always be a market for flats, and in time it is likely we will see a resurgence in demand once again. However, if you are in a position where you need to move now and are struggling to sell, We Buy Property will review your property and may be able to make you a cash offer.

To have a no obligation chat about your circumstances, Get in touch with one of the team on:

Phone: 0207 449 9797