Busiest autumn for housing market in 10 years

Amanda Jarvis

November 20, 2003

Said Gary Verity, managing director of Bradford & Bingley Estate Agents:
“Although we began to see the nights draw in buyers were not put off and continued to register, view and make serious offers throughout October. This was not an isolated incident in one area as our branches throughout the country reported their busiest autumn for 10 years. We enjoyed a steady level of sales agreed which was particularly encouraging following the slow
market we experienced in the Spring, traditionally the busiest time of the year for agents.

“It's certainly a seller's market as the supply shortage we forecasted last month is now beginning to take hold and buyer demand remains strong. This supply problem is likely to continue into 2004 unless more property comes on to the market in the New Year. The supply shortage is leading to
vendors choosing to price their properties more keenly than six months ago.

However, I would suggest they may be doing so prematurely as buyers are not prepared to pay over the odds. Although confidence is growing, the market is not as strong as it was two years ago. Sensible pricing remains the key issue for a smooth and speedy sale.
“There are positive signs for the market in the New Year as we have seen an increase in the number of homeowners requesting market appraisals. We would expect the market to begin to quieten down the nearer we get to the festive season so this is an encouraging sign that we may see more new stock coming to market in January which will hopefully remedy the supply problem.

“Regionally the South East continues to benefit from renewed interest at the one million pound plus level, especially within the new homes market. Likewise, the middle of market remains very strong. First-time buyers, although not out in abundance, are slowly returning and enabling first-time sellers to move up the property ladder.

“Scotland's housing market continues to storm ahead. Glasgow remains extremely buoyant and we envisage demand for property to continue well into the first half of next year. Although there are a number of exciting new developments to be launched in 2004, Glasgow continues to suffer supply
constraints and this phenomenal demand will undoubtedly feed price increases.”

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