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A Vibrant Housing Market, well maybe

March 7, 2011

We sold our house last week. I always knew that it would be an easy house to sell, but I never suspected it would have been that easy.

Have viewed a few house in the area of town that we want to move to, we decided it was time to move. So with agent appointed, details agree, the house went onto the market a week ago Friday. Within hours we had 8 viewings booked for the weekend. We were impressed, very impressed.

Given that the housing market in the UK is recovering from a price slump and with unemployment rising and redundancies still being announced, the job market is by no means certain. Banks are also less reluctant to lend, given the crisis over the last few years its not a surprise.

So despite knowing we would have interest in our house and that it would sell rapidly; with the economic doom and gloom that is still hanging about overhead, we were keen not to be too optimistic.

Out of 8 viewing booked, we had 2 no-shows, frustrating that people can’t make a simple call to cancel or give apologies. First to view was a family with two young children, given that one of our criteria for moving is to have a larger garden, we were not at all surprised that their feedback was the garden was too small for them. The others viewers varied a lot, they included; one about to retire, one young lady (I guessed in her 20s) viewed with her parents, one middle aged lady and one middle aged man currently in the process of separating from his wife. Good to know that our house appeals to a wide range of potential buyers.

By the middle of the week we had 2 offers of the full asking price and picked the one that suited us best.

Recovering prices

The price our house went for is the highest a house had achieved in our road. Which at least shows that house prices in our area are going up. Looking at the historical prices over the past ten years we can a very significant dip two years ago and evidence of a slow recovery from that point. What the history does not show is that two houses did go on the market at significantly more than we market for, but they never achieved that price and months later eventually sold at a much reduced price, lower than the price we asked for, and achieved.

Selling was Easy, Buying will be Harder

In the weeks leading up to selling our house we had viewed a couple of houses. Predictably the houses we liked the most sold the fastest, some at the same speed that our house has sold.

There is no question, if we see our perfect house we will likely have to battle for it with another interested buyer. Less popular houses are easy to spot, they are the ones that have been on the market for more than a month and they usually require something significant being changed, like a kitchen or bathroom. Or like a few we have seen, are smelly throughout and very off-putting. Personally I can see through much and grime and stinky carpets, but the thought of having to start replacing them all the day we move in is not inspiring. Flooring, be it wooden or carpeted can get expensive, especially if you are forced into doing the whole house.

For now the search goes on and each weekend we check to see what’s new to market. There are not many.



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