Realism, not pessimism about the
UK property market may yet prevent a self-fulfilling prophecy, says Auction
The country’s largest property
auctioneer – operating as Auction House Coventry and Warwickshire - has called
for “realistic but not pessimistic” commentary about the UK property market, to
prevent it from talking itself down in a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Sally Smith, Director and
Auctioneer says that despite the testing conditions in which the market has had
to operate, it has proved itself to be remarkably resilient in recent months.
She explained: “No-one is
pretending that there aren’t currently challenges out there. The after-effects
of the pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis, rising energy prices, soaring
inflation, high mortgage costs and weekly strike activity in recent months have
made the prospects for property look daunting, to say the least.
“However, it’s also true to say
that there are signs of improvement on the horizon. Everyone expects inflation
to fall as the year progresses, energy costs have recently been following suit
and mortgage prices have already become much more affordable. And even with
months of industrial action, the labour market has borne up surprisingly well.
“Perhaps this is why, according to
the Halifax, UK house prices unexpectedly jumped during February. Despite a
Reuters poll of economists predicting a 0.3% drop, prices actually rose 1.1%
month-on-month – which also followed a 0.2% rise in January. So, even with media
claims about house prices falling off a cliff, they are in fact 2.1% higher
than a year ago.
“Granted, these are not huge
figures, but the danger is that a continuing stream of negative stories and
commentary about the property market may actually help create the very
conditions they are trying to predict.”
Auction House sales have continued
apace since the start of the year. The group sold 522 properties in February
from 673 offered – a success rate of 77.6% and raising a total of £69,776,663.
Sally Smith added: “The truth is,
Auction House is still managing to successfully sell over three quarters of the
properties it offers – which is an amazing statistic considering the undeniable
challenges we currently face.
“There is still a very definite
market out there for the right property, at the right price, put in front of
the right bidders at the right time.”