Emoov founder Russell Quirk answers some questions on UK House Prices
The UK Property market is on a knife-edge, it could either stabilise or see a big drop in value – Do you agree?
I don’t agree that the market is on a knife edge. The most recent Halifax HPI numbers show a 3.7% rise in house prices year on year. In fact, all of the main indexes show a year on year rise. London? That’s less stable, particularly central London. But we shouldn’t be fooled into believing that the overall UK market is based on the journalistic rhetoric of London alone.
Should consumers take note of house price indexes such as those from Halifax / Homelet? Do they represent what actually is happening with property prices?
As a generic, of course they do. There will always be loud voices from the regions stating that ‘their’ market is different to the average but overall these indexes portray a general picture and that, currently, is a general picture of health despite all that our beleaguered politicians can throw at the property market
Asking prices and sales prices – Are they two very different things especially in relation to figures, ie what a property is listed for and what it sells for?
Yes. Mainly because sellers are often overly optimistic on the price that they think their home can achieve and mainly because a) they look at for sale prices when researching, not sold prices. And b) because some estate agents still overvalue on purpose as a means of flattering the seller into engaging them. This practice should be outlawed as it’s a disgraceful deception.
Will Brexit effect house prices (a soft one, hard one or even a second vote)?
Only if the media keep banging on about how ‘bad’ things will be post-Brexit. I’m an optimist however and truly believe that there is nothing structural to affect house prices currently. Think about the fact that interest rates are ultra low; unemployment is at its lowest ever; and there are not enough houses being built. That’s a sure recipe for increasing prices despite the likes of Carney and Osborne that incessantly seem to want their doom-mongering prophecies to come true just so that they can be proven right. Well, they’re not.
If you want to know the true value of your home, what do you recommend that home owners should do?
Invite three estate agents to value your home. Then take the average of the three. When an agent asks you what price you are expecting to achieve for your property, don’t tell them. That’s their job. Providing insight into what you want to achieve will only ensure that they agree with you no matter what the truth.