A lot is written about the state of the property market, yet this often appears quite contradictory.  One minute we’re told property sale transactions are at record lows; the next that they’re at record highs.  But what should we believe? 

The first thing to remember is that headlines are intended to grab attention and the brains behind those stories often seek to serve a very specific purpose that supports their own need.  The reality is rarely clear cut.

However, working as we do, each and every day with people in and around North West London actively seeking to buy or sell property, what we do know is that people tend to stay in their homes for significantly longer than public perception allows for.

Climbing prices and uncertainty in the local market are often cited as reasons why people stay put for longer, yet at the same time there’s increasing contentment with where we’ve chosen to invest and put down roots.  Flexible working conditions, which are increasingly common, add to this and mean there’s often less need to move because of a change in job circumstances.

The balance between supply and demand also plays a significant role in the frequency of house moves in a given area and where a specific street or suburb is deemed particularly popular and ‘in demand’, it’s likely that there’ll be a long list of interested buyers ready and waiting as soon as a property is listed for sale.

The effect of this can be viewed in two ways: on the one hand, having several market-ready buyers interested in a property is undoubtedly a sign of a buoyant market.  On the other hand, with these purchasers happy to wait for their dream property, transaction figures will almost certainly be low.  Same situation; two different ways of seeing it!

Confusion also comes in to play when we consider the impact of interest rates.  Whilst increasing interest rates makes mortgages more expensive, thereby discouraging some purchasers from moving, increasing rates also often accompany high levels of inflation.  This erodes mortgage debt and in doing so, can actually encourage people to make a move.

Here in North West London, the average time between moves is significantly higher than both the average across the Capital and the nation as a whole.  Here, the average time between sales here is a staggering 28 years!

Numbers aside, the important thing to remember is not to always believe headlines.  Simply, the only way to really understand the local market and the pace at which it is moving, is to engage with a local expert.

Andrews has branches in Kingsbury, Kenton and Barnet and you can also visit us check us out online at www.andrewsonline.co.uk