Many house hunters were surprised at just how challenging finding, and then indeed securing, a home in the East Midlands was throughout 2014. In the early part of the year, a severe shortage of premium properties frustrated many buyers and when this was followed by a hike in asking prices, negotiating a sensible deal became increasingly difficult.
Encompassing rural village life, bustling market towns and easy access to our capital, the East Midlands provide an abundance of opportunities. With Rutland offering a rural idyll within easy reach of some of the country’s top education establishments and Stamford, a vibrant and social community, it is of no surprise that our region is popular for those looking for a flexible rural retreat.
Reflections on the past year
Many buyers entered the East Midlands market in 2014 with the dream of a rural home set in a breath-taking landscape whilst remaining close to local amenities and having access to London. At its peak, the market in Stamford saw multiple viewings within days of properties coming on the market, leading to multiple sealed bid situations and on occasion, significantly over-asking price deals made.
In the countryside, a shortage of premium landed properties forced several successful sellers to move into rental premises in order to bide their time until a desirable property could be found and successfully secured. The shortage of good stock made buyers reassess their purchasing strategies. This, coupled with competition from a growing number of buyers, meant that the housing market was challenging to navigate for many. However, those canny buyers looking for succinct acquisition and sound negotiation engaged the services of professional property finders whose localised knowledge enabled sourcing of prime properties either pre-market or as an off-market opportunity.
Decisive action in 2015
With a general election and potential changes to property tax looming in 2015, many believe the housing market will cool and until the political landscape becomes clearer, it is likely that caution will be high. However, this climate could present an opportunity to be seized by the smart investor.
Without a crystal ball it is impossible to guarantee how the property market in the region is going to behave. However, with property prices in market towns such as Stamford, Oundle and Market Harborough growing at nearly double the rate of the region during 2014, it is likely that the fashion for small town living will continue in the year ahead, making a purchase in these towns a sound investment.
Alongside this, the relative scarcity of properties on the banks of Rutland Water means that these village homes will continue to be in high demand and are likely to hold their value. Finally, for those needing to commute daily to London, the villages of Barnack, Bainton and Ufford, just east of Stamford, offer the highly desired rural life within 20 minutes of Peterborough station.
Ahead of the game
Whilst it is a common misconception that using a professional property finder is only for those moving in to new area, this is a long way from the truth. Coupled with an established track record in the market, property finders are well known to local selling agents and have an extensive network of professional contacts. This ensures they are one step ahead of the competition and first to know of new opportunities and discreet off market sales.
The service proves invaluable to those short of time or without the expertise or the desire to face the property market without support. This may be because they are down-sizing after living in a property for many years, find themselves living alone or needing specialist advice when buying investment properties.
With the opportunity to prepare for the year ahead through decisive action and a carefully considered plan, now is the time for purchasers to consider their options and seek expert advice on how to secure their next home.