Bargains – well yes and no – and let me explain why. To find a bargain you need to know the ‘market’, yet there is not one ‘property market’ in the UK. In fact, the British property market is split into lots of fragmented pieces and the same goes for the Knutsford property market. In fact it can even come down to two streets adjacent to each other, one street selling extremely well for big bucks whilst properties on the next street can stick and at comparatively lower prices (i.e. if there is a school catchment boundary or differing postcode).
According to Coutts, property values in ‘Prime London’ have dropped by nearly 15% in the last 5 years … yet look closely at those stats and Prime London is considered anything within a 1,500m radius of Kensington High Street above £4.6m – a totally different world to the average property in Knutsford, which is worth just under £490,000 and has risen in value over those same 5 years by 28.0%.
I have noticed that the top end of the market above £750,000 in Knutsford and the surrounding areas is proving a little tougher to shift than a few years ago, yet this can’t all be blamed on that dreaded B word, as buyers have long been flinching at overestimated asking prices and excessive stamp duty rates.
In Knutsford nearly 28% of properties for sale have reduced their asking price in the last 3 months by an average of 7%.
A lot less than the reductions that are being seen in central London. In fact, the property market in Knutsford is looking reasonably good with nearly 43% of properties on the market in Knutsford being shown as under offer and Sold subject to contract.
…Interesting when compared with the aforementioned London Prime market where only nearly 6% of the properties available for sale are sold .. some bargains to be had there!
So, where are the bargains in Knutsford? It’s all about comparing and contrasting property, so to start with, check out the property web-portals such as Zoopla and Rightmove to see what’s for sale. Click on the ‘include Sold stc’ in the filters, then arrange them in price order. You will then start to get a feel for what properties are roughly selling for. Also look at recent sales, so in Rightmove click on ‘House Prices’ on the main menu, on the proceeding drop down menu click on ‘Find Sold House prices’ and now you can type in a street, or even a street plus 0.25miles/0.5miles .. click on ‘List View’ and they are in date order. There is a similar function in Zoopla (feel free to contact me if you need a hand with that).
Once you have found what you think is a bargain .. view it. Ask the agent why the sellers are moving. By doing your research on the seller, seeing how long it has been on the market, whether they have reduced the asking price — you could cut a better deal if they are compelled to sell. Push home your advantage i.e. if you are a first-time buyer, don’t have a property to sell, chain free or cash purchaser as it can all make a difference.
Looking at the numbers above, some savvy Knutsford landlords and home buyers are taking advantage of the doom and gloom newspaper headlines as property owners’ expectations are probably at the lowest they have ever been since the Credit Crunch, especially if they are in the ‘got to sell’ category instead of the ‘would like to sell’ category.
Like anything in life .. buying a property bargain comes down to putting the hard-work in, doing your homework and jumping at opportunities.