Samuels Says - Sellers make the right move

Sellers make the right move

It has taken close to five years but sellers have finally seen the light! The July Rightmove house price index says that sellers slashed their asking prices by 1.7 per cent on average (£4,138) during July – the biggest drop in July for four years..

Rightmove says the cause of this Osborne-like U-turn among sellers is the low levels of viewings due to the catastrophic weather, a 'distracting' summer of sports reaching a crescendo with the Olympics, and increased competition as more realistic sellers enter the fray. 

My personal feeling is that it's not just TV and thunderstorms that have made sellers see the light: deteriorating financial circumstances are at the heart of this volte face as the economy continues to jack-knife its way through 2012 (keep a close eye on the insolvency statistics out in early August — I am not expecting them to be that great). 

In time-honoured, soundbitten fashion, Miles Shipside of Rightmove stated that "sellers need to adjust, as this new world is the new norm". Linguistic guff aside, he does have a point. Sellers can no longer get away with asking silly prices for their homes and properties. Buyers are holding all the cards and are not playing ball. 

For the professional property investor, the gradual but increasingly clear trend of sellers asking realistic prices for their properties is good news. The upshot is that there are endless opportunities in the market right now for people who can look to the medium and long term — and the availability of finance from short-term lenders means they can monetise them each and every time.  

The economy is likely to move sidewards for at least the next year, if not more, given the depth of the global crisis. Play it right, though, and professional investors could be moving forwards with considerable momentum. 

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