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Hooked on Horses monthly property report November 2010

We are pleased to post the first contribution from "guest blogger" Zoe Napier of Zoe Napier Country and Equestrian in Maldon, Essex.

Nick Churton of Mayfair Office says "The people of Essex and Suffolk, and most particularly those connected in any way to the equestrian world will know Zoe and I, for one, always listen with interest to Zoe's thoughts on the property market"

In the first of her "guest blogs" Zoe says:

The market pendulum continually swings, but it remains positive for Essex with an interesting twist that could ‘buck’ the trend…

Zoe Napier, our Country & Equestrian property expert writes this month about the property market. After twenty-six years in the Essex property industry, Zoe launched her own business in October 2010, based in Maldon to cover the entire county of Essex and south Suffolk, specialising in property ‘in the countryside’ and she now promotes her company with the aptly named web site www.inthecountryside.com

During 2010, we have seen a market like no other, continual low interest rates (for the twentieth consecutive month so far) has enabled property owners to balance their books in a somewhat difficult climate. This has created a property shortage throughout much of the year due to it often being more economically viable to ‘stay put’ opposed to moving. This alone has sustained house prices in our region.

It takes a brave person to buy in the months that report ‘house prices falling’ by 3.7% as reported by the Halifax in October. These statistics have not been so evident in the equestrian market, subject to the property greeting the market at the right price. Some of the price adjustments have been more a corrective measure than prices falling, which fail to be reported as such. 

Statistics are useful but are based on national figures and not niche markets like the equestrian property market; This is where good, experienced local knowledge by a property expert can be invaluable when buying or selling. 

However, the general uncertainty of the sales market has created a huge upturn in the rental market, however; in real terms this means that we have a significant ‘bank’ of people waiting to buy. Should these future prospective buyers be waiting to hear word of an ‘upturn’ could well mean that they have missed the boat for the best buys which happen to be sitting out there now to be negotiated upon and bought! 

Buyers are also naturally cautious about making offers on properties which have been available for a considerable length of time. This is where the scenario of ‘waiting for buses’ appears, when ‘the buses’ (buyers) all arrive at once; one person makes an offer and this gives the next buyer the confidence to also make an offer and before you know it (and on several occasions this year alone) prices in excess of the guide price have been achieved. The market is all about ‘confidence’, being media lead.  

Equally, due to national property reports, many potential sellers are waiting ‘until the Spring’ to proceed with marketing but statistics over more recent years show that the first quarter of the year for Essex in particular, are proving to be more lucrative months than the second quarter of the year.

There are many reasons for this, not least to mention that our county of Essex has the most business owners in the country, probably some of the best entrepreneurs and many city workers who are already in the knowledge of their likely city bonus monies to be received (mostly) in January. It is hardly a surprise therefore, that in this age of the internet that the Christmas period can be a prime time for browsers and those thinking of selling should really consider preparations for marketing prior to the festive season in order to reach these potential browsers and the relevant media publications for a January launch… 

There are many reasons too, especially when buying a property with land, as to why buyers should consider looking at property during the winter months and this subject will be covered by Zoe in our December issue...