‘Realistic’ fall in house pricesBy Victoria Corbett
October 19, 2010
House prices in Wokingham have dropped by more than £3,000 in two months.
However it is a different story in Bracknell, where values have risen by the same amount.
The average house price in the UK dropped by £6,000 last month, according to Halifax.
Wokingham saw a significantly lower fall in values between June and August of just over £3,000 from £274,700 to £271,628, according to the Land Registry’s house price index.
However in Bracknell, there was an increase of more than £3,000, with prices rising from £210,522 to £213,527 in the same period, according to the index.
Steve Jones, managing director of Richard Worth estate agents, which has an office in Rose Street in Wokingham, said the reason behind Wokingham’s drop could be that prices are returning to more realistic levels.
Mr Jones said: “There is definitely a downward pressure on house prices but a lot of it in my view in Wokingham is down to a lot of over-valuing from some of the agents over the last six or nine months. We came into the year without a great deal available for sale.
“Agents are using the asking price to win business. Then that price is driven down over a period of time until the property gets to a saleable price.
“I wouldn’t have said achievable bottom lines have changed significantly. I just think it is down to speculative prices driven by an achievable market.
“My view is the realistic prices are holding. The danger period is between now and Christmas. If they hold then we are safe going into next year.
“When the market is going well in Wokingham, people will pay almost anything to get a house here, within reason.”
He said Bracknell had not seen so much of the speculative pricing like Wokingham, and so prices had remained steady.
Mr Jones said: “There is a lot of property available in Bracknell so they have to be more competitive to sell. There is also a lot of similar property, which makes it more competitive.”
David Cliff, owner of David Cliff estate agents in Peach Street, Wokingham, said the market has been particularly competitive for properties priced up to £250,000, due to first-time buyers looking for the best deals.
However, he said all properties, including higher value ones, are still selling well. David Cliff has celebrated its first year in business recently and Mr Cliff says business could not be better, saying now the perfect time to buy for people with the right deposit.
He said: “If you are going to move up the property ladder now is a great time to do it because you can secure a great deal fixed for two or three years.
“As long as you feel safe employment-wise, now is as good as any time to buy.”
Vincent Courtney, from Romans estate agents, said: “I think in the beginning part of the year prices actually increased beyond what was realistic and we are seeing a correction in the market down to more realistic prices.
“There are still plenty of buyers looking to purchase property.
“Prices just got a little overcooked in the first quarter of the year and they have had to correct a little bit.”
Simon Rubinsohn, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) chief economist, said: “RICS expects prices to slip a little further over the coming months, but despite the prospect of public spending cuts we believe the risk of large house price falls remains relatively limited.