Agents Get Blame As More People Think Houses Are Too Dear !!

Date Published 06 August 2012

Half of people planning to buy a home in the next year think house prices are too high, but only around one-third of people planning on selling agrees with that view.

In London, an astonishing 65% think that houses are priced beyond what they are worth, and in the South-East the proportion is 56%.

Estate agents are getting much of the blame, with a growing number of people saying that homes going on the market are being overpriced.

A Rightmove survey of nearly 40,000 home movers has shown up the mismatch between buyers and sellers, with 56% of sellers saying that their biggest concern is receiving a ‘sensible offer’.

The survey specifically found that 49% of potential buyers think their local house prices are above what they consider to be ‘fair and reasonable’. By contrast, 36% of potential sellers thought the same.

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: `Unless both parties are able to bridge the price gap, than a stand-off situation ensues, leading to lower numbers of successful sales.

`Naturally sellers have an interest in standing their ground in order to achieve the best price, but in the current housing market, where sellers outnumber successful buyers by around two to one, sellers need to lower the price or increase the perception of value.`

Despite the valuation mismatch, only a quarter of all home movers expect property prices to be lower a year from now, compared with 30% who expect them to be higher.

The regular quarterly survey always asks people who think house prices will rise why they think so.

The latest survey shows a surge in respondents putting price growth down to estate agents and sellers overpricing. Today, 22% blamed overpricing, compared with 16% a year ago.

Shipside said: `Sellers and their estate agents should take note of the emergence of a substantial group of price-sceptics.`

He said sellers should set their price expectations and work with their agent to price at a level to sell.

Meanwhile, separate research shows that people in their twenties believe they will have to be earning well above the national average before they can start putting aside money for a mortgage.

The ‘Young Money’ poll, conducted by ICM for MRM, found that they did not feel they could save for a deposit until they were earning £33,729 – compared with the national average salary of £26,100.

MRM director Michael Taggart said: `We are seeing a seismic cultural shift, with swathes of young adults giving up on owning a home any time in the near future.

`A combination of historically high house prices and lack of availability of mortgages has simply moved home ownership off the agenda.`

Meanwhile, today`s Halifax house price survey shows that house prices have fallen by 0.6% over the year. They dipped by the same amount on a monthly basis, to stand at £161,094 in July.