The property industry
The property industry is littered with numerous reports, figures, publications, articles and general feelings. But what use are they?
I recently read an article saying that a national provider of agency sale boards was reporting a huge increase in the number of sales recently and that this was a good indication that the housing market was on the up. After further digging, it was commented in one forum that this national provider was only really a London based supplier. Another commenting estate agent from Cornwall hadn’t even heard of this board provider. Consequently it turned out it was a localised supplier of boards that was merely reporting on their own business results.
When working in the property industry it can be hard to distinguish between an increase in market share and an increase in general market conditions. So who do I rely on when trying to ascertain the present market conditions? There are two main sources I use when trying to ascertain market conditions.
One is the Land Registry figures that are frequently published. Unlike certain institutions and/or mortgage lenders, HM Land Registry has a complete national hold over transactions. This provides a very good indicator for the number of transactions that are actually completing and the average prices involved.
Unlike, for instance, the Nationwide’s figures, that will only report on what its own internal business results are stating. Thus, the buy to let industry may not be accurately illustrated through the monthly Building Society’s figures. The only problem with the Land Registry’s figures is that they are normally about three months out of date as they only reflect the status of the market upon completion not what leads the buyers/sellers to that completion.
My other most valued source are my introducers of business, the estate agents, mortgage brokers, auction houses and websites that provide conveyancers with work. I speak to my introducers on a daily basis and we trade information and figures within our market. The housing market at present is very localised. I could have agents in Kent reporting a very quiet week and brokers in Manchester reporting their best week this year!
By using our introducers of business as good figure generators, we research the present market conditions and if a general consensus shows that the market is getting busier, it’s time to increase resource and complete as many transactions as possible to make room. However, like most, I have stopped reading what the media outlets publicise as bad news seems to sell the best.