MackenzieSmith_MPA_Apr14Record low interest rates are helping to keep mortgage rates low, which has created high demand for properties to buy and subsequently increased house prices, particularly where supply is most limited.

The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, insists a rise in interest rates will not happen until recovery is reflected throughout the whole economy and would be a last measure to curb the rise in house prices which is fundamentally caused by a lack of supply, a shortage of development in the house building industry***.

House price increase is a relief to many who are recovering value since the market dropped in 2007, but for those who are looking to make their first house purchase or hoping to upsize the finance required to cover the cost is getting greater and greater. An increase in housing supply to relieve the pressure on demand is not going to happen overnight so it is hard to see a change to the pattern in the near future.

Our area is highly desirable with some specific locations being affected more acutely by house price increases than others. Hartley Wintney, a most sought after village location with a thriving community, has a long list of people wishing to relocate there and as such competitive purchasers are in some cases offering around 5% above asking price.

Hartley Wintney's Duck PondThe Hart District has been voted the best place to live in the UK for three years in the Halifax Quality of Life Survey, this includes the parishes of Hartley Wintney, at the heart of the district, Fleet, Church Crookham, Crookham Village, Elvetham Heath, Eversley, Heckfield, Mattingley, Bramshill, Rotherwick, Hook, Winchfield, Dogmersfield, Odiham, Greywell, Odiham, Long Sutton, South Warnborough, Crondall, Ewshot, Yateley, Blackwater and Hawley.

The average house price in Hart is 7.0* times the average annual pre-tax local income, higher than the UK average of 5.8* but lower than the London average of 9.11 times earning**. The beautiful countryside, good schooling, good health, low crime, pleasant climate, personal well being and even great broadband access, combined with excellent commuting links equates to this being an area which can truly deliver a desirable lifestyle. This is reflected in property values, but a property in this area is more than bricks and mortar, it is buying into the community and a way of life.

Farnborough is emerging as an up and coming location as the regeneration of the town centre, growth of the Tag Farnborough Airport and expansion of the town as a key business centre have increased the quality of what the town has to offer and subsequently value of properties in the town. Purchasers are competitive here too with cases of asking price offers being accepted within 36 hours of marketing the property.

Ash Vale and the surrounding villages, Ash, Tongham, Mytchett, Frimley Green and the more rural Normandy and Pirbright are also highly appealing with beautiful Surrey countryside, good schools, the lakes and easy access to the A31 the ‘Hog’s Back’ and Guildford.

The trend in our Ash Vale office follows suit with our other offices in that property is selling very quickly, often before full particulars are produced or the property is made live online as we have a high number of good quality purchasers registered with us.

This is resulting in less choice for purchasers as stock availability dwindles so if you are thinking of selling your property, or are interested in an updated valuation to help you think about your options, now is an opportune time.

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*Dec 2013 Halifax Quality of Life Survey

**Average House Price/Earnings ratio 2013

***May 2014  No rate hike to cool property prices