Do house price statistics truly reflect the current market opportunities?

Recent house price indices from Halifax and Nationwide have both reported flat for the month of August, with little inflation seen in the market. With many commentators and news reports closely following these monthly indices, the question remains – do these statistics truly reflect the current market and the actual sales and activity being reported by Estate Agents?

It’s true that any barometer based on statistics will always be slightly behind the curve, possibly by 6 months or so, because much of the data (although not all), is based on sources such as land registry, where sales are sometimes agreed several months prior to their actual completion date.

Despite all the statistics pointing to a market in decline, we at De Villiers saw some sectors of the London market prior to the August holidays deliver their strongest quarter of activity in almost 5 years. Indeed, most valuers and agents are now calling the bottom of the market for London’s upper tiers which have corrected so far that buyers, particularly those using foreign currencies, are seeing some of the best buying opportunities in over a decade. I would also add that as well as the £2.0m plus market improving, we’ve also seen some bottoming out and a revival of activity across some of the new build sector, which previously suffered a marked decline in demand over the last few years.

Where perhaps activity is still fairly subdued is the lower tiers of the London second hand market, where demand remains quiet and may have slightly further to adjust from the peak levels.

So what do the statistics currently tell us? Well, we think that both market predictions and indices can provide an invaluable long term analysis of a market’s behaviour, but can also mislead in the short term as we are currently seeing in Central London.

The following table shows the predictions from analysts over the last 3 years and the actual statistics as reported at year end.

What’s interesting is that this table shows that the predictions made by analysts are generally fairly accurate compared to the actual Nationwide Index at year end. However, one area though where caution is required when following these statistics is the reality of what happened in the market is often much worse or better than the reported percentages.

For instance, the London statistics published in August suggest the market has fallen by around 4% on average over the year, but the reality of the last 12 months from most agents is this fall in price is probably closer to 10%. In addition, for the upper tiers of the market most agents have reported that prices above £2.0m have in reality lost around 20%, which is not reflected in any of the main indices.

At times when the markets are in a period of significant decreases or increases, it’s important to look beyond the statistics. Only by getting a true picture of the reality can buyers seize some of the rare opportunities we are seeing by catching the market at just the right time.

What Our Clients Say

“For my demanding and often complex clients, high professional standards from my trusted network are mandatory, but James and his team really do consistently offer flexibility, speed and crucially additional emotional intelligence. A pleasure to engage and include in my client work”
Jeremy Hill
Senior Private Banker, SG Kleinwort Hambros Bank Limited
“In a short timescale De Villiers were able to secure a very competitive deal in some excellent offices at one of the best building at Canary Wharf"
Mark Iannotti
Director, Savannah Petroleum Plc
“The fit out at Croxley Gateway on our new HQ was completed on time and we were very pleased with the senior and highly responsive service that De Villiers provided”
Michael Lee
Property Manager, Beko
“De Villiers have always been very approachable. They offer everything a lender could expect from a firm of chartered surveyors – and that little bit extra, too”
Mark Posniak
Managing Director, Octane Capital Limited
"I have found De Villiers Commercial to be very knowledgeable and professional. We started working with them in 2015 and they now manage all of our real estate matters across the UK. Their advice has helped us in negotiations and saved us money. I have found De Villiers to be very responsive and when something is needed quickly they move fast to meet the deadline"
Matt Brown
Finance Director, Eon
"De Villiers Commercial provide property and estate advice across our UK, ROI and International portfolio for Britvic PLC on a number of wide ranging property issues and we have found De Villiers’s support and advice extremely useful and commercially astute"
Clare Thomas
General Counsel and Company Secretary, Britvic PLC
“De Villiers consistently provides a highly professional and prompt service at a reasonable price”
Alpa Bhakta
CEO, Butterfield Bank
“De Villiers are totally focused on customer service and satisfaction, nothing is too much or too difficult for them, they are always friendly, courteous and willing to go the extra mile”
Colin Sanders
CEO, Tuscan Capital Limited
"De Villiers deliver everything a bank wants and expects from a valuer and when asked for something above and beyond the normal then the answer is usually “yes, that’s no problem”. "
Richard McAdam
Head of Residential Lending, Ahli United Bank (UK) PLC
“De Villiers offers an extremely professional and thorough report combined with efficiency and speed of service. De Villiers are always accessible and accommodating, working with tight timescales at very short notice and communicating with the client and their agents at all times”
Caroline Roberjot
Partner, Harbottle & Lewis
“Judgement and advice you provide Precise has never been questioned and is never in any doubt"
Richard Lawton
Head Of Short Term Lending, Precise Mortgages
"De Villiers Commercial acquired our new head office in Pall Mall, Central London in a very tight timescale and they were able to match our very specific brief. We would not hesitate to recommend their property services"
Dogan Korkmaz
Chief Financial Officer, Tüpraş Oil

Stay Updated

We would love to keep you updated occasionally with our news and views.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Subscribe

* indicates required

We will use the information you provide on this form to get in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing information. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at anna.svandova@dvcommercial.co.uk. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

© 2022 De Villiers Chartered Surveyors

Web Design by Make it Seen Media