The residential property market around Ballymena, and indeed provincewide, would currently be characterised by strong buyer demand and a very limited supply of available properties.
Contrary to what you would expect during a global pandemic the residential property market over the last 12 months has been “HOT” with high numbers of transactions and a noticeable increase in values. A lot of the “slack” in available properties has been absorbed but not replaced in sufficient numbers over recent months resulting in a real shortage of available properties.
Prior to the pandemic there would have been around 700-750 available properties FOR SALE in the greater Ballymena area but there are currently less than 300. Buyer demand is generally steady but as restrictions have eased more and more people are interested in moving. Added to that, we have increased demand from “ex-pats” returning home as they take advantage of flexible working arrangements, quality of life and good value for money.
This has created a bit of a Catch 22 situation… there are lots of people who would like to move but they just can’t see anything available on the market that they want to buy due to a shortage of supply. Under these circumstances the natural instinct is not to list your house on the market until you see the house you want to buy. Vendors worry that they will have strong interest in their own house and will feel under pressure whilst they don’t have anywhere to move to. The cycle of low stock levels continues.
This is perfectly understandable but to overcome the problem we need lots of home owners who would like to move to TAKE THE PLUNGE and list theirs on the market, even if they don’t yet have a target in mind.
A big part of our job as professional estate agents recently is managing the expectations of buyers in relation to timescales.
It’s all about setting the right level of expectation from day 1. We find that buyers understand the shortage of options in the market and, as far as possible, are prepared to give their vendors the time and space they need to secure another property.
Another consideration for those keen to sell and move is that you really do need to be on the market and have interest in your own house so you are ready to pounce whenever your ideal home comes on the market. In such a busy market, you will definitely miss out on your dream home by the time you get valuations, EPC and photographs done, listing on the market, two weeks of viewings, negotiating offers etc etc.
To keep people moving the market really needs a lot more new listings to choose from. Those who are keen to move need to take a leap of faith and list theirs even if they don’t know where they are going just yet. Make it clear to your estate agent that you are not moving until you have secured another property and trust them to convey this to everyone who shows interest in yours. If they really want your house they will just have to wait.
If you would like to discuss this article or how best to sell and buy in this market please contact Gareth Dallas of Ulster Property Sales, Ballymena on 02825657700 or firstname.lastname@example.org