Sam says: “No one can call the bottom of the market but I believe in the Cotswolds we have reached it. While a ‘double dip’ was predicted nationally, prices here have stabilised and buyers’ and sellers’ expectations are on a par.
“This region is considered one of the best places to invest, where property prices rise higher, and fall more slowly, than in other parts of the country. There are many good reasons for this. The Cotswolds is one of the most quintessentially English, unspoilt regions in the UK; covering 790 square miles, it is the country’s largest officially designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There is much to offer in terms of desirable property, from chocolate box cottages and handsome family houses through to large country estates. Period properties in or near the numerous pretty villages and historic market towns are much sought after and the excellent choice of private and state schools makes this an ideal location for families.
“People still aspire to leave the City for a better quality of life in the Cotswolds; the commute to London is only around an hour and a half. Our office in the Capital has just as many applications from people planning to make the move as it did five and ten years ago.
“There is currently a shortage of quality properties on the market and this is reflected in the prices achieved. We’ve sold a number of houses recently that have exceeded their asking price, including a family house in Fifield with a guide price of £925,000 that sold for £1.1m.
“The market in 2010 will be driven by those who have to move for personal reasons including jobs, schools, being nearer relatives, down and upsizing, and by ‘distressed sales’ where people cannot control the timing of their sale as the affects of the recession touch ordinary lives.”
“There is certainly no room for complacency despite the more optimistic predictions for the Cotswolds compared to the national picture. Vendors should be cautious as buyers and their lenders will be extremely sensitive to properties with complicated titles, onerous covenants, structural problems, defects in the title, neighbour disputes and problems in planning and Listed building consents. It is important to prepare well for a marketing campaign and to present everything as tidily as possible.
“Based on the current settling of the market in the Cotswolds, I see no reason why properties with a sensible guide price placed on the market now shouldn’t achieve their asking price, perhaps even exceed it.”
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