There are signs, just an inkling of a feeling, that confidence is dropping in the property market.
Not from buyers. We have sold more this month already than last month. The more concerning factor is that supply seems to be weakening. Statistics that I saw today suggest that the number of properties coming to the market in September was lower than the number in August and by a full 10 percent. Our own experience almost exactly mirrors this. More concerning from our point of view is that so far in October we have seen the number take a small nosedive. Our stats are usually pretty representative of what’s happening in the wider market at least in Edinburgh and the Lothians.
It remains to be seen whether this is a little blip. However, one would usually expect the numbers to go up from August to September then stay pretty level through October only to fall back towards Xmas. Not the case this year. It’s only a hunch but I’ve not seen numbers of potential sellers fall this sharply since March 2008 and that was the month before the market crashed.
Time will tell. However, a petrol station will know of a problem in the oil industry before drivers do: they only find out when they eventually run out of fuel. A lack of people putting their property on the market is the first indicator that there’s a problem, a while before buyers catch on to that lack of confidence.
My hunch is that, particularly in the aftermath of the Conservative Party conference, the middle classes have finally realised that the cut backs are going to affect all of them and that they are waiting to see the full extent of the cuts prior to making any decision about moving house. However, in the meantime they’re staying put.
Ironically of course, this means that it’s a good time to put your property on the market: buyer confidence is as yet unaffected and there’s a dwindling stock of properties on the market.
Interested in what you all think about this though.