Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2018
Harrogate has always had the ability to defy national property trends and the performance of the local market this summer is a perfect example of the district’s resilience.
What we are seeing is strong and sustainable growth that is being driven by long term factors. Whilst other regions in the UK have undoubtedly been affected by a complex mix of issues including Brexit uncertainty, the heatwave, summer holidays and the distraction of the World Cup, prices in Harrogate are still going up and properties that are being marketed well and at the right price are selling very quickly.
Supply and demand
Property values are continuing to rise for all the usual reasons – Harrogate is regularly voted one of the best places to live in the UK, local schools have an outstanding reputation and commuter links to Leeds, York and beyond are excellent. Added to this is the fact that demand is still far higher than supply. This is despite the fact that more new build properties are filtering onto the market. Properties don’t change hands with the same frequency as other towns and cities and when they do, buyers are prepared to pay a bit more.
Town and country
There remains quite a gap between town and country prices and performance. Prices in central Harrogate are rising faster than those in villages and selling quicker. Proximity to schools, after school activities and leisure facilities remain a big pull and buyers will pay a bit more for the convenience of town centre living. Having said that, a well-presented village property in the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside that has been valued sensibly will appeal to those who are looking for a lifestyle change and are not concerned by traffic and commuting.
Valuations and marketing
Some of our bestselling properties this year have gone to best and final offers due to an incredible level of interest. For every home that has gone through our residential sales department, we have found that a combination of proactive marketing and careful negotiation on behalf of the seller has enabled us to achieve an excellent result and sale price in a very short space of time. This is one area where we add value as an estate agent, using our knowledge of the local market and understanding of buyer needs to work hard on behalf of our clients. It may be cheaper to do it yourself online but sellers tell us time and again that the benefit we bring is our ability to manage enquiries effectively and convert them into sales. The starting point to all that is having an accurate valuation in the first place. Rather than putting a property on the market at an artificially high price, we always advise being realistic in order to generate interest and secure the best price through negotiation.
Buy to let
Buy-to-let is still a very sensible option in Harrogate, generating good return on capital investment and strong potential for growth. The key to success is to make sure the property is well managed and maintained. As Harrogate’s largest local letting agent we have an established and experienced letting and maintenance team looking after over 1,000 properties at any one time. We handle all maintenance and inventories on behalf of these landlords and much, much more – even little things that many agents wouldn’t see as part of their role. The feedback we get is that we respond professionally to any queries and issues that arise and take everything in our stride, supporting both landlords and tenants for a smooth relationship.
This remains a very effective route to market for certain types of property and for sellers who want to exchange quickly and have the money in their bank within a matter of months. The certainty of selling at auction appeals to a lot of people and in our March auction we sold every lot for at or above the guide price. Our next auction is on July 19th at Pavilions of Harrogate and is well worth a visit if you are interested in property, even if you are not bidding this time.
Our commercial team has had a busy year and continues to see strong demand for retail and office space. We have run a number of successful targeted marketing campaigns for some sites and we are always very happy to discuss creative promotional with anyone wanting to sell or rent commercial space in and around Harrogate.
A final word about surveys. Whatever property you are buying, it is important to have it professionally surveyed to make sure it is worth the price being offered. We have our own in-house RICS regulated valuers and chartered surveyors and we can guide you on the best type of survey for the property you are buying.
If you have a property to sell or rent and would like a free no obligation valuation please call us on 01423 501211 and we will arrange to come and see you.