Photo of Ian Preston By Ian Preston

What National House Price Surveys Don't Tell You

Posted 05/09/2013

The Nationwide has released its August figures showing that the annualised rate of growth in the Housing market is now 3.5%. This is heavily skewed by London which has achieved a 6.3% rise in the 12 months to July 2013 according to the Land Registry. 

As I’ve commented many times before, the National Press tends to be fairly unhelpful in terms of providing a commentary on local house prices.  The only stories that run are:

House Prices Soar!
House Prices Crash!

These figures are always national figures and don’t accurately reflect what’s going on locally. Preston Baker trades in North Leeds (Headingley, Oakwood and Moortown), York and Selby, so we make it our business to know what the real data is for these precise areas.

Even within the 30 or so miles that separate these areas there are huge differences in both the turnover of the market and the prices. Most surveys tend to focus only on prices rather than the equally important turnover of the market. 

The speed of the market is often expressed as the percentage of sales to new houses coming to the market.   A normal market will  yield a result around 65%. But the statistics for our offices for the last three months (June 2013 – August 2013) shows that there is a significant variation in turnover for our areas, even within North Leeds itself.


What is undeniable is that the market is moving much faster than we anticipated 12 months ago.  I did expect a brisk start to the year but the sales rates in York and Oakwood are unsustainably high.  Credit should go to those sales teams also!  The York branch now has nearly 50% of all listed properties sold subject to contract.

Our figures show that the house price growth in our areas is greater than any of the national surveys indicate.  The Land Registry figures have shown falls in prices over the last 12 months in the area “Yorkshire and the Humber” in their data to the end of July 2013 which does provoke some questions. I think at this point we should note the limitations of the data:

  1. This only represents Preston Baker’s business.  Our market share is highest in Selby with over 20% of the market and is lowest in York at around 5% of the total market.  In Leeds it varies between 13-20% of each market.
  2. The significant growth in Leeds could represent us simply selling higher capital value properties rather than that level of growth in an individual property.

I feel that despite the limitations we can take great comfort from our ‘Northern’ market.  It shows that no matter what the regional inequality if you promote the properties well and work very hard you don’t have to sacrifice selling price in order to have an excellent proportion of houses that are sold.

I hope you have found the information interesting and if you are thinking about selling, the Autumn market is being characterised by shortages of property. If you get your asking price correct you can achieve a sale within a reasonable time scale and for a great price.  

I don’t want sound like a stuck record about correct setting of prices but if you get it right on the first day of marketing you will invariably end up with a better price than if you are too greedy and end up having to reduce the price. 

Here's  a short 2 minute video about what to consider when setting the price for your property.  I would encourage you to watch it if you are currently thinking about bringing your home to market.

Tagged Market Insights; Posted 6 years ago

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