24 Nov 2022

The Oxfordshire property market. What's really happening?

BY John Gebbels  

The property market is currently receiving plenty of media attention. That's fairly inevitable given such surprise strong performance through the last two years, and more recently the shift in gear resulting from the financial pressures of inflation, cost of living and interest rate rises.

Some of the headlines have been scary and grim. A 'market crash' has been thrown around frequently, and the media were quick to report doom and gloom headlines of lenders withdrawing mortgage products and increasing rates following the Truss / Kwarteng mini budget fiasco, which I think we would all now rather forget. 

The fact is however, on the ground, the market still feels healthy. The press have subsequently been much less quick to report that lenders, including Yorkshire Building Society and Skipton Building Society, have in fact dropped rates by around 1% on some long term fixed mortgage products, nor the increase in the popularity of tracker rates currently offering rates of around 3% 

Looking specifically at the Oxfordshire market buyer demand remains strong, although not to the extremes of 2021. Is this a bad thing? We don't think so. Most sellers need no more than perhaps one or two competing buyers to secure a good price. Most Estate Agents actually don't want to agree a sale and then have to make fifteen disappointing phone calls to disgruntled and unhappy bidders.  

Stock levels remain low across the board, and so it remains a difficult market to buy in. The days of needing to offer way above the asking price just to stand a change of remaining 'in the game' as offers progress to sealed bids are however thankfully now over. 

OXON Property Search's message to sellers, as ever, is please don't just focus on price. A buyer in a 'proceedable' position or without a complicated chain is infinitely more likely to reach exchange of contracts. The alternative could be a higher bidder, but still reliant on a sale or part of a long and complicated chain, over which they will have absolutely no control. 

Our message to buyers is to be prepared for limited options, and try and remain as broad minded as possible. The ideal property might be out there, but in a market of short supply, broad choice is unfortunately limited. The opportunity to buy at a sensible price might mean that extension or refurbishment becomes more feasible, or at least something worth considering. Adding value is always an appealing gain. 

Whether or not there will be an influx of new stock to the market early next year is hard to predict. The start of a new calendar year always brings new opportunities, but we don't anticipate earth shattering volumes. As such the present dynamics look set to remain through 2023. 

OXON Property Search's advice, guidance and ability to get our clients one step ahead of the market has never been more valuable. We have established relationships with local estate agents, and regularly get offered new properties before they reach the wider public. 

Our objective advice and practiced negotiation tactics ensure our clients can make offers and exchange contracts with confidence, and our black book of local professional contacts and trusted contractor relationships are available to our client's right through the process. 

If you think you might benefit from OXON Property Search's experience, guidance and expert advice please don't hesitate to contact John Gebbels for an informal chat.