The only way in Essex to describe the housing market from estate agents, auctioneers and letting agents, is …. More stock needed! And the National Housebuilders certainly seem to be doing their bit. Pretty much every city, town and village you visit in Essex seems to have multiple large-scale developments extending round the boundaries of the existing residential areas. In fact, as you drive from Chelmsford to Colchester along the A12, you do feel all the towns will just become joined up before long.
This certainly has a knock-on effect. In order to get the convenience of a shiny new home, naturally the old one needs to be sold. With Help to Buy, the new homes market is still going strong and this seems to be a real change from the buoyant market condition of the early 2000’s. It was noticeable that back then people wanted land, stables or a swimming pool and much more demand for property to do up. Whereas now, it appears to me that maybe people are looking for the convenience and low maintenance of new property. However, over the last twelve months maybe people’s thoughts have changed again wanting space and to be away from heavily populated areas.
The concern for many areas in Essex is the large-scale development is bringing overcrowding on the roads, Doctor’s surgeries and schools are becoming harder to get a place at. So, the supporting infrastructure is not always in place and not only needs consideration by town planners but also prospective buyers.
The same rules apply whether you are buying at auction on a new home, down the road or at the other end of the country. Research, research, research! The internet is great place to start, but you cannot beat picking up the phone and talking to people or visiting an area in person, to build your own opinions about an area, the transportation links, how far is it to the shop if you need a pint of milk?
Homes under the Hammer often talk about doing your research when buying at auction and over the last few years the program has done a great job educating people about the auction market and I urge other property shows to be as open and honest about the good, the bad and the ugly of the property world.