DECEMBER UPDATE – And it is starting to get a little quiet… Maybe Christmas is on it’s way?

“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. 

Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more.”

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Dr. Suess

Monday 5th December 2022

“You can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle three things: 

a rainy day, lost luggage, 

and tangled Christmas tree lights.”

Maya Angelou

Happy December, one and all!  

To follow up from last month’s closing paragraph, Sam and I did bravely enter the Mysterious World of the Garage, found the decorations, and stumbled our way back out again, past more things we simply didn’t remember storing there in 2022!

I do love Christmas, and Sam and Emma loved putting all the decorations up.  

(We miss Ellie’s help, but as she lives in Newbury now, she has her own house to decorate, along with her impish cat who relentlessly attempts his own input!) 

Obviously, I helped by directing from afar, ie the kitchen, with a large glass of wine.  

The house is now a grotto. 

I like to think of it as an ‘elegant grotto’ but shiny and sparkly it is.

Rather unexpectedly, the market has quietened down much faster than we anticipated.  

We knew it was coming … November was showing signs of fewer buyers registering, but we didn’t expect quite such a drop off of enquiries so soon in December, Historically, it gets quieter as Christmas approaches, but it has done so earlier this year than in the past years.

However, that shouldn’t totally be a surprise. 

The cost of living increases; the uncertainty of house prices for 2023; the interest rate fluctuations; and the constant threat of a forthcoming house price ‘crash’ in the papers, doesn’t help.  

Personally, (seriously only a personal view), I don’t see any price crash coming at all.  I have worked in this market in Winchester for almost 25 years, and even in 2008/2009, prices here didn’t fall, they stalled, and then rose again when London picked up.

I saw an interview yesterday with a property expert who talked hearing a phrase about prices ‘relaxing’, which made both him, and me, smile a little,  ‘Relaxing’ or ‘softening’ is the last thing they are doing.  ‘Hardening’ is a more suitable word, and this is what we have been highlighting as evident over the past couple of months.  

Price them right, and they will sell; overprice and they will need to be reduced, which doesn’t help their position in the market.

The chap I was watching in the interview yesterday (Russell Quirk) also agreed with my belief that prices won’t drop, but settle and stabilise – as there will always be an excess of demand vs supply, especially in sought after areas like Winchester.

This doesn’t answer why there is an unexpectedly slow start to December,  except for the reasons suggested above.  

I believe that buyers are simply tired of the drip dripping of negativity, they don’t know quite which way to turn, so are diverting their concentration to Christmas a little earlier than in previous years, and also enjoying the World Cup.

I have no doubt whatsoever that the appetite of buyers will return in early January, when mortgage interest rates will have settled a little. At 4% +/-, borrowing is still relatively cheap, certainly far cheaper than my first mortgage at 15% interest(!).

We are using this time to concentrate on getting our under offer stock to exchange, along with Ellie’s amazing assistance and perseverance;  and to prepare for the January 2023 market.

In the meantime, time to dust off Elf and it’s A Wonderful Life, 

And book our Ocado grocery delivery for Christmas Eve.  

We do like to be prepared! 

Thank you to all our clients and friends for your support throughout 2022. 

Enjoy your Christmas Parties, and have a super Christmas and New Year!

Sam and Nony