Location, Location, Headache

Feb 13, 2015

Last night Kirsty and Phil took to our screens once again in their endless campaign to find two couples the house of their dreams, at a budget they want to pay.

One of their more testing outings to date, the episode saw them struggling to please Lia and Andrew. The young family were looking to relocate to a larger, more family friendly home but remain close to Andy’s place of work in Canary Wharf.

With a budget of £600k Phil certainly had his work cut out for him, as the options for a three or four bedroom home in the Isle of Dogs on this budget were pretty much non-existent.

However it wasn’t the choice of property presenting the biggest hurdle but rather a stubborn buyer with a warped view on the property market.

Andrew, unlike his wife, left very little room to compromise regardless of his unrealistic search criteria. Unwilling to increase his commute but demanding a property that fetched far beyond the couples budget, he provided a prime example of a buyer trying to dictate to the market.

The unfortunate reality is that it’s the market that dictates the price of property and not visa-versa. Despite having saved a considerable deposit putting them in a favourable position to borrow and buy, the couple refused to budge on either budget or commute distance.

Emoov’s Property Hotspots data has highlighted that the high price of London property has resulted in many buyers looking outward to commuter friendly areas on the peripherals of the city. The stark reality is that you either pay way over the average and live centrally, or you sacrifice your walk to work for a commute of 40 minutes or so for a larger property.

In an attempt to find a middle ground Phil showed the couple a three story, four bedroom town house in Beckenham, listed just below their £600,000 budget. The property, listed through Emoov.co.uk, was located in a secure development with great transport links and off street parking further south of their desired location. But when even this property failed to sway the couple, the real reason for their hesitation in buying surfaced.

Not only did Andy want to dictate to the market what he wanted and for what price, he was also second guessing a potential market crash. Convinced house prices would plateau in 2015 and then fall, he wasn’t willing to invest £1/2m into a property. Hoping that when the market did crash there would be more available closer to his place of work, Andy was house hunting simply to keep his wife happy.

When house hunting you need to throw yourself in to it and commit fully, strolling around a few areas at the weekend won’t help anyone and acting fast is key.

In the last four years house prices in the Borough of Bromley where Beckenham is located have increased by 40%. By waiting around for a crash that may never come, Andy and Lia could disadvantage themselves further and find that the property they can afford shrinks, or the commute time increases even further. The property they viewed in Beckenham through Emoov.co.uk is already under offer from a different buyer, highlighting the speed at which properties in high demand areas can come on and off the market.

Russell Quirk Founder and CEO of Emoov commented “By resting on their laurels potential buyers could see the distance their budget can travel reduce dramatically. Unfortunately we see it on a regular basis whereby buyers don’t want to accept that their money won’t stretch as far as they want. If you aren’t willing to accept the reality of the property market then the only option is to stay put.”