Posts with tag: house price growth

House Price Growth was Broadly Stable in July, Reports Nationwide

Published On: August 1, 2017 at 9:20 am


Categories: Property News

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Annual house price growth was little changed from June in July, down from 3.1% to 2.9%, reports Nationwide in its latest House Price Index.

House prices also saw a modest increase of 0.3% over the month – down from 1.1% in June. This takes the average house price to £211,671, which is up slightly from June’s £211,301.

The Chief Economist at Nationwide, Robert Gardener, comments on the figures: “The annual pace of house price growth remained broadly stable in July, at 2.9%, only a touch lower than the 3.1% recorded in June.

“On the surface, this appears at odds with recent signs of cooling in the housing market. The number of housing transactions dipped to their lowest level for eight months in June, while in the same month, the number of mortgages approved for house purchase moderated to a nine-month low of c.65,000.”

House Price Growth was Broadly Stable in July, Reports Nationwide

House Price Growth was Broadly Stable in July, Reports Nationwide

However, he continues: “But a lack of homes on the market appears to be providing support, with annual house price growth remaining only just outside the 3-6% range that has been prevailing for most of the past two years.

“This pattern looks set to be maintained in the near term; survey data points to relatively sluggish levels of new buyer enquiries, but, at the same time, surveyors report that relatively few properties are coming onto the market (and at a time when the number of homes on estate agents’ books is already close to 30-year lows.”

Gardner explains what the future holds for the property market: “Ultimately, housing market developments will depend on wider economic performance. The UK economy slowed noticeably in the first half of the year and there has been little to suggest a significant departure from recent trends in the quarters ahead.

“While employment growth has remained relatively robust, household budgets are coming under pressure, as wage growth is failing to keep up with the rising cost of living.

“This suggests that housing market activity is likely to remain subdued, with the balance in the market shifting a little further towards buyers in the quarters ahead.”

He adds: “Nevertheless, constrained supply is likely to continue to provide support for house prices and, as a result, we continue to expect prices to rise by c.2% over 2017 as a whole – only modestly lower than the levels recorded in recent months.”

The Founder Director of estate agent James Pendleton, Lucy Pendleton, says: “Market conditions just beneath the surface are keeping this ball in the air, despite much talk recently of the market starting to roll over.

“The big question is, where is support for house price growth coming from? Supply and demand is always a supportive factor, but this kind of market behaviour shows just how imbalanced it has become. Prices seem to be finding any excuse to hold their ground and exploiting it.”

She believes: “The cause has to be lack of supply placing a squeeze on the number of homes coming to market, helped in June by mortgage approvals slumping to a nine-month low, with transactions levels also depressed.

“First time buyers may have also played their part in mopping up over the last few months, spying opportunities as prices dipped. Prices fell for three straight months between March and May but, before that, you would have to go back to June 2015 to find the previous monthly fall.”

Pendleton continues: “These slight contractions were not dramatic however, particularly when you consider the traditionally slower summer months have often begun with more severe falls than this.

“Given there are other factors at play, including a squeeze in consumer spending, this could be seen as a sign of confidence among buyers.”

Russell Quirk, the Founder and CEO of online estate agent, has also responded to the latest House Price Index: “UK homeowners will have their fingers crossed that this turnaround in price growth will be more consistent than the British summertime.

“At a glance, it looks as if the dark clouds of buyer and seller uncertainty are finally starting to lift from the UK housing market, with welcome signs of positive property price growth beginning to shine through. The summer months can generally be a slower time of year, with many taking a break from their sale to go away, so it is promising that the market has bounced back, despite the slump in transactions and mortgage approvals witnessed in June.”

He concludes: “Although buyer demand may take some time to return to normal levels, a sustained shortage of stock should continue to stimulate an upward price trend.”


City House Price Growth Proving Resilient, Claims Hometrack

Published On: July 21, 2017 at 9:54 am


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City house price growth is proving resilient, with average values up by 5% in the first half (H1) of this year, claims the latest report from Hometrack.

Birmingham has the fastest growing house prices of all UK cities, while four areas are registering declines in property values in real terms.

City house price growth is running at 5.1% per year, which is down from 8.8% on June last year. Nevertheless, house price inflation has picked up in recent months.

Growth for H1 2017 ranges from 0.2% in Aberdeen to 6.1% in Birmingham. This is consistent with an 11% rise in home purchase mortgages, which are also 5% higher than the five-year average.

City House Price Growth Proving Resilient, Claims Hometrack

City House Price Growth Proving Resilient, Claims Hometrack

13 cities have a lower annual growth rate than a year ago; London, Bristol and Oxford have recorded the greatest slowdown, as affordability and uncertainty are hitting demand. The rate of price falls in Aberdeen has slowed sharply.

House price growth is higher in seven cities, but the scale of these increases, compared to June 2016, are more modest. The exception is Edinburgh, where the rate of growth has bounced back from 1.8% last year, to 6.5%.

Despite a material slowdown in the rate of house price growth in southeastern England, house price inflation is holding up, although real incomes have been squeezed. The impact of Brexit was greatest over H2 2016 and house price growth has picked up over the past six months.

At the end of 2016, Hometrack predicted that city house price growth over 2017 would stand at 4%. On current trends, it expects this to be closer to 6-7%. There remains material upside for house prices outside southeastern England, it says.

Nominal house price growth in four cities is failing to keep pace with the rate of consumer price inflation, which is currently 2.6%; Cambridge (+1.9%), Oxford (+2.1%), Newcastle (+2.4%) and Aberdeen (-2.7%).

House price growth across the City of London has fallen to a five-year low of 2.6%, meaning that prices are flat in real terms. Inner London markets have the lowest rates of house price growth and are recording real price falls.

Sustained house price growth in large regional cities has pushed house prices ahead of their 2007 peak in 16 cities. At current growth rates, it will be another two years before Newcastle, Glasgow and Liverpool exceed their 2007 levels. Belfast will take much longer, with prices still 45% lower than in 2007.

Online estate agent eMoov has recently assessed what a similar market crash to that in 2007 would mean for house prices today:

The Founder and CEO of eMoov, Russell Quirk, comments on the Hometrack data: “City living will always drive the UK market and so it gives a good indicator of where is quickest out of the blocks, while the overall market is still wiping the post election sleep out of its eyes. The latest data from Hometrack suggests that the UK market has also almost broken free from the shackles of Brexit uncertainty, with the market performing notably better than last year.

“It is a mixed bag of sweets in terms of the current UK market and London seems to be the liquorice where buyer demand is concerned, a classic favourite, but an acquired taste and one that is waning in popularity – particularly inner London. Other areas, such as Bristol, Oxford and Cambridge, are also paying the price of their much higher price tags with slower growth, whilst Britain’s second city has come to the forefront in terms of the best property price performance, joined by the regionally varied ensemble of Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester and Nottingham.”

House Prices still Rising by over 25% in Parts of the Country, Show Official Figures

Published On: July 18, 2017 at 9:13 am


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The Land Registry and Office for National Statistics (ONS) have released their latest House Price Index, for May 2017, showing that property values are still rising by over 25% in some parts of the country.

On an annual basis, the Orkney Islands recorded the largest growth of all areas, at a whopping 25.16%, followed by 17.09% in Kensington and Chelsea, and 15.64% in Maldon.

Month-on-month, the greatest increase in house prices was recorded in Scarborough, where values were up by 6.63% between April and May. East Ayrshire (6.44%) and Kensington and Chelsea (6.02%) were close behind.

However, some areas are recording notable decreases in property values, with average house prices in the Western Isles down by 17.96% on May 2016, while the Shetland Islands (14.68%) and the City of Aberdeen (7.77%) also saw significant declines.

On a monthly basis, the Shetland Islands again recorded substantial drops, at an average of 6.79%, followed by Pendle (5.52%) and the Isle of Anglesey (5.38%).

House Prices still Rising by over 25% in Parts of the Country, Show Official Figures

House Prices still Rising by over 25% in Parts of the Country, Show Official Figures

Thanks to another month of strong growth, Kensington and Chelsea remains the most expensive place in the country to buy a property, at an average price of £1,501,966.

Outside of London, South Buckinghamshire takes the crown, with an average property value of £617,252.

Unsurprisingly, Burnley is the cheapest place to purchase a home in the country, at just £77,525.

Russell Quirk, the Founder and CEO of online estate agent, has commented on the figures: “The latest Government figures show that where actual property sale completions are concerned, the market maintained a slight upward trend in May, up 0.5%, ahead of June’s election, whereas mortgage approval data from the likes of Nationwide and Halifax showed a slow in pace in the same time period.

“Although this provides two slightly contrasting views of the UK market, it makes sense that those in the middle of the sale would move quickly to push it through before any detrimental election impact on their property value occurs, whilst those looking to buy a property would put their mortgage application on ice until the political storm clouds had passed.”

He looks ahead: “The UK property market at present is as unpredictable as the economic and political landscapes that are influencing its buyer and seller demand.

“But whilst these top line figures paint a picture of a marginally declining market, it is important to note that annual growth is still up and there are still areas of the nation performing very well where property price growth is concerned.

“In the current UK property raffle, homeowners in the Shetland Islands, Pendle and the Isle of Anglesey will be going home rather annoyed that their property has seen the largest monthly fall in value. However, those in Scarborough, East Ayrshire, and Kensington and Chelsea will be delighted that their purchase has materialised into first place property price growth.”

The Senior Economist at PwC, Richard Snook, also responds to the data: “Today’s housing market data from the ONS and Land Registry shows a gradual slowdown of house price growth, in line with our expectations that growth in 2017 will be around half that of 2016.

“House price inflation fell back to 4.7% in the year to May, from a downwardly revised 5.3% in April (initially reported as 5.6%), taking May’s average UK price to £220,700.”

He continues: “Today’s figures are the first to be released since we published our latest housing market projections in the UK Economic Outlook. Our main scenario anticipates a softening of the market over the year, with house price inflation falling from 7% in 2016 to 3.7% in 2017. We expect London to be one of the UK’s worst performing regions, achieving price growth of just 2.8% in 2017. The key drivers of this slowdown are uncertainty related to Brexit and a softening in the economic outlook.

“The latest regional data is showing the strongest performance in East Anglia and the East Midlands, which registered annual growth of 7.5% and 7.2% in May respectively.”

And finally, the CEO and Co-Founder of buy-to-let specialist lender Landbay, John Goodall, concludes: “Against a backdrop of increased political and economic uncertainty, house prices have slowed in their march upwards, suggesting that buyers are starting to feel the pressure of falling real wages and entering the market in fewer numbers. But demand is only half of the story; insufficient housebuilding continues to restrict the number of available homes for sale, which may not be creating house price pressure at the moment, but will when demand begins to pick up again.

“While the pace of house price growth may have slowed, house prices still continue to rise, ultimately meaning that fewer people can afford to buy, which can only place greater pressure on the UK’s rental sector. For that reason, it’s essential that new construction is planned across all tenures, so that rents don’t escalate to the point where they’re inhibiting aspiring homeowners’ ability to save for a deposit. Quite simply, we need to build more purpose-built rental homes to support those hoping to take their first steps onto the property ladder.”

House Prices Down in June on a Monthly Basis, Report Your Move and Reeds Rains

Published On: July 17, 2017 at 8:18 am


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House prices were down by 0.2% on a monthly basis in June, according to the latest report from Your Move and Reeds Rains.

The estate agents have found that prices fell for the third consecutive month in June, with average values down by £2,358 in the past quarter. More than half of the unitary authority areas in England and Wales – 60 of 108 – reported a decline in house prices over the month. The average house price in June was recorded as £301,114.

Despite this, the broad trend over the past year remains a modest rise, with prices up by 3.8%, or £11,037, on June 2016. The East of England, in particular, continues to record strong annual growth, regaining the top spot among the regions. In London, the City of Westminster set a new peak price of £1,865,843, after rising by 19.7% over the last 12 months.

The slide in house prices has coincided with the period since the calling of the snap General Election in April, but Your Move and Reeds Rains don’t believe this to be the sole cause. For starters, they explain, the announcement in April was mid-month, which is too late to have any real impact on property sales. In addition, the result of the election looked in little doubt during this period.

Instead, the election and its outcome have merely exacerbated a slowdown in price growth that has been recorded since the beginning of the year, the agents claim.

House Prices Down in June on a Monthly Basis, Report Your Move and Reeds Rains

House Prices Down in June on a Monthly Basis, Report Your Move and Reeds Rains

However, they insist that predictions of a sustained correction still look premature. Firstly, they have seen before that the market can rally, as it did after remaining flat for three months following last year’s EU referendum. Second, mortgage rates remain low, which is helping buyers. And, finally, transaction levels in June were encouraging, with an estimated 72,500 sales – up by 10% on May, which is marginally ahead of the increase expected, albeit with levels lower than last year.

On an annual basis, house price growth continues to be broad-based, with 87 of the 108 unitary authority areas in England and Wales recording price rises over the year to May 2017. Six out of ten regions have also seen an increase in annual rates from the previous month, with one recording no change.

Price growth was led by the East of England, which has regained the top spot for annual increases that it held earlier this year and for much of last year. Prices in the region rose by 0.3% over the month and are up by 6% annually, driven by strong growth in Norfolk (+10%), Luton (+7%) and Bedfordshire (+8%) – the latter being one of the 12 authorities to record a new peak in the month.

The East is also the area that has recorded the greatest increase in property transactions over the last two years. Sales in the city of Peterborough were up by 31% for the three months from March to May compared with the same period in the previous year.

The West Midlands, which led growth over the last quarter, has now fallen back into third place, with prices up by 4.9% annually – below both the East and South West. Annual growth in the latter now stands at 5.4%, with Bath and North East Somerset (+11.5%), Cornwall (+8.1%) and Devon (+7.7%) showing particularly strong growth.

The fastest growing area annually, however, was the Isle of Anglesey – up by 14.1%. While Pembrokeshire also recorded strong growth (+10.9%), Wales generally has fared less well, with prices up by just 2% year-on-year. Of the 21 areas where prices have dropped, Wales – with six – has the highest number.

Overall, annual house price growth in May across England and Wales stood at 4.3%, but a north-south divide seems to have re-emerged. Annual growth in the Midlands and south, excluding London, is above average, while the north and Wales are seeing below average growth.

In central London, prime property is back at the forefront of growth. While the slowdown in the overall market is reflected in Greater London, the capital’s prime property sector continues to show solid annual increases.

Average house prices in the capital decreased for the second consecutive month in May – down by £3,101, or 0.5%, to £613,650. In total, 25 out of London’s 33 boroughs saw prices fall. However, on an annual basis, it’s a different story. Over two thirds of London’s boroughs continue to show growth, with the average yearly increase standing at 3.4%.

It is prime property that now looks to be making the running in London, Your Move and Reeds Rains report. The City of Westminster reached a new peak in May (one of only three boroughs to do so) – up by 6.1% on a monthly basis and 19.7% year-on-year. It continues to close the gap with the highest priced borough – Kensington and Chelsea – despite it seeing the second strongest annual growth in London – up by 9.9%. Camden now completes the top three, with annual house price growth of 6.8% having pushed the average value up to £1,039,135.

The City of London, which Camden has replaced in third place over the last year, shows that growth is not consistent at the top of the market, however. Prices in the borough have dropped by 6.2% annually, while Hammersmith & Fulham – just below it in the table – is down by 5.4%. Islington, too, has recorded a substantial fall, with prices losing over £60,000, or 7.9%, in the year – the greatest annual decline in the capital.

On the other hand, Haringey, which is just inside the top third of the London market – with an average house price of £637,652 – has seen the strongest growth after Kensington and Chelsea, at 9.4%.

By contrast, London’s cheapest boroughs show more modest but consistent growth. The six cheapest boroughs have all seen annual house price growth, with Croydon (+5.2%) above the national average of 3.8%.

The Managing Director of Your Move and Reeds Rains, Oliver Blake, says: “Don’t write the market off just yet. We’ve seen three months of falls, but it’s far too early to panic. Mortgage rates are still affordable and the slowdown we have seen will already have helped some buyers struggling with affordability.

“We’re still seeing strong growth in the East and in prime London. We’re also seeing a return to the north-south divide in terms of price growth. In many ways, it feels like we’ve been here before.”

Annual House Price Growth Eased to 2.6% in June

Published On: July 7, 2017 at 9:54 am


Categories: Property News

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Annual house price growth eased to 2.6% in June, according to the latest House Price Index from Halifax.

This is down from the 3.3% annual rate of growth recorded in May, and is the lowest year-on-year increase since May 2013 (2.6%). The annual rate has dropped from a recent peak of 10.0% in March 2016.

On a quarterly basis, average house prices in the past three months (April to June) were 0.1% lower than the previous quarter (January to March). This was the third successive quarterly fall – the first time this has happened since November 2012.

Month-on-month, house prices dropped by an average of 1.0% between May and June – the first monthly decrease since January (-1.1%).

Nationally, house prices in June were 9.0% above their August 2007 peak. The current average house price of £218,390 is £63,727 (41.0%) higher than its low point of £154,663 in April 2009.

First time buyers

Annual House Price Growth Eased to 2.6% in June

Annual House Price Growth Eased to 2.6% in June

The number of first time buyers entering the market reached an estimated 162,704 in the first half of 2017 – just 15% below the peak recorded in 2006 (190,900).

The number of new buyers is up from 154,200 in the same period of 2016 and more than double the market low seen in the first half of 2009 (72,700).

This is the third time in four years that first time buyer numbers have exceeded 150,000 – the first time since 2007. 47% of all house purchases financed by a mortgage were made by first time buyers, found Halifax, compared with 36% a decade earlier.

Home sales

UK home sales edged down by 3.0% between April and May, to 100,170. However, sales have exceeded 100,000 in five consecutive months for the first time since March 2016.

Overall, sales in the three months to May were 1.0% higher than in the preceding three months.

Mortgage approvals

The volume of mortgage approvals for home purchases – a leading indicator of completed sales – rose by 0.2% between April and May, to 65,200. This is the first increase recorded since January, having dropped between February and April.

Approvals have remained in a narrow range between 65,200 and 68,600 per month over the last eight months, suggesting that home sales are likely to remain steady over the coming months.

Although employment levels continue to rise, household finances are coming under pressure, as inflation stands higher than wage growth. This development is likely to have weakened market activity, believes Halifax.

Housing supply 

The supply of homes for sale remains very low. New instructions for home sales fell for the 15th consecutive month in May, while the average stock levels on estate agents’ books are now at an all-time low.

The Housing Economist at Halifax, Martin Ellis, comments on the index: “House prices have flattened over the past three months. Overall, prices in the three months to June were marginally lower than in the preceding three months. The annual rate of growth has fallen to 2.6%; the lowest rate since May 2013.

“Although employment levels continue to rise, household finances face increasing pressure as consumer prices grow faster than wages. This, combined the new Stamp Duty on buy-to-let and second homes in 2016, appears to have weakened housing demand in recent months.”

He adds: “A continued low mortgage rate environment, combined with an ongoing acute shortage of properties for sale, should help continue to underpin house prices over the coming months.”

The Founder and CEO of, Russell Quirk, also says: “Contrasting figures from Halifax, after Nationwide reported signs of a pulse returning to the UK property market, but given both sets of numbers, it would seem reports of a market demise have clearly been exaggerated.

“Despite the recent claims the market is due to see a notable crash with prices falling by as much as 40%, this remains very unlikely. The market is not dead or running on the life support of easily obtained credit, and has suffered more of a grazed knee than a fatal injury.

“A momentary blip is certainly not substantial enough to label as a trend, and those that have are doing so prematurely. Resilient levels of buyer demand, heightened by a paltry supply of stock and coupled with historically low-interest rates, will continue to fuel house price growth in the medium and long term.”

House Price Growth Regained Momentum in June, Reports Nationwide

Published On: June 28, 2017 at 9:22 am


Categories: Property News

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House price growth regained momentum in June, rising by 1.1%, according to the latest House Price Index from Nationwide.

June’s monthly increase reversed the previous three months’ declines.

Annual house price growth also rose over the month, from 2.1% to 3.1%.

The average house price in the UK stood at £211,301 in June, up from £208,711 in May.

Nationwide has also released its quarterly House Price Index, revealing that the gap in house price growth between the strongest and weakest performing regions in the second quarter (Q2) of the year is the smallest on record.

Q2 saw further convergence in regional house price growth. The gap between the weakest and strongest regions (in terms of annual price change) dropped to just four percentage points – a record low.

East Anglia was the strongest performing region in Q2, with average prices up by 5% year-on-year. London saw a notable slowing in growth, to 1.2%, and was the second weakest region in Q2, just above the north, at 1.1%.

Annual house price growth in Northern Ireland was stable, at 3.8%. Scotland experienced a slight softening in growth, to 1.7%, while Wales recorded similar levels to the previous quarter, at 1.4%.

House Price Growth Regained Momentum in June, Reports Nationwide

House Price Growth Regained Momentum in June, Reports Nationwide

Average house prices in England fell by 0.3% during Q2, but were up by 2.8% over the last 12 months.

For the first time in eight years, house price growth in northern England (the West Midlands, East Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West, and the north) exceeded that of southern England (the South West, outer South East, outer Metropolitan, London, and East Anglia). Northern England recorded a 3.3% annual rise, while prices were up by just 2.6% in the south.

Regional growth rates may have converged, but Nationwide continues to report significant disparities in price levels. This is particularly apparent when looking at prices relative to their 2007 peaks.

For example, prices in London are around 55% above their 2007 levels, while those in the north, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the North West are still below 2007 levels.

The Chief Economist at Nationwide, Robert Gardner, comments on the latest figures: “UK house prices rebounded in June, with prices rising by 1.1% during the month, erasing the decline recorded over the previous three months. However, monthly growth rates can be volatile, even after accounting for seasonal effects.

“The annual rate of house price growth, which gives a better sense of the underlying trend, continues to point to modest price gains. Annual house price growth edged up to 3.1% from 2.1% in May. In effect, after two sluggish months, annual price growth has returned to the 3-6% range that had been prevailing since early 2015.”

He continues: “There has been a shift in regional house price trends. Price growth in the south of England has moderated, converging with the rates prevailing in the rest of the country. In Q2, the gap between the strongest performing region (East Anglia, which saw 5% annual growth) and the weakest (the north, with 1% growth) was the smallest on record, based on data going back to 1974. Nevertheless, when viewed in levels, the price gap between regions remains extremely wide.

“London saw a particularly marked slowdown, with annual price growth moderating to just 1.2% – the second slowest pace of the 13 UK regions and the weakest pace of growth in the capital since 2012.”

Gardener explains: “The emerging squeeze on household incomes appears to be exerting a drag on housing market activity in recent months. The number of mortgages approved for house purchase has slowed a little in recent months and surveyors report that new buyer enquiries have softened.

“At this point, it is unclear whether the increase in house price growth in June reflects strengthening demand conditions on the back of healthy gains in employment and continued low mortgage rates, or whether the lack of homes on the market is the more important factor. While survey data suggests that new buyer enquiries have softened, it also indicates that this has been matched by a decline in new instructions. Indeed, the number of properties on estate agents’ books remains close to all-time lows.”

He looks ahead: “Given the ongoing uncertainties around the UK’s future trading arrangements, the economic outlook remains unusually uncertain, and housing market trends will depend crucially on developments in the wider economy.

“Nevertheless, in our view, household spending is likely to slow in the quarters ahead, along with the wider economy, as rising inflation squeezes household budgets. This, together with ongoing housing affordability pressures in key parts of the country, is likely to exert a drag on housing market activity and house price growth in the quarters ahead.

“However, the subdued level of building activity and the shortage of properties on the market are likely to provide support for prices. As a result, we continue to believe that a small increase in house prices of around 2% is likely over the course of 2017 as a whole.”

Hannah Maundrell, the Editor in Chief of, also responds to the data: “Looking at month-on-month changes to the housing market without factoring in annual performance can give us an unrealistic picture, because it’s partly reliant on which properties sold during the month. This could explain the turnaround Nationwide’s price index shows.

“The devil is in the detail however, and there are signs the property market is cooling slightly, with fewer people putting their property for sale and a drop in the number of people looking to buy. This is no great surprise; with the election thrusting us deeper into uncertainty, it’s sensible to be cautious.”

She adds: “If you’re looking to buy, the power is tipping in your balance, so make sure you do your research and haggle to get a price you’re happy with. If you’re selling, make sure the price you’re asking is realistic and be confident about the minimum you’re able to accept. If you want to sell at the top end of the price scale, you’ll need to make sure your home is better than anything else out there, and be prepared to wait for someone that wants to pay a premium.”