Ashtons for property & homes for sale or to rent in Hertfordshire

Ashtons Bi-Annual Local Housing Market Review

Story posted: 04.08.17

At this time of year, with many thoughts turning to school and summer holidays, we felt it would be an appropriate time to issue our bi-annual review of the local housing market, to give you the encouragement that there is still plenty of opportunity to find a buyer this summer.

In fact, now could very well be the best time we have seen this year to take advantage of the market, as other 'would-be' sellers procrastinate and wait for the autumn. 

We have witnessed recent high stock levels subside over the last few weeks (creating more competition between buyers) and several of our sales agreed in July have had instances of competitive bidding again, following a brief lull in the lead up to the General Election.

What is happening at a local level?

Undoubtedly, 2017 has been a more challenging year and there is still uncertainty around the impact Brexit will have on the UK property market. That being said, Ashtons clients have benefited from some exceptional results as we have continued to grow our share of the market. 

In fact, recent data from Rightmove testified that Ashtons Harpenden office has agreed as many sales in 2017 as the combined efforts of its three nearest competitors. In addition to this, the Village and Country office in Redbourn has sold more properties than all its competitors combined. Our St Albans office has grown its market share by 40% in the last year and our Welwyn Garden City office is a clear market leader. 

This would suggest that there is faith, from both buyers and sellers, in the informed work that Ashtons are doing, to help people move in a more challenging environment. 

Macro/Micro review

The low interest rate environment persists and many of us are finding that there are very few areas of the economy that have been able to provide the safety we want for our investments. The stock market witnessed a rally in the early part of the year but has 'wobbled' over the past 6 weeks. European investments seem a little too volatile for many and yet the demand for quality properties in the key commuter belt towns and villages around London has remained strong this year. 

That being said, buyer registrations across the Ashtons group are slightly lower than they were for the corresponding period of 2016, whilst stock levels and availability of property have increased compared to last year (this can be seen across the area on Rightmove - our Valuers are happy to talk about the specifics of your area). 

As a result, prices have stabilised in most sectors and the national suggestion from the Lenders and Rightmove that price rises have slowed down is something that we very much concur with. What it will do, however, is create opportunities for those that are best informed, a position we like all of our clients to be in, so that they have the knowledge to make the best decisions for themselves and their families. 

The big question is 'Where will the market go from here'?

The answer to this is simply that no one really knows! Inevitably, there will be an impact from renewed uncertainty in the banking sector and city jobs market The rise in stamp duty a couple of years ago on purchases over £925,000 and particularly over £1.5 million has continued to impact on the pace of sales at the very top end of the local market. The weaker pound and higher inflation are still a concern for many families.

That being said, a narrowing of the differentials to trade up has created the opportunity for some of our clients to make very exciting moves this year and we would suggest that in some instances, clients who have been brave enough to 'give it a go', have made moves that just would not have been affordable to them a year or two ago. 

Next steps  

If you feel that you would like to put some further 'meat on the bones' following this short review, then please do not hesitate to contact your local office for advice.

We look forward to assisting you on your home moving journey. 


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Everyone was fantastic, really pleasant to deal with and very helpful. Thank you so much.


Marc Rees

Hi guys, As a fellow director of an Independent Estate agency in Devon I wanted to say that it has been a pleasure to deal...


R Oakes

Louise was a fantastic progressor and made sure I was informed at all times.


Ann Hirschfield

Ashtons were friendly, patient and reassuring, always ready to explain anything I didn't understand.

Having moved many times during 50 years, Ashtons' staff are the best...


Lee Sherman

John - Extremely helpful in the initial sale and buying process. Great communication and willingness to make things happen.

Graham - During the sale process, Graham...


Amy Weston

Everyone we dealt with was great and Verity in particular went above and beyond when we were having issues with our purchase. She was supportive...


Anna Iskandar

Really good experience when buying with Ashtons (Louise & Robert).



Everything went very smoothly.


Gretta Acton

Lucy and Matt were lovely, polite, friendly and professional.


Jo Morris

All staff were very professional, friendly and attentive at all times ad made the process of appointments and viewings seamless. They were extremely proactive with...


C S Donald

Professional and helpful


Paul Hoy

From start to finish, everyone in the office were very helpful and put our minds at rest. A big thank you to all.

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