Good quality of life draws buyers
The market for rural property through the Mid and North Devon area is taking time to recover from six years of recession. All the recent press reports of a buoyant market and housing bubble still seem some way off in this part of the world.
However, there are a number of reasons for cautious optimism. That buoyant market referred to above has been evident in central London for two or three years and has now spread to the Home Counties.
A significant proportion of buyers of country property in the Mid and North Devon areas come from the Home Counties, and thus a ripple effect can be reasonably confidently predicted. In addition to this, the lower end of the property market has generally been much stronger in recent months.
Again, the effect of this will gradually find its way up through the market.
Nevertheless, this all takes time. If one imagines that each sale, on average, takes three to six months to reach conclusion. So if there are, say, two sales and purchases between the Home Counties buyers reaching Mid or North Devon, one can see that any uplift may still be some months off.
My prediction is that the market will remain relatively sluggish for the remainder of 2013 but by the spring and early summer of 2014 we will see considerably greater activity and general demand.
At the same time, all the predictions are that interest rates are likely to remain very low until at least after the next election.
With property prices having risen by at least 20% in London over the past couple of years, the gap between what the same sum of money will buy in London and the South East, compared with Mid and North Devon, is probably greater this autumn than at any time in the past 20 years.
Perversely, this is a good sign for the future, as buyers from the South East will no doubt notice that properties in our area currently represent extremely good value.
But this situation will not last indefinitely, and they should be aware that it is a very good time for them to buy right now.
Still, a particular feature of the current market is price sensitivity. The perception is still of a buyer's market, and therefore purchasers remain both discerning and determined to achieve what they consider value for money.
What is more, with the ability to take their time, buyers become very adept at recognising what calibre of property that they can expect to be able to buy within their particular price bracket. Any property that does not match up to their expectations is immediately discarded without even a viewing.
So realistic guide prices, coupled with high-quality presentation on brochures and websites, are still the key to achieving a sale within a reasonable time.
Such issues as possible wind turbines still have their effect on the North and Mid Devon market but, generally speaking, this is increasingly seen as one of the last remaining, genuinely unspoilt rural areas in the south of England. The area has so much to offer – easy access to the National Parks of both Exmoor and Dartmoor, as well as the stunning North Devon surf beaches and dramatic coastline.
Proximity to good schools or easy access to communications, such as Junction 27 of the M5 and Tiverton Parkway railway station, are a particular draw for areas within North and Mid Devon.
But the main reason, in my experience, for people wanting to move to this part of the world is simply in search of a good quality of life, which is without doubt on offer in abundance in this lovely part of the Westcountry.
For more details, call 01392 214222 or visit www.jackson-stops.co.uk