‘Too many people concentrate on investment growth’
A report on The News’ website about the 10 most expensive Portsmouth streets in which to buy a home came as no surprise to local estate agent Colin Shairp.
Colin, director of Town and Country Southern and Fine and Country Southern Hampshire estate agencies based in Havant Road, Drayton, is no stranger to the Portsmouth property market, having sold homes in the area for more than 30 years.
‘Of the selection of 10 named locations, my firms have sold in nine of them, often more than once, in the last 12 months at good prices . We’ve just put another property under offer in Penny Street,’ reports Colin.
‘All of them are desirable places to live, sometimes because of the size and quality of homes, at other times because of the area’s history, or maybe because they are just so convenient.
‘On occasions, all three reasons for appealing to buyers come together in the same place, as they do in Penny Street where you’ll actually want more than a few pounds to purchase a property.
‘But price is not the be all and end all of what makes an area or particular location outstanding.
‘Far more important to most buyers will be the number of bedrooms, the availability of good schools, or the ease of commuting.
‘Someimes price and value growth become the focus for buyers to make a particular choice.
‘In the UK we have the notion that a home should be a good investment but of prime importance is that it should be a great place to live and that it should suit your individual needs.
‘The real value of a home is in what it brings to your life, not what it might bring to your future bank balance.
‘Too many people concentrate on investment growth but, as we all know, the property market is cyclical.
‘Like any other investment, even cash savings, values can go down as well as up.
‘Essentially, people should buy what they can afford and not overstretch themselves.
‘Interest rates are more likely to go up than down, so factor in a rise in mortgage repayments when working out whether a home is affordable.
‘People are familiar with shopping around to get more competitive rates by driving down repayments but the reality now is that now they need to look long term and find ways to minimise rises.
‘Locking into a fixed rate deal might be one way, but there’s no one size fits all solution.
‘Get expert advice is what I suggest every time, with more than one quote.
‘And make sure that when you set out to buy you are in a position to proceed when you find the house you want.
‘That means selling or having a firm offer on your own home first, which places you in a strong position when you make an offer on the next place you want to live.’