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Country home search becomes a waiting game for no-compromise buyers
The home search market has become increasingly polarised in recent months, as city-dwellers move more quickly and those buying in the countryside take their time.
Propertytalk reports that country properties have fallen in price by 1.7% over the past year, with the gap between vendors' and buyers' expectations widening over the same period.
This compares with the city, where prime properties in central London have gained 11.4% in 12 months as a growing number of buyers add to competition in the capital's home search market.
At Elite Property Search, we've seen this trend take shape since the last quarter of 2010 - and it's turned the country market into a waiting game for vendors and buyers alike.
With conditions throughout the UK property market softening, vendor expectations are relatively high at the moment, leading some to price their homes for profit rather than a quick sale.
But buyers - even those keen to make an immediate investment - are still not prepared to pay over the odds, leading to complex negotiations in some cases.
Knowing when to make the move
As buying agents working throughout the prime property market, we gain a strong overview of how country and city listings as a whole are changing at any given time - and when the time is right for buyers to make their move.
The falling valuations in the country are a clear hint at how the market has fared over the summer. We've seen sellers prepared to drop their prices in order to secure a sale, and a high volume of homes coming on to the market - including many that were listed previously and are now subject to further reductions.
For vendors, that leaves two options - wait it out until more buyer fluidity returns, or bite the bullet and accept a lower offer than originally hoped.
Meanwhile, for buyers prepared to negotiate, the opportunity is still undeniably there to use the lack of competition as the first step towards securing an enviable purchase price on a prime property.
For our buying agents in London, the opposite trend is shaping up as rising prices place pressure on investors to complete their transactions quickly and avoid paying more for property in the capital.
This makes it a fine time to be a London property seller - but with prices bound to peak at some point, it's equally important not to hold out too long and risk missing the market's moment of highest value.