Property market is now the new normal, says estate agent

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ONE estate agent has told iomtoday that business has picked up more than he was expecting in the first couple of months of the year.

David Creane, of Cowley Groves, said: ‘While the underlying fundamental issues still remain the same and those being in the main a lack of confidence coupled with a shortage of cash in the market, I have to say that both buyers and sellers have come to realise that what we are experiencing is now the norm.

‘In that I mean the market will remain very much as it is at present and for the short to medium term bounding along with no sharp upward or downward movements.

‘The public have come to accept this.’

The government’s latest figures on house prices were for 2010-11.

The information was released last summer and showed that average house prices fell by 1.6 per cent from £290,641 in 2010 to £286,056.

The state of the property market is harder to track in the Isle of Man than in some other jurisdictions because it isn’t surveyed as frequently as it is elsewhere.

For example, both the Halifax Bank and the Nationwide Building Society publish statistics frequently, as well as the UK’s Land Registry.

However, the island has clearly not experienced drops as large as the UK since the financial crisis of 2008, although there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that properties in some markets – flats, for example – have been hit harder than others.

Mr Creane said: ‘We have come to realise the days of ever increasing double digit value increases will not return for some time, if indeed, ever. This in itself creates a stabilising effect, no bad thing.’

Properties at the top end of the market have been hit.

Mr Creane said that Cowley Groves had sold more houses than the company expected.

But one was a £2m home in the south of the island that had to be ‘substantially reduced’.

Another instance was a detached extended cottage in Baldwin with land. It fetched £1.4m and was also ‘significantly reduced’.

One area of growth in business was swaps.

The estate agent achieved eight in the first two months of the year.

‘We matched both sellers’ and buyers’ aspirations, exchanging houses with a cash consideration, which achieved the main objective for the clients in that they moved,’ said Mr Creane.

‘This product that we have been featuring for the last number of years is working very well for us at the moment, particularly with old stock that has been on the books for some time, a good result all round.’

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