Latest News June 2008

There has however been a steady rise in architectural design work, both for individual properties and for development as well as an increase in commercial design work which appears to be more sustainable at present.

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State of the Market

The property market has certainly seen a down turn since the New Year, which has seen properties sell but at only realistic asking prices.  Whilst individual pockets of activity in certain areas are reported, generally the market is slow with sellers being reluctant to place properties on the market and buyers holding out for better deals.

The tightening of lending criteria by Lending Authorities has also had an effect on the market particularly in the buy-to-let sector.  The loss of 100% mortgages, the virtual elimination of 95% mortgages has reduced opportunities for investors coming into this sector of the market and creating difficulties for those already in the market switching from fixed interest rates.

The biggest area in the locality to see price falls is the North and South Sovereign Harbour Developments in Eastbourne.  Values, particular for two bedroom purpose built flats have fallen dramatically over the past 18 months/2 years with values down 40% in some locations.  This, in conjunction with the rise of repossessions particularly in this location, has burst the bubble of the micro market in the Harbour.  There appears to be no consistency in the level of valuation within the Harbour Developments and high prices are still being asked in some sectors and are unlikely to be achieved, certainly in the short term.

Within the countryside there is also a general demand for suitable properties, particularly those with some land but there is a general reluctance of buyers and sellers to move into the market.

It is unlikely that the market will move significantly until there is a resolution of the financial crisis within the banking sector which should create more certainty within both the market and economy in general allowing the market to move forward.  In the meantime, it is highly likely that price falls will occur particularly as a result of the lack of demand as a way of encouraging movement within the market.