Homes more affordable and easier to buy in Cheltenham, says agency partner
Homes are becoming more affordable for people and procedures are in place to help people move more easily, says a partner at Fine and Country Cheltenham.
Richard Styles, who has more than 26 years in the Gloucestershire property market, said house prices had fallen back to four times people's average earnings, compared to its peak of six times average earnings in 2007.
He added a more widespread use of floor plans by agents in the county was making moving simpler as potential buyers could compare properties more accurately.
Richard said: "The house price to average earning ratio is back down to where it has been over the last 30 years. Property is generally more affordable for people."
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An increasing number of Gloucestershire agents are producing floor plans with square foot measurements meaning movers could more accurately compare two properties. This is a method Fine and Country Cheltenham has used since opening in 2010, he said.
"Some estate agents and home-buyers didn't have a clue about the size of homes in square feet ten years ago," he said.
"Now this measurement is being put on floor plans and more and more people are understanding it. Some people will refer to square feet when they talk to us.
"If you've got a good square foot floor plan, it makes it easier to compare properties instead of referring to the number of properties they have. People are becoming more switched on to that."
While floor plans issued by agents are a good indication of size, they are not set in stone and should only be considered as a guide, Richard added.
Fine and Country Cheltenham deals with homes worth £450,000 and above. These include both town and village properties. The branch covers Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and Nailsworth, including all villages in between.
Richard has worked in both Cheltenham and Stroud since 1985. He ran the land and new homes division for Andrews Estate and Letting Agents for 14 years and was based in Cheltenham. Before that he managed Andrews' branches in the county.
Richard said he was expecting a bumper January as people look for a fresh start to the new year, stating the month was the branch's busiest of the year.Fine and Country has over 200 offices in the country, with headquarters in London.
Richard's snap shot of the property market during his 26 years in Gloucestershire.
1985 - Prices going up 10 per cent per annum.
1987/88 - Property market boom.
1989-1998 - period of house prices going down.
2000 - Price climbing quite well.
2001-2006 - Price continuing to increase quite steadily.
2007 - Market nationally wasn't too bad but flooding has big affect in Gloucestershire as people stop house-hunting.
2008 - Global crisis. Since then the market has been getting back on its feet. There are plenty of buyers and sellers out there.