What is the best way to monitor your local property market?

Many people who invest in real estate tend to stick to their local markets because they know them better than any other and they are nearby should things ever go wrong. However, when looking at any property market, whether local or overseas, you are very often hit with an array of statistics which sometimes make no sense. What the statistics say may not be happening on your doorstep so how do you best monitor your local property market?

Websites and local estate agents

Even a regular peak at websites covering local property and a look in the local estate agents window can give you an idea of what is going on. Many people like to speak to their local estate agents for a feel of the market but in reality what they going to tell you? Are they going to tell you the market has not yet bottomed out and will fall further? Or are they going to tell you there is good value for long-term investors and they have some properties perfect for you? At the end of the day, your local estate agent is in the market to sell property so while they will not deceive you they may only focus on the positive aspects.

For sale notice boards

As many people continue to monitor the construction industry using the number of cranes in the skyline, so the number of for sale notice boards in your area will help understand the local property market. If there is a particular estate or a particular area you like then every now and then make a note of the number of for sale boards visible. This will vary from time to time, obviously, but if you see the number growing then this might indicate properties are not necessary selling as quickly as they might. On the other hand, if for sale notices are coming down as quickly as they went up this must be positive for both house buyers and sellers.

Local economy

Sometimes we get over emotional and bias towards our local economies because we feel part of the community and the need to protect it. If you’re looking to acquire property in your area you need to be honest about the local economy, job prospects for the future and perhaps access to more affluent areas by a train, bus and other modes of transport. Many property markets emerge because of an overflow from more expensive areas. This should not necessarily be difficult to spot over the long-term but it can be tricky to spot over a relatively short period.

Ask yourself, do you think that your local economy is growing? Are there prospects for job increases in the short, medium and longer term? Do you feel the area is on an uptrend or downtrend? This may sound like a very basic way of monitoring your local property market but what better way than the real world?

Understanding markets

There is now so much background information available on the Internet that you can over time learn how to read property markets and what makes them tick. The trick is to use this background information and understanding of what makes markets tick to see whether your local market fits the criteria. Remember, situations do change and just because the local property market does not necessarily tick all of the boxes today that might not be the case a little further down the line.

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