In the fourth chapter of ZPG’s State of the Property Nation report we uncover the market outlook of both consumers and agencies on the direction of property prices in the coming 18 months, and look at how agents can bridge the gap between agency and consumer views.
Our first instalment made it clear there is reduced consumer confidence nationally in the British economy due to Brexit, which is triggering 10% less buyers and sellers in the market overall. Despite these findings, the consumer outlook on the direction of property prices is not faltering. 50% of consumers believe that house prices will increase over the next 18 months, up 6% from 2016. This positive optimism is contrasted, however, with the views of agents, of whom 27% believe there will be a decrease in property prices – a rise of 4% since last year. Meanwhile, there has been a reduction in the number of agents expecting prices to rise, with only 40% holding this belief, down from 42% in 2016.
Agents who feel less confident in price rises will therefore find a disparity of opinion between themselves and their consumers. To bridge this gap, agents need to master the management of setting customer expectations to prevent sellers dropping out of the market and to win new business listings at the right price.
There’s strong regional variation in the outlook for house prices, and consumer expectations tend to be derived from this, as they search property portals for market rates in their area. Agents need to ensure they have strong local knowledge, data and insights to share with prospective clients to broaden the discussion from price alone to the wider context of finding the right price to sell within a realistic period of time. In order to achieve higher consumer expectations for their properties, agents will need to utilise effective tools to make listings as attractive as possible.
Zoopla is a portal focused on providing home movers with the resources they need to find, move and manage their properties. Agents can help manage consumer expectations around their properties from the very beginning, by making sure that their listings on Zoopla offer as much information as possible – property floor plans, lots of photos and details of local amenities, for example. And our useful onsite tools, like our running costs calculator, go even further in showing consumers what’s realistically within their reach.