It is not difficult to spot that something unusual is going on in Hertfordshire. According to figures available on website Rightmove there are 15% fewer properties on the market than three years ago in the county while the number of searches for property in Hertfordshire have risen by 75% – from 116,963 to 203,713 a month.
Such a shocking imbalance between supply and demand is the key reason for Hertfordshire making headlines this year. St Albans was revealed recently for its fast-rising house prices which, the Nationwide said, were climbing quicker than in London.
And property portal Zoopla named Harpenden and Radlett as the biggest property boom towns outside the Capital while the Daily Mail has tipped Watford as the place to watch as millions of pounds are spent on its town centre facelift, new shopping mall and improved roads.
Alongside these well-known locations, highly regarded Berkhamsted is seeing a continued demand for property due to its picturesque and high quality homes, whilst Hitchin is seeing a newly increasing demand for property due to its excellent transport links.
And it doesn’t stop there – Hertfordshire has been experiencing the fastest growth in house prices of any of the Home Counties for over a year now. Prices are currently rising at a rate of 11.6%, higher than Surrey (10.3%) and Buckinghamshire (9.6%).
But what’s driving this high demand for property in Hertfordshire? The county’s relative affordability, excellent schools and the quick commute into central London all help.
Hertfordshire also benefits from the ‘spoke’ effect. If you consider London to be a wheel and the main train lines out of it as spokes then three of them run through Hertfordshire – the lines from Kings Cross, Blackfriars and Liverpool Street.
All this is good news for anyone selling a home in Hertfordshire, whose homes are fast gathering value. But it’s less wonderful news for buyers, because there just aren’t enough properties for sale in Hertfordshire.
It’s a problem that the whole of the UK faces, but the challenge of finding your ideal home in here is particularly high – and it means buyers need to get in quick with a good offer.
Many of my clients in the county come to me because I spend my days talking to local estate agents and other contacts so that they tell me first when a property comes on the market. It is this knowledge (and time) advantage in the market that is my stock in trade. During ‘tight’ markets when timing and offers are crucial, my services are usually more in demand.