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Location and price should be key factors for investors

With 2008 being a bizarre year for the UK property market with some sections weathering the economic storm better than others it is easy to lose sight of what makes good investment sense, says Nathalie Hirst of property acquisitions company Prime Purchase.

With prices in London and the Country falling month by month the company has witnessed some strange activities from buyers and sellers alike. This activity is happening alongside some significant deals taking place in 2008.

'Some spectacularly bad and bizarre behaviour is taking place. Vendors, who have not received an offer in six months, are sticking their heads in sand like ostriches and refusing to accept a quick exchange at 15% under the guide price. This is despite our research showing that central London prices fell by nearly 4% in November alone,' said Hirst.

'At the same time there are purchasers out there offering 15% under the guide price and then 15 minutes before exchange they chip away a further 15% off the agreed price. This sort of gamble on vendors' nerves through aggressive gazundering has not been paying off in last quarter of this year – not yet at least,' added Hirst.

In such an odd market the tactic adopted by Prime Purchase in London has been to carry out a full and thorough due diligence on each property, concentrating particularly on values in the current market.

'The bid we put forward may well be significantly less than the vendors' expectation, but our experience is that most vendors accept offers from Prime Purchase with the knowledge that they will not be subject to a last-minute minute gazunder and they know a Prime Purchase client will perform,' explained Hirst.

'We feel it is better to buy a good property in a good location at a good price, than a flawed property at an amazing price,' she added.