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How to Get More Viewings on Your Property For Sale in Chelmsford

more viewings

The process of selling your home in Chelmsford can be daunting, simply because there is so much to consider and plan. It can be especially stressful if you aren’t getting enough viewings on your property, and when you’ve had your home listed for sale for a while, that stress can rise.

Homes that are well-marketed and presented will get more viewings, and therefore receive offers from interested buyers. The longer your property stays on the market without any offers, the less chance you have of getting any without taking drastic measures such as reducing the price of the property. So, before it reaches that point, there are some steps that both you and the team at Essex Homes And Lettings can take to entice people to view and to get your property sold faster. With this in mind, we have created a handy guide to help you attract more property viewings.

Improve Your Kerb Appeal

The kerb appeal of your property, i.e., the first impression made when standing on the kerb, plays a big role in garnering interest for potential buyers, not just for those who are passing by in person, but for people browsing your listing online. How your property looks on the outside can either deter or encourage people to continue looking at the listing and help them decide whether or not to come and view in person.

You can improve your kerb appeal by taking care of your lawn and front garden. Make sure the grass is cut, weeds are pulled, and flower beds and shrubs are tidy and groomed. Also, make sure to remove any debris like leaves or fallen branches. Fixing any damages can help, too, like repairing roof tiles that have blown away, mending broken gutters, or fixing window shutters. A fresh coat of paint on any woodwork may also be required if the paint is peeling or worn, as it makes the home look refreshed and clean.

Use Professional Staging and Photos

It’s important to keep in mind that potential buyers are looking for a property they can see themselves in and call home. A house empty of furniture doesn’t evoke much in the way of imagining a lifestyle, and similarly, a messy or dishevelled home can give off a bad impression. Clearing away clutter and having a professional stage your furniture can do wonders for your potential buyers trying to imagine a life in their new home.

It’s also common for people using online agencies to attempt to take their own photos of their property for the listing, and ending up with dark, dingy, or even blurry images. Without the right equipment or photography know-how, the photos won’t stack up against other listings. Your photos are a crucial part of the marketing of your property, and they need to be eye-catching and attractive. Your home should be accurately captured in these images; otherwise, nobody will be interested in taking the time to come and see it in person. The investment in professional photography to help sell your home is worth it and here at Essex Homes And Lettings we ensure we always cover the best angles and showcase your property to the highest standards through our photos.

Make Your Property Listing Look Flawless

The fundamentals of your property listing when it is seen online are so important in attracting viewers. At the most basic level, your listing should look perfect – photos should be sized properly for the website, titles should be typo-free, and descriptions should be filled out in full. Furthermore, the title and description need to be well-written and free of marketing jargon.

We understand that interesting and compelling descriptions can make all the difference alongside a strong call to action which will encourage viewers to click to read more or call us to book a viewing.

Consider Premium Listings

People scrolling through property listings are often drawn to the ones that look different or are highlighted, meaning they get more viewings and a higher chance of receiving offers. We invest in premium listings on the property portals which can increase the number of viewings you receive. They will also appear at the top of the search pages, giving your property a consistent chance to be seen before any others.

At Essex Homes And Lettings we work with our clients to ensure we maximise viewings on every property we have the pleasure of marketing. If you would like more viewings on your property in Chelmsford, call us today on 01245398466.

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How to find your perfect home in Chelmsford

find your home

It’s exciting preparing to find a new home and embarking on the next stage of your property journey, but of course, there are many factors that must be considered along the way as you find your perfect home in Chelmsford.

It’s likely you will view many different properties before finally settling on the right one for you. It’s also likely that you will have certain criteria to fulfil and plenty of boxes to be ticked. These might include the need for your chosen property to be situated in a location of your choosing and its ability to meet the demands of your lifestyle, whether that be in close proximity to good schools, shopping facilities, or if you are a social butterfly, close to cafe culture and a vibrant nightlife.

At Essex Homes And Lettings our aim is to help you make the correct choices and best decisions when it comes to finding your perfect home in Chelmsford so to make the experience straight-forward and stress free, we have compiled our top tips to ensure you make the right decision.

Research is the key to the door

What type of property do you require? It’s important to scope out the local area so that you can judge what type of properties are available in which locations and at what cost. For example, Victorian properties may be located at one end of a town, whilst new builds are predominantly at the other end! With this in mind, if you are searching for a large Victorian property in location A, your research may indicate that you may only be able to secure that particular type of property in location B. So, the question is, will you be happy to compromise?

This is the reason it’s vital you research the market thoroughly so that you not only have realistic expectations but are aware that you may need to adjust those expectations in order to find your perfect home in Chelmsford.

Top Tip: Think about what you truly need from your home rather than extras you simply desire, and be honest about it! For example, if you work from home, an office will be a need. If you have children, a garden will be a need. If you have a large family, multiple bathrooms will be a need. Whereas a desire could be a log burning stove, a decked area in the garden, solid wood floors or a conservatory. All of the latter can of course be added to a property with good planning and little hassle.

Location, location, location

Do you need to be close to your place of work, your children’s school or your extended family? Or are you willing to compromise on proximity in order to purchase your dream home in Chelmsford? Think about whether you are prepared to make concessions on some of your specifics, perhaps with a trade-off being a slightly longer commute, living closer to a busy road or a little further from amenities. These factors matter and it’s important you are clear about what is imperative to your happiness in your new home.

Top Tip: The right location is often more important than the right house. You can always alter a house and turn it into your home – however, you cannot change its location. Consider this when seeking compromises!

Enlist the help of an expert local estate agent

Finding your perfect home can be challenging so please don’t attempt to do so alone. Your local estate agent will be able to help you scope the area, arrange viewings of properties that match your criteria, shortlist the properties you love, offer expert advice regarding local schools and businesses in the area and of course assist you through making an offer and negotiating the best price on your dream home.

Essex Homes And Lettings are here to help you

By registering with us and letting us know your preferred location and the type of property in Chelmsford you are looking for, you’ll receive updates as soon as properties matching your criteria become available and you will never need to worry that you’ll miss out on your dream home.

At Essex Homes And Lettings we take on new properties in Chelmsford and the surrounding areas daily, so register with us today and let us assist you in finding your dream home in Chelmsford.

We are ready to help you start the process of finding your perfect home and look forward to welcoming you to our office. Simply call us on 01245398466 to arrange an appointment or drop in and speak with a member of our friendly team. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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UK housing market set to exceed 1 million sales in 2020

houses sold

UK housing market on track to exceed 1 million sales this year, the latest figures suggest.

Fresh analysis of data from TwentyCI by Savills shows that the level of residential property sales being agreed have dropped by around 12% since their highs over the summer and early autumn, which in part reflects less fresh stock being brought to the market at this time of the year.  However, they still remain well above levels seen in the same period last year, particularly in the market over £500,000.

HMRC data released last week revealed that 121,740 residential sales were completed in the month of October alone, 24% up on September’s figure and 14% higher than the same month last year.

The figures, which are non-seasonally adjusted, point to the highest monthly level of transactions since March 2016 when investors rushed to beat the 3% stamp duty surcharge, and the highest figure since November 2007.

That suggests the experience of the second lockdown has reaffirmed people’s changed housing priorities, which is likely to support activity through to the end of the stamp duty holiday, according to Savills.

Lucian Cook, Savills head of residential research, said: “The numbers of sales now reaching completion reflects the high levels of sales that were being agreed between the first and second lockdown, when the market was being fuelled by a combination of pent up demand and substantially increased activity from those looking to trade up the housing ladder given their experience of living and working from home.”

Cook added: “While transactions in the year to date are 18% below last year, it now looks as though they will exceed 1m for the year, something pretty much unthinkable six months ago.

“The extent to which progress in securing a successful vaccine impacts on some of the behavioural changes behind the surge in activity levels remains to be seen.  That will ultimately depend on the lasting impact of Covid on our lifestyles.”

Original Article from property Industry Eye 04/12/20

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9 Tips to Boost Your Chances of a Winter Property Sale in Chelmsford

Winter sales

The cold winds are blowing, and frost is on the ground. The dark nights are upon us, the heating is on, and woolly hats are at the ready.

Love it or hate it, winter is here, and our thoughts start to turn to the festivities and then the weeks beyond. It’s fair to say that winter can be a quieter time for house sales, but winter can also be an excellent time for you to sell your property.

Some people will take the opportunity of the dark evenings indoors to look around online at what’s for sale in their chosen area. And if they’re looking now, what a great time to sell your home.

To make the most of those winter buyers, here, we at Essex Homes And Lettings look at nine tips to boost your chances of selling your home in Chelmsford this winter.

1. Be Visible Online

It stands to reason, now more than ever before, online is where it’s at, and particularly so when it’s winter. People are indoors, passing time on their laptops, mobile devices and tablets so you must make sure your property is marketed in all the right places.

Top Tip: Don’t be afraid to use your online presence, for example, on social media to share the sales particulars of your home via your estate agent. We welcome this, and you never know, someone you know, or someone they know, could be interested in your property.

2. Add Classy Festive Decorations

It’s the festive season, and that makes it a great time to get your house looking wonderfully bright and loved. You want people to imagine themselves living in your home, picturing themselves with the Christmas tree up, the dining table set and decorations twinkling.

Top Tip: Don’t go overboard, dial it down a touch. People might like what you’ve done, but they want to be able to see the house beyond your glitzy decorations, so keep it classy!

3. Set a Cosy Atmosphere

Warming up a sale can be as simple as making your home feel cosy and inviting. As winter kicks in, make sure your home is heated to a comfortable temperature. There’s nothing more off-putting than stepping out of the cold and straight into an icy house, shivering as you view.

Top Tip: Turn your heating on in good time. It might also turn into a talking point – good insulation and efficient heating systems mean the house is less costly to run – a great plus point for viewers.

4. Sell the Dream

It’s not just about the house; it’s about location too. Make sure your agent is knowledgeable about the local area. Whether that’s recommending nearby walks in parkland or countryside or a little saunter into town for a hot chocolate and a spot of window shopping, it’s crucial to sell the superb location of your property.

Top Tip: Be prepared. Make sure you know what’s on your doorstep so that you complement your estate agent’s local knowledge. You are living in the area, so you can confirm the excellent bus service, beautiful woodland walks and favourite restaurants. 

5. Set the Stage

Winter can be about panto, but don’t let your house become a laughing stock! Stage your rooms so that they look inviting. Bring in some fir cones for little ornamental displays or use holly sparingly to decorate a room. If you have an open fire or log burning stove, light it and turn side lamps on for even more atmosphere.

Top Tip: Take a look at country and lifestyle magazines to get a flavour of how you can stage your home for winter.

6. Prepare Professional Services in Advance

Get all your paperwork and professional services such as conveyancers lined up in good time so that once you receive an offer, you’re ready to roll. ‘We’d like to be in for Christmas’ and ‘We’d love a new home in time for the new year.’ are common requests, so having everything lined up and being prepared to move quickly can work to your advantage.

Top Tip: Draw up a list of everything you need to do to get your house winter sale ready. Then go through it methodically so that when the time comes, you and your home are ready.

7. Create an Ambient Home

Light up your house. A dark house is unappealing, whether it’s for an evening viewing or a visit during a cloudy, rainy day. You don’t have to have all the lights on all the time, a side lamp glowing when you go into a room will present it just right. Add in a seasonal candle (safely – don’t leave it lit and unattended or anywhere it can topple over), and you’ll create a warm and welcoming space.

Top Tip: Make sure there are no light bulbs that need replacing and check they are soft tone rather than a harsh white.

8. Clean your Windows

Wash your windows, inside and out. Windows take a beating and quickly become dirty during bad weather. You want to offer a welcome view, so ensure they are sparkling when your viewers arrive.

Top Tip: Don’t forget to give your windowsills and doorsteps a good clean too, inside and out!

9. Keep on Top of Maintenance

You never know when a viewing may take place, so it’s to your advantage to be prepared to accept viewings with little notice and catch those motivated buyers. Make sure you complete all those fiddly maintenance jobs you’ve been putting off so that your home is in tip-top condition and ready to be presented at a moments notice.

Top Tip: Give family members small jobs to do. This way, you’ll get all the jobs done, and your house will be ready for the next viewing.

We are brimming with inspirational ideas for how to make your home winter sale ready! Call Essex Homes And Lettings on 01245398466 and we’ll talk through what you need to do.

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Zoopla unveils first-time buyer hotspots

pin a map

Zoopla has revealed what it sees as the top 20 hotspots for first-time buyers in England, Scotland, and Wales.

Luton, Bedfordshire, is the most popular town in the country for first-time buyers, with a typical deposit of £37,500 required to purchase a home.

Wolverhampton comes in second place, with its West Midlands counterparts Sandwell, Coventry and South Staffordshire all featuring in the top 20.

Locations in London occupy ten of the top 20 most popular areas, with Barking and Dagenham identified as the capital’s first-time buyer hotspot,

Gráinne Gilmore, Head of Research at Zoopla comments: “Activity levels in the housing market have been building across the country in recent months following sharp increases in buyer demand. First-time buyers remain one of the largest cohorts of purchasers across the country.”

“Activity levels will remain elevated into next year, and first-time buyers in many of these hotspots will still be able to secure a home with no stamp duty to pay or a reduced bill even after the end of the stamp duty holiday. The stamp duty exemption for first-time buyers on homes worth up to £300,000, which applies to homes worth up to £500,000, will remain in place after the stamp duty holiday ends on March 31st.”

Top 20 first time buyer hotspots 

RankRegionLocal AuthorityTypical first-time buyers’ house price*Deposit required (15%)Household Income required**Most popular property type for first-time buyers’
1East of EnglandLuton£ 250,000£ 37,500£ 47,0003-bed terraced
2West MidlandsWolverhampton£ 145,000£ 21,750£ 27,0003-bed semi-detached
3LondonBarking and Dagenham£ 325,000£ 48,750£ 61,0003-bed terraced
4LondonTower
Hamlets
£ 445,000£ 66,750£ 84,0002-bed flat
5East of EnglandHarlow£ 275,000£ 41,250£ 52,0003-bed terraced
6LondonHackney£ 475,000£ 71,250£ 90,0002-bed flat
7LondonNewham£ 350,000£ 52,500£ 66,0002-bed flat
8West MidlandsSandwell£ 160,000£ 24,000£ 30,0003-bed semi-detached
9LondonIslington£ 525,000£ 78,750£ 99,0002-bed flat
10LondonGreenwich£ 350,000£ 52,500£ 66,0002-bed flat
11East of EnglandThurrock£ 285,000£ 42,750£ 54,0003-bed terraced
12LondonWaltham
Forest
£ 400,000£ 60,000£ 76,0002-bed flat
13East of EnglandBasildon£ 270,000£ 40,500£ 51,0003-bed terraced
14LondonSouthwark£ 450,000£ 67,500£ 85,0002-bed flat
15West MidlandsCoventry£ 170,000£ 25,500£ 32,0003-bed terraced
16LondonLewisham£ 375,000£ 56,250£ 71,0002-bed flat
17West MidlandsSouth Staffordshire£ 150,000£ 22,500£ 28,0003-bed semi-detached
18LondonHounslow£ 400,000£ 60,000£ 76,0002-bed flat
19South EastSlough£ 345,000£ 51,750£ 65,0003-bed terraced
20South EastReading£ 260,000£ 39,000£ 49,0002-bed flat

Original Article from Property Industry Eye 02/12/2020

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What are the Benefits of Owning a Property in Chelmsford?

Owning a property
Homing in on the future as a property owner

Are you renting in Chelmsford at the moment? Perhaps you are a tenant in a lovely property but you have aspirations of buying your own place?

Renting is great, and can be the right solution for some people for any number of reasons, but it’s also true to say that for many people it is simply a stepping stone towards home ownership.

There are many factors as to why people rent or buy in Chelmsford, and no two situations are really the same. Everyone has their own unique circumstances and you should know this before you start comparing yourselves with other people who either rent or buy.

But at the end of the day, it’s often all about money, and the financials of being able to afford a property in Chelmsford. Because of this, and we know it sounds obvious, it is so important to make sure you get it right from the start.

To be fair, as we know, there are pros and cons for both renting in Chelmsford or owning a property.

Writing a list of pros and cons will really focus your mind and help you to come to a decision. And don’t forget, it is absolutely OK to say that you’ve always wanted to own a house rather than rent.

It can be an exciting time but you must know the responsibilities and the financial implications and don’t just let your heart rule your head.

The Benefits of Owning a Property

1. As a homeowner, you have more control over what you do with the property – decorating or adding a conservatory for example. There may be restrictions depending on where you live, or if the house is listed, but you can do a lot to a property to make it a home.

If you rent, you may be restricted on whether you can have pets or even children in the house. So buying a house can help you grow your family – whether it’s with a baby or a furbaby!

2. You are investing your time and your money into a building that you own, rather than paying someone else, although chances are you will have a mortgage to pay.

3. When you come to sell your house in years to come, you should be able to make some profit, all being well, and that money will come to you. Of course, market conditions will affect this so it’s worth bearing that in mind.

So, a massive benefit is the financial security owning a property in Chelmsford can bring. They say that bricks and mortar are a sound investment and it is largely true so it’s definitely worth a look.

4. When you’re paying a mortgage, you’re always stepping towards owning your house outright, and that’s a key driver for many people, perhaps like you, who want to get on the property ladder right now. Interest rates and mortgage packages can be very competitive so it might even be that you won’t pay as much as you would in rent.

You’ll need to work out how much you can afford, how much a mortgage is, and how much you’ll need for additional costs when buying a property.

5. It can be such a wonderful opportunity and a real sense of satisfaction when you are living in a property where you are the homeowner. 

6. The benefits will continue into your later years too as there are schemes that allow you to release equity from your home to help fund your retirement.

Therefore, not only can owning a house benefit you today, it will help you when you are older too.

There does seem to be a British tradition about owning your own home and after all, “An Englishman’s House is his castle”, but buying property is a personal decision.

According to Government statistics, “the proportion of 25-34 year olds in owner occupation has increased and there are now almost equal proportions of 25-34 year olds living in the private rented and owner occupied sectors”.

This, we think, means that owning your own home is once again becoming more and more popular with younger people, reversing, or at least slowing the trend towards renting.

There are so many benefits to owning your own place, but we know it can also be a daunting journey to begin.

Do your research, your homework, and talk to experts. 

In fact, come and talk to us here at Essex Homes And Lettings as we have years of experience in helping people like you to become homeowners.

If you need some advice, don’t hesitate to call us on 01245398466 or email us at sales@essexhomesandlettings.co.uk and we will be delighted to help you in your search for a property in Chelmsford.

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A good time to market property as ‘Christmas is cancelled’

Christmas house

Pent-up demand, coupled with the prospect of saving up to £15,000 in stamp duty, has created a buoyant property market, placing upward pressure on house prices.

Activity levels traditionally drop off in the run-up to Christmas, but the stamp duty holiday could turn that on its head this year.

“We are bracing ourselves for a frantic festive period, and for house prices to potentially rise even further over Christmas,” said David Westgate, group chief executive at Andrews Property Group.

House price growth rose to 6.5% in November, which is the highest rate since January 2015, according to Nationwide’s latest house price index.

The latest figures also suggest property prices increased by 0.9% month-on-month, following a 0.8% rise in October.

Last month, it was reported the average home in Britain cost £229,721, up from October’s average price of £227,826.

Sam Hunter, chief operating officer of Homesearch, commented: “It’s really no surprise that the latest set of data from Nationwide is showing such a significant annual increase, because it’s only probably now that we’re starting to see the impact of Rishi Sunak’s stamp duty holiday unfold.

“As the Nationwide’s data is collected at the post survey approvals stage, these figures are based on deals agreed after July and therefore represent market sentiment as a direct consequence.”

The property market has enjoyed a second, third and now a fourth wind to take prices to a five-year high, driven by unseasonally strong demand at a time of year that normally sees transactions tail off.

Nicky Stevenson, managing director at national estate agent group Fine & Country, said: “The festive season normally presents a big bump in the road for the property market but, for the first time ever, Christmas is cancelled.”

Stevenson added: “The way valuations have defiantly continued to climb is characteristic of an environment in which buyers are regularly having to bid against more than one opponent across a wider variety of homes than usual.

“However, a chill may be just around the corner.”

Lucy Pendleton, property expert at James Pendleton, commented: “There’s no point looking for a Santa Rally in the housing market this year, the Rishi Rally has already beaten him to it and his star isn’t ready to fade yet.

“November’s performance has crystallised a growth streak that was only possible after so many planets aligned to underpin it, from circumstance to government intervention. That will have done wonders for consumer confidence in difficult times.

“The fact that house price growth will soften in the first half of 2021 is possibly the worst kept secret in property but significant, outright falls are not a done deal.

“There has been some speculation that house prices will decline next year by 8%, roughly in line with the dent made in GDP this year, but the market may yet defeat those forecasts.”

Some commentator had expected the month-long Covid-19 restrictions to restrict property price inflation, but that simply did not happen.

Sam Mitchell, CEO of online estate agent Strike, said: “House prices defied the usual signs of a seasonal slowdown in November. It’s clear to see that, despite tougher lockdown restrictions, the stamp duty holiday is continuing to work its magic in helping Britain’s property market bounce back.

“Transaction rates are through the roof and news of a vaccine has further boosted the confidence of sellers and buyers alike – with no signs of activity slowing down before the end of the year.

“People will inevitably start to question how long this can all last. However, things aren’t just going to grind to a sudden halt with the stamp duty holiday ending. Demand for moving home is greater than ever and the government has already indicated that it will do whatever it takes to keep Britain moving in 2021 and beyond.”

The market will continue its march, until next March, at the very least, according to the managing director of Enness Global Mortgages, Hugh Wade-Jones.

Wade-Jones said: “Despite many lenders reducing their range of products, we continue to see tidal waves of buyer demand crash against the shores of the UK property market in the form of mortgage approvals.

“However, we’ve also seen enough time pass for this demand to filter through to positive transactional movement as the market continues to defy all forecasts and move against the wider economic grain to provide further evidence of positivity.

“There will be many media commentators who will be searching far and wide for the market downfall they’ve continued to prophesise since Covid hit. Unfortunately, all they are likely to find is a stash of hidden Christmas presents.”

Original Article from Property Industry Eye 02/12/2020

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Will Covid-19 change the nature of property valuation?

Valuation

The process of evaluating the value of any given piece of property is often misunderstood.

Buyers and sellers can easily access rough estimates of a property’s value through online platforms. However, these estimates are normally simply derived from previously sold real estate of the same size in the same area. There is little consideration of the individual property’s specific features or quality, let alone broader market analysis.

Depending on the type of valuation, land value, building costs, sales comparisons and income capitalisation are all integral to determining the right market value of a piece of property or land. As such, organisations such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) provide a vital function in giving qualifications to surveyors who understand the complexity of this process.

However, Covid-19 has thrown a proverbial spanner in the works of the surveying industry.

Social distancing requirements have made it increasingly difficult for property professionals to access properties and conduct thorough valuations. Not only has this forced such professionals to rely on “virtual valuations”; but the shifting demands of businesses, renters and buyers during Covid-19 risk impacting the accuracy of valuations conducted pre-pandemic.

The pros and cons of virtual valuations

Virtual valuations have become a necessity in the era of Covid. Research conducted by property listing site Zoopla in June showed that only 2% of buyers and sellers would be happy to have their properties valued in-person. As a result, the number of virtual valuations has increased by 90%.

By the owner giving a real-time tour of their property to an agent or valuer via video call, professionals can determine the general condition and size of the property in question. Though not as precise as in-person valuations, such compromise allows for both agents and lenders to move forward with the necessary tasks involved in a transaction.

However, there are drawbacks. Poor lighting can hide various issues regarding a property’s condition, and camera lenses can distort our perspective of space and size. The onus will also be on the camera operator, who – if they are the owner – may wish to hide certain aspects of their property from the surveyor in order to secure a higher valuation.

Regardless, much of the data that will inform a valuation will still be accessible whatever the outcome of the virtual tour. Through floor plans and analysing the sales of comparable properties in the area, much of the crucial work can be accomplished with little to no information from the seller.

So, in general, there is no reason to doubt the legitimacy of virtual valuations. Although they will never allow for the same level of understanding as in-person valuations; they represent a crucial tool in keeping the UK’s property sector moving throughout the novel coronavirus pandemic. There is good reason to expect them to remain in the years to come, too, when time or logistical constraints render a physical visit difficult.

Changing demands, changing values

As mentioned above, social trends have been radically altered by Covid-19. And in the property sector, shifting demands will have an impact on valuations.

For example, the shift towards remote working and the social distancing issues regarding in-person socialisation mean that people are spending much more time in the homes. As a result, many buyers and renters are now seeking larger, more spacious homes from which to work from.

This was confirmed by estate agents Dexters’ July survey, which asked buyers what their “non-negotiable” demands were when it comes to real estate. The new top requirements in the age of Covid were a spare room that can be converted into a home office and, secondly, outside space such as a balcony, terrace, or garden.

Despite recent positive news regarding Covid-19 vaccine development, it is likely that working from home will remain the norm for a majority of professionals in the years to come. Unshackled from the grind of the daily commute, suburban and rural properties further afield from one’s employer will likely increase in desirability among newly homebound employees.

These trends will undoubtedly affect property valuations. Of course, a key part of the technical training required to be certified in valuing real estate is understanding how the real estate market is constantly shifting, and how this may affect the accurate value of any given piece of land or real estate.

In the face of such notable change, the core traditional training that surveyors must undergo is actually more important than ever. Only those equipped with the knowledge and wisdom needed to adapt to sudden property market shifts can continue to accurately value properties for the foreseeable future.

Original Article from Financial Reporter 25/11/2020

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Boom market to go on into 2021 – but then expect bumps in the road

2021

Zoopla’s research team is anticipating the first quarter of next year will see the current boom continue as 100,000 additional sales try to complete ahead of the stamp duty deadline.

In its latest market snapshot the portal says although demand for housing has now fallen back since its late summer peak, it remains 34 per cent higher than this time last year. 

“Demand levels are set to hold firm for the remainder of the year, and the monthly sales completions estimate suggests the strongest December – and run up to Christmas – for over a decade. We then anticipate a further demand spike in January 2021, as some buyers leave it late to enter the market in an attempt to beat the stamp duty deadline” says the portal.

The volume of new sales agreed is running 38 per cent higher than a year ago, adding to the pipeline of business set to complete in the first quarter of 2021. But it warns that of the new sales agreed in January, just half are likely to beat the stamp duty deadline based on evidence from previous years.

The year is expected to end with house price inflation reaching 4.0 per cent.

Meanwhile next year will see different phases, Zoopla says. 

“Once the stamp duty holiday concludes at the end of March, we anticipate a slowdown in sales completions as the impetus to move amongst buyers motivated by stamp duty savings dissipates” it suggests.

This will have a knock on effect on transaction volumes in the second quarter of the year, which it forecasts will be 20 to 30 per cent below normal levels as stamp duty is reintroduced, before recovering slightly and running 10 per cent below 2019 levels for the second half of the year.

Zoopla’s anticipates house price growth across the country in 2021 – just 1.0 per cent on average – will run within a narrow range from 1.75 per cent in Scotland to just 0.5 per cent in the East of England and the North East.

“Central to our outlook is lower levels of turnover by long-run standards, which over time increases the scarcity of homes for sale. We expect the supply of properties for sale to moderate over 2021, which will restrict choice for consumers” it continues.

Richard Donnell, Director of Research and Insight at Zoopla, says: “It’s been a roller coaster year for the housing market which is ending on a strong note with demand and sales agreed still more than 30 per cent higher than this time last year. House price growth has hit a three-year high and is set to increase further in the short term.”

He continues: “The high volume of sales agreed this autumn will spill over as completed sales in 2021 and this will support the overall number of sales completed in 2021 at 1.1 million. It has been a remarkable turnaround and completed sales look set to fall just six per cent short of last year despite a two-month closure of the market in England.”

Donnell adds that there are obvious Covid-related challenges ahead but he says the impact on the housing market is less than in previous downturns as sales volumes have fallen in recent years and affordability levels are far from over-stretched.

“We expect housing demand to slow further over 2021 and this will ease the upward pressure on prices which we expect to be 1.0 per cent higher by December 2021. Lower sales volumes over the second half of 2021 and a growing scarcity of supply will offset weaker demand and support headline pricing levels.”

Original Article from Estate Agent Today 25/11/2020

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House prices rise 4.7% to record high in September: UK HPI

house prices

UK average house prices increased by 4.7% over the year to September, up from 3.0% in August to stand at a record high of £245,000, according to the latest UK House Price Index from the ONS and the Land Registry.

Average house prices increased over the year by 4.9% in England, 3.8% in Wales, 4.3% in Scotland, and 2.4% in Northern Ireland.

The South West was the English region with the highest annual house price growth, with average prices increasing by 6.4% to £275,000 in the year to September, up from 3.2% in August.

The lowest annual growth was in the North East, where average prices increased by 3.3% over the year to September 2020.

London’s average house prices hit a record high of £496,000.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices in the UK increased by 1.7% between August and September 2020, compared with an increase of 0.1% in the same period a year ago.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, average prices increased by 1.8% over the month, following an increase of 1.1% in the previous month.

Paul Stockwell, chief commercial officer at Gatehouse Bank, commented: “As predicted, house price growth has intensified in September fuelled by pent-up demand coupled with significant cost-savings to buyers presented by the stamp duty holiday. I expect this trend will continue in the short term as buyers feel the urgency to secure property deals and allow time for completion before the tax break ends.

“What began as a disastrous year for the property industry has been turned on its head by government interventions, creating a surge of demand predominantly in England and Northern Ireland where the stamp duty reduction is greatest. This in itself has presented new challenges to the industry with property portal Zoopla estimating 418,000 sales in the pipeline nationally, 50 per cent more than the typical number for this time of year.

“Bank of England data has already indicated that mortgage approvals in September represented the highest levels of agreed borrowing since before the Global Financial Crisis more than a decade ago. But as pressure on the property industry resources grows, it will be interesting to see if the Government concedes to requests from the industry to extend the stamp duty holiday and alleviate the expected congestion in the new year.”

Anna Clare Harper, CEO of asset manager SPI Capital, added: “For many, September feels like the distant past, but this index remains interesting and useful, since it represents a more complete picture than comparable releases. A 4.7% increase in house prices, with mortgage approvals at their highest level since 2007, suggests a ‘mini boom’. Many feel this will be short lived, given economic circumstances and forecasts.

“However, the ‘fundamental’ drivers of housing demand are strong, and we are in an environment of low interest rates, with reduced rates of new buildings coming onto the market and limited existing stock.

“Ultimately, increasing house prices are being driven by a combination of new priorities and new policy. Notably, many existing homeowners were spurred on to move by the combination of needing more space and the temporary Stamp Duty changes. As a result, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the increase in house prices was led by detached and semi-detached properties.

“It is interesting to note that new-build properties lagged behind existing properties, falling by 1.9%, despite the influence of the Help to Buy scheme.

“Returning to fundamentals – for investors and homebuyers alike, the important thing to remember is that capital growth is a great bonus, but shouldn’t be relied on just because lending is cheap.”

Original Article from Financial Reporter 18/11/2020