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Spring 2017

Our message remains – ‘if you want to move, don’t hesitate, but start making arrangements to get into the market now.  There are some great properties out here at good prices.’ 

In our view, the uncertainties of the Brexit vote and a Trump Administration create an opportunity for committed buyers – uncertainty = opportunity.

Over the autumn market, since the Brexit vote, the markets have traded effectively both in London and the Country, although activity levels are down significantly in both, and both have been pretty turgid.

We don’t expect much movement in price over the next 12 months. Quite clearly the London market was weakened by the Brexit result, but limited supply is matching demand in most sectors. Without doubt, there are good deals to be done. Our advice to buyers – get active now.

Prices have stabilised in London and should remain relatively stable across the UK.

Those looking to move from London to the Country are still being presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to swap a moderate London property for a spectacular rural home. If you are planning to make the London-to-Country move in the foreseeable future, depending on your circumstances and position, you want to get on with it.

Vendors have absolutely no excuses for asking excessive prices. Vendors, please, please, please no more silly asking prices. Speak to your local estate agents. Trust their judgement as to the price your property will sell at.

The property market is about people, and people have to move house – there are now over 5 million properties that might have been expected to change hands since 2007/08, which haven’t. Mainly because they haven’t come to the market.

The clever vendors are aggressively marketing their houses with good agents at the right price – a keen, competitive, fair and reasonable price. Our advice to sellers would be – ‘be realistic’.

If you are selling and buying, start looking for your new home now, and certainly from the moment that your current property goes on the market. (If you want help getting a good local estate agent round to ask their advice on selling your property, just contact us and we will put you in touch).

On the assumption that most people have to buy AND sell a property, 2017 remains a good time to be moving. And for those living in London, a generational opportunity to buy that home in the Country.

To hear more, contact us and our local offices.

James Greeenwood

Spring 2017

Our message remains – ‘if you want to move, don’t hesitate, but start making arrangements to get into the market now.  There are some great properties out here at good prices.’ 

In our view, the uncertainties of the Brexit vote and a Trump Administration create an opportunity for committed buyers – uncertainty = opportunity.

Over the autumn market, since the Brexit vote, the markets have traded effectively both in London and the Country, although activity levels are down significantly in both, and both have been pretty turgid.

We don’t expect much movement in price over the next 12 months. Quite clearly the London market was weakened by the Brexit result, but limited supply is matching demand in most sectors. Without doubt, there are good deals to be done. Our advice to buyers – get active now.

Prices have stabilised in London and should remain relatively stable across the UK.

Those looking to move from London to the Country are still being presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to swap a moderate London property for a spectacular rural home. If you are planning to make the London-to-Country move in the foreseeable future, depending on your circumstances and position, you want to get on with it.

Vendors have absolutely no excuses for asking excessive prices. Vendors, please, please, please no more silly asking prices. Speak to your local estate agents. Trust their judgement as to the price your property will sell at.

The property market is about people, and people have to move house – there are now over 5 million properties that might have been expected to change hands since 2007/08, which haven’t. Mainly because they haven’t come to the market.

The clever vendors are aggressively marketing their houses with good agents at the right price – a keen, competitive, fair and reasonable price. Our advice to sellers would be – ‘be realistic’.

If you are selling and buying, start looking for your new home now, and certainly from the moment that your current property goes on the market. (If you want help getting a good local estate agent round to ask their advice on selling your property, just contact us and we will put you in touch).

On the assumption that most people have to buy AND sell a property, 2016 remains a good time to be moving. And for those living in London, a generational opportunity to buy that home in the Country.

To hear more, contact us and our local offices.

James Greeenwood

Green Shoots?

With a great deal trepidation, I will also step into the line of fire that cut Business Minister Baroness Vadera down earlier in the week.

There is some activity in the property market.  Not alot, but some.  Here and there you get the whiff of people buying and selling houses.  Stories of a house coming on the market on Friday and selling at guide on Monday, competitive bidding, an agent selling two houses in the day.  Apochryphal?  No.  These are real deals with real people buying real bricks-and-mortar.

And potential buyers have been calling us in greater numbers and it is great to see brochures going out again.  The message that prices are down (seriously down) is sinking in.  And life goes on – people get together, have children, want a bigger house, get older, children leave home, need to downsize, move job – there are any number of reasons to move or buy a house.

We have been taking clients on – clients who want to make the most of the opportunities out there now.

This not a recovery.  Prices are down, and they are going to stay down.

And that encourages the sensible to start looking again.

London Calling – The Market is Open and Active

In spite of the general negative press over the last 6 weeks it may be surprising to know that many of the central London estate agents have been unusually busy. Some have admitted that December 2008 was one of the busiest months of last year and January 2009 is busier yet!! Here at the London office there has been a marked increase in enquiries from new and existing domestic and overseas clients and investors, many of whom have come through our private banking contacts, all looking at the current market opportunities and making use of the weakness of Sterling. We have spent much time sourcing and monitoring prime residential London properties during the latter part 2008 for existing clients who have been waiting throughout last year and are now already speculating these opportunities in the very early part of 2009. Significant offers are being made and accepted on prime residential stock within central London.

‘When was the last time you heard that?’

Nursing those Green Shoots

There are many estate agents who are frankly astounded at the level of activity that we have seen so far this January.  And so are we – not completely, as we know there is strong latent demand hovering around the market.

But our message to buyers is don’t be bounced by over-enthusiastic sales talk.  You have time, but you need to get yourself ready – NOW.

Two critical pieces of evidence provide a strong indication that the bottom of the market in our sector will be reached in 2009. The Nationwide Historic House Price Trends since 1975 shows that the currently falling graph line of Average House Prices will dip sufficiently to break through the trend line in February 2009. After this date the graph line will certainly undershoot the trend until it flattens out. Analysing previous curves at this stage of the cycle shows that they take, on average, about 8 months to flatten having pierced the trend.  This evidence is corroborated by the latest Affordability in UK Housing statistics. These show that average house prices are now moving back into affordable territory. The index rose from 93.1 to 96.1 in the third quarter of last year. It is now likely to be close to 100. This level is significant as 100 points is the average price/affordability ratio since 1958.

 

Two other unknown factors will have an effect on the timing, the first is the reappearance of mortgages and the second is the clearing through the system of forced sales. Invariably at this stage of the cycle both professionals and amateurs alike miss the bottom and only wake up to its existence after it has happened. This is due to market momentum and cautious mortgage valuers continuing to play it safe and down value for longer than is necessary. The other apocryphal piece of evidence that is relevant is the tightening supply of good correctly priced properties in the middle and upper sectors. Most of these properties are owned by discretionary vendors who will not offer their property if they do not like the market conditions. Once the forced sales are cleared through the system this lack of supply of better properties will have a braking affect on further falls in that sector.

 

For these reasons, we believe that the next six months represent the best opportunity for purchasers since the early 1990s. Clearly the trick is to time a purchase just before the curve bottoms out when there will be the most choice. Making this timing coincide with finding the right house means getting into the market now.

Snow in the UK? – Quelle Surprise…

.. and I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised by reports from many of the country agents.  There are fewer properties coming to the market this year than was expected.

 

The market for UK country property is still geared to a Spring-opening.  Frankly, why any vendor would want to wait until the Spring to tell everybody that their house is for sale is an art understood by estate agents, but has never made any sense to me. The sophisticated buyer is able to see through winter garden and grey skies to the beauty of a Spring garden – and would like to be there enjoying it if they can.

 

But there is some rhyme and reason – people take stock at the end of the year, meet their families over Christmas, have a sit-down and a think.  And often will make the decision – 2009 is the year we will move.

 

But many are not.  And this is both a good and a bad thing.

 

The fear of many was a tsunami of property onto the market, and freefalling prices.  And they have been in freefall, but prices should stabilise.

 

But there may be less choice.

 

Our advice to anybody looking to move this year is:

  1. a) talk to your estate agent – it may be easier to sell your property this year than you thought
  2. b) get into the market – things have changed a lot since you last bought a house

James Greenwood

….and now the Fog

Two extraordinary pieces of news that were almost completely buried underneath a blanket of snow over the last week – interest rates down ANOTHER 1% and the Halifax reporting a an INCREASE in house prices.

In 2006 and 2007 as we came ever closer to a housing bubble burst, we were consistently faced with competitive counter-bidders against our clients looking to pay more than we thought sensible.  I looked to hedge by betting the property market short, but there were no indices used by any of the exchanges that seemed to bear any relation to the ACTUAL market.

The Halifax figures, as they themselves were good enough to admit, are a blip.  Prices have dropped and those houses that reflect an idea of the NEW values are being bought and sold – and that has to be 30-35% off the peak of 2007.

In our market appraisal tool bag, we are using a new index of value – how much would it cost to build this house?   When that figure (not including the land) is more than the asking price it makes you think.

The market has shown definite signs of life – but only the faintest of blips.  House are selling at all levels of the market, but only in limited to numbers to those people who have to move, can move or want to bag a bargain.  The majority market remains sat on it’s hands.

It is very difficult for may people to have any idea what to do.  They are faced with a fog of financial, employment and political uncertainty – all of which lead to inactivity and stagnation.

If you are thinking of buying a property for investment purposes, or just swapping homes, now is the time to take walk into the mist.  Look at houses, check your finances and talk to professionals who are in the market all day – we can’t guarantee total clarity, but we can give you a guiding hand over a landscape we know well.

Money, money, money….

… and nowhere for it to go.  For those who want to pick up a bargain this year and are lucky enough to have money or access to money, there is a nasty suprise in store.

Across the country agents are reporting a lack of new potential instructions for the Spring market this year.  People aren’t selling.

Yes, there is plenty on the market that is overpriced and/or blighted, but quality properties, sensibly priced, are in very short supply.

Back to ‘bagging a bargain’ – our advice is to be very careful.  Particularly of a property, which is both blighted and overpriced – when the price suddenly tumbles to reflect the new realities of value, remember that it is still blighted.

Make sure that the price paid reflects BOTH value and blight, and the great aspects of the place heavily outweigh the bad.

Bumping along the Bottom

There has been alot of talk recently about how the market is improving, is picking up, how 2009 is going to be just like normal.  I am afraid alot of that is just plain wishful thinking.

Yes, there is more activity than some agents were expecting – but some agents had gotten so used to zero transactions that a few properties being bought and sold feels like boom time.

I will stress again that the most positive aspect of the correction to date, perversely, has been how speedily house prices have fallen – really plummeted, fallen off a cliff, overnight (in the relative terms of the property market).  Many have seen this and are negotiationg hard on the limited stock that is currently available.

So, at last, we have some kind of a market.

But I am afraid not even a few swallows make a summer.  There won’t be a nice, easy-to see bottoming out.  In fact, there won’t be any regular pattern at all.  In the short to medium term the market will look more stable – but wrinkled and bumpy.

We will see flarings in the market as sellers price appropriately, and frustrated buyers find what they are looking for – and then it will go quiet again.

My advice has remained the same for 6 months.  If you want to sell, speak to your agent and get onto the market.  And if you want to buy, take advice and get into the market.

Pulses and Blips

We are now likely to see the market operating in a series of pulses and blips for the foreseeable future.

The activity that has been so widely reported by agents and commentators over the last few weeks has been enabled by a handful of ready and willing buyers and sellers.

Some vendors have appreciated that if they want to sell their property they should listen to their agent and reduce price to a level that will be realistic, attractive and affordable to prospective buyers.

# And some buyers have decided to get into the market for a number of reasons:

# they have been forced out of the market over the last few years by ‘bubbly’ prices.

# they have not wanted to get into the market over the last few years because they, correctly, feared a crash.

# they have been able to raise finances, taking advantage of historically low interest rates.

# they are cash buyers.

But those realistic vendors and buyers have now met their matches, and the market will falter until more vendors decide to offer their properties for sale – there is still real shortage – and more buyers pluck up the courage and organise their financing to make the most of opportunities available.

The market will be characterised by bursts of activity, followed by nothing happening – and that could go on all year.
Technorati Profile

Battle lines drawn

The market is open and working – for a few months over the 2009/2009 winter, the market came close to collapse.  When there is no trade, there are no prices and when you can’t price, you can’t trade.  But the few deals that were being put together were sufficiently efficient to process the correction that the housing market in the UK needed.

 

Now the battle lines are drawn.  Everybody has got to accept (have accepted) that the market has plummeted by at least 30%.  And if you want to trade, you have got to be realistic.

 

The boot may be on the buyers’ foot but it doesn’t have the sharp, steel toe cap that it did over the winter.  We told many to buy.  Those deals that we stitched together were superb – from a buyer’s point-of-view – 35-50% plus off peak price.

 

The questions, in my mind, now are:

 

  1. a) when’s the next financial bomb going to go off?
  2. b) how bad will it be?
  3. c) what’s going to happen to the economy?

 

The trouble is the market is still very thin.  And thin means very fragile, so it is necessary to plan for further financial system wobbles and a recession of some length.  As a buyer, that means being ready to buy when there is a confidence knock, but remembering that you can drill into price at any time.

 

You have to ask yourself:

  1. i) why do I want to move?
  2. ii) what am I investing for?

 

There are very good reasons to do both, whatever might happen.

 

  • Property remains the soundest asset class on the planet.
  • If you are moving house from one to another, there are bargains to be bought and the differential in peak to current price is matched through the transaction.
  • Property is 35% cheaper than two years ago.
  • A home is more than just a speculative tool!

The swallows are here…

.. but have we got a summer?

There have been some good deals going through over the traditional Spring market – but it started late and transaction levels still remain low.

The lack of stock has caught many vendors, buyers, potential vendors, potential buyers and agents by surprise.

The last window to grab an absolute bargain was last winter 2008/2009.  Many potential sellers saw the carnage and and have held off coming to the market over Spring 2009, in the belief that they would not sell as there was no market and/or that they would only be offererd fire-sale prices.  In hindsight, they have been wrong on both counts.  There have been both a market and an acceptable level of adjusted price achieved.

The question is: what now?

There will be more stock coming through over the Autumn but supply will remain thin and patchy.  With interest rates remaining low and 90% of homeowners in positive equity, the pressure to come to the market will be driven by the brave, Debt, poor employment prospects and the underlying cycle of changing property requiremnts.  I think that many may miss the opportunity to trade into a market of some stability.

My advice to those looking to move is get your house on the market, get your finances in order and get ready.

Winter will be on us before you know it.

The Market Reopens

It has been a surprise quite how little activity there has been over the summer in many quarters.  Buyers have sat on their hands, vendors have stayed put and agents gone on holiday.

To catch breath after a fairly frantic late Spring market is no bad thing, and a further settling of the market allows further confusion to dissipate because, basically, things are much the same as they were a quarter or so ago.  The market has been massively corrected.  Mortgages are hard for some to get hold of (but not others).  The economic outlook is uncertain, and job security poor.  But for factors to remain unchanged for several months is a rare treat after the heady turbulence over 2007 and 2008.

And our advice remains the same.  There is both demand and a market.  If you want to sell, talk to your agent.  If you are thinking of buying, speak to us.

People should not be fearful a market which is relatively stable, and looks likely to remain that way for some time.

Desperate Lack of Stock

It is not our job to advise sellers of property – that is the work of the estate agents.  But we have been banging on all year to whoever would listen that, against the odds, 2009 would be a good year to sell a property.

I am afraid that too few have listened.  There was been a wide-spread belief that the market had collapsed and vendors would only be offered fire-sale prices.  That was true over the winter of 2008-2009, but not for the rest of this year.  There has been reasonable trade – it is reckoned that about 60-70% of the average number of house sales will go through over 2009 – not bad when you consider that the market was operating at about 10% of usual volumes in the first quarter.

But way too many vendors and buyers have sat on their hands and done nothing – and both are missing opportunities.  The market is so short of properties in many parts that prices are actually rising; this is absurd and a bubble that will soften.  But it will only deflate to the post-Peak levels that are clearly reasonable and measured.

You can’t buy, if you haven’t sold – and there are great deals out here.  So, if you are looking to make the most of a stable market and move on with your life, call us or call your estate agent and get your house on the market.  (And if your agent advises you to wait until the Spring, make sure that there is a very, very good reason).

Slow Start to 2010

After the dramatic falls in the value of residential property that took place from September 2007, to confirmation that the UK was “officially” in recession in January 2009, where do property values go next?

 

The third and fourth quarters of 2009 has seen some considerable recovery in house prices. Market supply is low, borrowing is cheap (if you can get it) and the returns from other investments are poor. The amount of house purchases made without mortgages certainly points to investor interest.

 

2010 looks set to be a year of opposing forces that could make for considerable uncertainty in the housing market. Certainly a quick recovery to 2007 values seems unlikely.

 

Exerting upward pressure on prices will be the following key factors:

 

  • Equity buyers will continue to chase limited genuinely good stock.
  • Lending remains relatively cheap and it seems likely that the MPC will attempt to keep base rates low throughout 2010. The still faltering economy will prove stronger drivers than inflation fears.
  • Even with the recent price rises, the market is down considerably from its peak presenting buying opportunities.
  • Severely diminished output of new build housing means housing supply will take many years to recover to government targets.
  • Overseas investors are cashing in on the strength of their currencies relative to the £. Some are now also seeking better value away from Central London and the South East.
  • There is a belief that the worst of the market fall is behind us.
  • Popular locations and sought after properties remain in demand.

So, there are certainly continuing factors that could put upward pressure on house prices factors into 2010. This, however, is not the whole story. There are a number of factors which point to the recent price rises being a temporary (at least in part) bounce on the path to a much more subdued 2010 and slow recovery thereafter. These are:

 

  • Lending, while cheap, is still difficult to access for many potential house buyers. The number of mortgage products remains relatively low.
  • FSA review likely to crack down heavily on interest only loans.
  • The recent price rises have been driven by activity at the upper end of the market and in an environment of very low volume.
  • The economic climate remains fundamentally poor and confidence is low among much of the population.
  • Further job cuts in both public and private sector are a distinct possibility during 2010.
  • There remains a large overhang of unsold stock in much of the market. A re-pricing of this will be required if sales are to be secured.
  • Recent price rises could see a flood of properties hitting the market in 2010 as “accidental landlords” seize the opportunity to sell.
  • Return of stamp duty from £125k will hit first time buyers.
  • Election years always bring uncertainty and 2010 certainly do so.

 

Taking these positive and negative factors into consideration, what lies in store for residential property in 2010?

 

Some, if not most, of the recent prices rises are a temporary bounce albeit a perfectly rational reaction to a number of the positive factors previously discussed occurring at the right time for purchasers. These gains will be largely wiped out going into 2010 with prices bumping along at late 2008, early 2009 levels for much of 2010. Properties bought at the right price now will certainly represent a good medium to long-term call and as always there will be exceptional properties and market sectors which will continue to perform despite the economic situation. Increased supply, re-pricing of stock and a fragile economic situation are likely to lead to a very flat 2010.

 

This picture is certainly not all “doom and gloom” as 2010 will prove to be a good buying opportunity in perhaps the best “buyers market” for 10-15 years.

Spring in Supply?

Where do property values go next?

 

The third and fourth quarters of 2009 and first quarter (to date) of 2010 have seen some considerable recovery in house prices. Market supply is low, borrowing is cheap (if you can get it) and the returns from other investments are poor. The amount of house purchases made without mortgages certainly points to investor interest.

 

2010 looks set to be a year of opposing forces that could make for considerable uncertainty in the housing market. Certainly a quick recovery to 2007 values seems unlikely.

 

Exerting upward pressure on prices will be the following key factors:

 

  • Equity buyers will continue to chase limited genuinely good stock.
  • Lending remains relatively cheap and it seems likely that the MPC will attempt to keep base rates low throughout 2010. The still faltering economy will prove stronger drivers than inflation fears.
  • Even with the recent price rises, the market is down considerably from its peak presenting buying opportunities.
  • Severely diminished output of new build housing means housing supply will take many years to recover to government targets.
  • Overseas investors are cashing in on the strength of their currencies relative to the £. Some are now also seeking better value away from Central London and the South East.
  • There is a belief that the worst of the market fall is behind us.
  • Popular locations and sought after properties remain in demand.

 

So, there are certainly continuing factors that could put upward pressure on house prices factors throughout 2010. This, however, is not the whole story. There are a number of factors which point to the recent price rises being a temporary (at least in part) bounce on the path to a much more subdued 2010 and slow recovery thereafter. These are:

 

  • Lending, while cheap, is still difficult to access for many potential house buyers. The number of mortgage products remains relatively low.
  • FSA review likely to crack down heavily on interest only loans.
  • The recent price rises have been driven by activity at the upper end of the market and in an environment of very low volume.
  • The economic climate remains fundamentally poor and confidence is low among much of the population.
  • Further job cuts in both public and private sector are a distinct possibility during 2010.
  • There remains a large overhang of unsold stock in much of the market. A re-pricing of this will be required if sales are to be secured.
  • Recent price rises could see a flood of properties hitting the market in 2010 as “accidental landlords” seize the opportunity to sell.
  • Return of stamp duty from £125k will hit first time buyers.
  • Election years always bring uncertainty and 2010 certainly does.

 

Taking these positive and negative factors into consideration, what lies in store for residential property for the rest of 2010?

 

Some, if not most, of the recent prices rises are a temporary bounce albeit a perfectly rational reaction to a number of the positive factors previously discussed occurring at the right time for purchasers. These gains will be largely wiped out going into 2010 with prices bumping along at late 2008, early 2009 levels for much of 2010. Properties bought at the right price now will certainly represent a good medium to long-term call and as always there will be exceptional properties and market sectors which will continue to perform despite the economic situation. Increased supply, re-pricing of stock and a fragile economic situation are likely to lead to a very flat 2010.

 

This picture is certainly not all “doom and gloom” as 2010 will prove to be a good buying opportunity in perhaps the best “buyers market” for 10-15 years.

 

The main question concerns supply or lack of it.  Will there or won’t there be good new property coming to the market this Spring?  It depends where you are – some agents are reporting plenty of valuations and lots of instructions.  But then – they always have!

Post-Budget Briefing

Budget boost?

The Chancellor has applied what amounts to an irritant to the top end of the property market. One per cent increase in stamp duty is unlikely to have a significant effect on decisions made by buyers in the £1m+ category, but it may be reflected in prices achieved. Certainly, we will be advising buyers over £1m to bid another 1% less! However, it may have a more substantial impact on the land and development sector where margins are crucial and 1% can make a significant difference.

For cash-strapped first time buyers who are able to raise a deposit, the two year stamp duty holiday will be a welcome initiative. Certainly the raising of the threshold and temporary holiday applied in the past proved a helpful boost to the stagnant bottom end of the market, and we would expect to see an easing of the sector as a result. There is also likely to be a domino effect on the lower middle market which is being restricted by lack of activity at the bottom.

About turn on the cards?

After a slow start to the year, we are now beginning to see a significant improvement in the amount of property coming onto the market. And in many areas the volume of new property is dramatic. Vendors encouraged by reports of buying activity, and in some cases competitive bidding, are jumping in. But just as estate agents think they’ve got it all wrapped up, with enough property to sell, and plenty of buyers waiting for something to buy, the buyer levels are dwindling.

Why? Fear is the underlying factor. There’s a more positive mood surrounding the property market, but there’s a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the economy generally with a General Election looming. Will our finances be squeezed harder than they are now? What’s going to happen to mortgages? And jobs? And salaries? Will the Stock Market plummet for a second time? And will house prices drop again?

But for anyone with a real need or desire to buy, we could well be entering the best buying opportunity for a while. Increased quantities of stock will provide plenty of choice, and will prevent prices climbing. Lack of competition will mean buyers can operate at a sensible pace without being pressured to make instant decisions.

Our advice to purchasers would be to make sure that their finances are in order at an early stage. Find out how much you can borrow, and don’t push yourself too far.

Work on the basis that it’s a buyers’ market and you get to call the shots. There’s no guarantee that new property coming to the market is correctly priced. The vendor may be delusional, basing the value on a mythical uplift in the market; or the estate agent may have over-valued in order to gain the instruction. So proceed with caution and do plenty of research to give you a clear idea of what the market value should be.

Don’t feel you can’t pursue two houses (or more) at the same time. Be open with the agent and the vendor, but there’s nothing to stop you being live on more than one house.

Whatever you buy, negotiate as hard as you can. Generally speaking, prices are unlikely to rise for some time to come. Don’t be fooled into thinking we are in a rising market.

POST-ELECTION BRIEFING

There is some detail emerging from the new Con-Lib Government, but uncertainty remains with many as the ramifications of changes and possible changes are chewed over.

The market always suffers from reduced activity in times of uncertainty, so there will no doubt be would-be sellers delaying (again) the moment they put their house on the market; and would-be buyers who continue to hold out. But overall, activity is likely to increase on pre-election levels over the next quarter.

While we still have to wait and see which property related policies get the green light, a coalition government has the advantage of ruling out the introduction of dramatic policies. It was a good time to sell and buy before the election, and it remains so. Prices are unlikely to increase in the second half of the year, so there’s very little reason to wait to sell. If anything, as supply increases, we expect to see recent rises correcting themselves. So there’s a level playing field, and no panic or spin to get caught up in.

Low interest rates continue to encourage property transactions, and a weak pound is encouraging overseas buyers, although Euro-holders are less evident. Lack of supply continues to be the main limiting factor to a robust market, but we predict that the situation will start to ease slowly. Vendors should take advice on value, and not expect inflated prices – stories about competitive bidding and gazumping are restricted to a tiny minority of properties that are limited in supply and perfect in every respect.

However, there are some very wide discrepancies in the values that are being placed on property. Some is priced correctly and some is heavily over-priced. You want to be sure of the correct position, before proceeding to negotiations.

Purchasers should take advantage of the relative slowness of the property market to make considered decisions, comparing properties and prices, and to keep an eye on new properties coming onto the market. While there’s an undeniable shortage of property available, it’s an ever changing picture, and an extremely complex environment – but still one that should provide buyers with opportunities.

Budget 2010 – What now?

As expected, the Chancellor did a good job of talking up major cuts and tax rises, before delivering a Budget that was more politically benign.

Regarding the property market, Mr. Osborne did not have a lot to say.  It looks as if the loopholes that have been used by wealthier buyers to avoid Stamp Duty are to be reviewed.

However the best thing that The Budget has delivered, is the fact that it has been delivered.  Since the Election, there have been thousands of buyers and sellers of property who have been sitting on their hands and saying, ‘I am going to wait to see what the Budget will bring.’  I am not sure quite what people were expecting, but it was uncertain times and there could have been major specific proposals aimed at the housing market, particularly at the top end.

But that hasn’t happened.

There are really no more excuses, and we hope to see a housing market that will grow in confidence and transaction levels, if not in price appreciation, as properties are released onto the market and the 1.5 million who would have been expected to move over the last 2 years become more active.

We expect prices to be stable.  ‘Caveat vendor’ is our motto – seller beware – and we will be negotiating hard for our clients.

Summer 2010

The property market feels as if it has shut down early for the summer.

It’s an old excuse – the summer holidays – like the Budget, like the Election, like the Ash Cloud – always an excuse.

But something has got to give.  There are more vendors and potential vendors entering the gates to sell, but few buyers with real apptetite to buy.  Part of the problem is expectation, of course – on the sellers side that they will get 2009/2010 prices and buyers thinking prices are going to come off their highs over winter 2009/2010.  Sellers are wrong and buyers are right – house prices have come down and are coming down.

It’s the ‘coming down’ part that also delays buyers, who decide that they will only transact when the market has reached the very bottom.  The trouble is that most wait too long and enter the market as it hits or reaches the bottom, and then they have to chase it upwards again.  The accepted rule, and City wisdom that you should chase and buy into the market as it goes down remains the same for property as it more info

does for stocks and shares.

Many potential buyers are also sellers – but see themselves as sellers first and foremost.  They want to get the best possible price for their property, and not until they have achieved that, will they start looking.  So nobody moves – because everybody has got to sell, before they buy.  Is this the right approach in a rapidly-moving market, particularly when many are looking to move from one property to another?

It makes much more sense for sellers to become active buyers – they are engaged with the market and are looking on an on-going  basis on what’s selling, why, for how much.  Not only can they be realistic about what they can buy, but they can also deal on the property they are looking to sell.

Our advice to buyers and sellers remains the same, get your house in order and ready for market by talking to your selling agent, get your money sorted – but , above all, once you have done all that, don’t forget to actively enter the market as a buyer.  You want to move, don’t you?

Market 2011

It has been an interesting start to the Year.  The London market has opened well, with activity from both buyers and sellers.

Despite the Cuts, no let-up in the Credit Crunch and European banking woes being forced into the open, properties are changing hands.

Markets are about people, and people have to move house – there are now hundreds of thousands of people who might have expected to have moved over the last 3 or 4 years, who haven’t.

Many continue to sit on their hands and do nothing. Interest rates remain low, people can afford to do nothing. That means a great many houses potentially for sale, but not on the market, so there are unlikely to be as many properties openly available for sale as people expect.  In many parts of London and the UK there numberswiki.com

remains a shortage of stock.

However, the suspension of HIPS’s has allowed agents to go back to the time-honoured practice of ‘marketing quietly’ e.g . seeing what interest there may be in a property, without going to the expense of marketing and brochures.

The clever vendors are aggressively marketing their houses with good agents at the right price – a keen, competitive, fair and reasonable price.

And, at the same time, they will aggressively get out and into the market to find and secure the property they want to move into.

On the assumption that most people have to buy AND sell a property, it’s a great time to be moving. The market looks likely to remain stable over 2011 – potentially a good year to make a considered and rational move.

You do want to move, don’t you?

The Property Market – 2015

As we said in the run-up to the 2015 Election; ‘we expect prices to rise after the General Election on May 7th.

In West Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire, good quality, unblighted, well-priced houses are selling well.  Over-priced, problematic ones aren’t.

There remains some discrepancy between what vendors are expecting to receive for their property, and what buyers are prepared to pay – but there is realism on both sides now, which is good for everyone.

The ‘London buyer’ is likely to return to the top of the market, and a general positivity should encourage more property to the market with corresponding levels of buyers across the market,

Markets are about people, and people have to move house – there are now thousands of people locally who might have expected to have moved over the last 5 or 6 years, who haven’t.

Many continue to sit on their hands and do nothing. Interest rates remain low, people can afford to do nothing. That means a great many houses potentially for sale, but not on the market, so there are unlikely to be as many properties openly available for sale as people sometimes expect.

Agents continue practice the art of ‘marketing quietly’ e.g . seeing what interest there may be in a property, without going to the expense of marketing and brochures.

The clever vendors are aggressively marketing their houses with good agents at the right price – a keen, competitive, fair and reasonable price.

And, at the same time, they will aggressively get out and into the market to find and secure the property they want to move into.

On the assumption that most people have to buy AND sell a property, it’s a great time to be moving. The market looks likely to remain stable for the rest of 2015 – potentially a good time to make a considered and rational move.

To hear more, call James Greenwood on 07755555909 or 01594842880

Budget 2011 – Property Market Review

Three headline-grabbing property market announcements immediately loom out of the 2011 Budget:
a) help for first-time buyers
b) closing Stamp Duty tax-avoidance loopholes
c) changes to the planning regime

The first affects potentially 10,000 – not alot in an overall market that, although slow, is still exchanging 600,000 properties per annum.

The second also impinges only on a small minority. Closing of tax-avoidance loopholes may make a bit of difference at the top of the market, but London is likely to remain strong, the announcement was expected. And if you can’t afford to pay your Stamp Duty, the top of the market is probably not for you in any case.

Changes to the planning system are more interesting, and may help create badly needed movement in the property market – but the devil will be in the detail, and nothing’s going to happen fast.

It has been an interesting start to the Year. The London market has opened well, with activity from both buyers and sellers. The Country market is slow but active. And I can see no reason why the Budget won’t do anything but tickle both along.

Markets are about people, and people have to move house – there are now over 2 million properties that might have been expected to change hands over the last 3 or 4 years, which haven’t. Mainly because they haven’t come to the market.

Despite the Cuts, no let-up in the Credit Crunch and European Soverign Debt and banking woes continuing to be forced into the open, properties will be changing hands.

A great many houses are potentially for sale, but not on the market, and there are unlikely to be as many properties openly available for sale as people expect. In many parts of London and the UK there remains a shortage of stock.

However, the suspension of HIPS’s has allowed agents to go back to the time-honoured practice of ‘marketing quietly’ e.g . seeing what interest there may be in a property, without going to the expense of marketing and brochures.

The clever vendors are aggressively marketing their houses with good agents at the right price – a keen, competitive, fair and reasonable price.

And, at the same time, they will proactively get out and into the market to find and secure the property they want to move into.

On the assumption that most people have to buy AND sell a property, it’s a good time to be moving. The market looks likely to remain stable over 2011 – a good year to make a considered and rational move.

James Greenwood

London and UK Property Market – 2013

The UK property market remains very steady. The Budget, from a property point of view, was largely neutral.  The biggest impact on value is inflation, which many believe to be considerably higher than the measures used by the Bank of England.  A rise or fall of a few percentage points in property should be put into context against inflation at 7-8%.

From a buyers point of view, vendors have absolutely no excuses for asking excessive prices now. Vendors, please, please, please no more silly asking prices. If you have had your house on the market for a while and nobody is even coming to have a look at it, you have got to face up to the fact that it is probably over-valued. Speak to your local agents. Trust their judgement as to what price your property will sell at.

However, there is not alot of property available, and competition for limited good stock can be fierce both in London and the Country.   But buyers should not be over-enthusiastic – paying over the odds should only be considered on the very best in class. Lower down the market, sellers are starting to outstrip applicants and buyers.  However, finally, a trickle of the Quantative Easing cash seems to be making it’s way through – buyers are finding it a little easier to secure mortgages with reasonable rates and terms.

There is a real divide between London and the rest of the country. London will see continued foreign investment from different sources and at different scales, so well may be wider than just Prime Central.  As we have forecast, internal domestic intra-London activity is strengthening with strong demand building for family homes and flats in the residential areas of London – the Nappy Valleys of SW London are seeing properties at all levels selling fast.

We are seeing continued activity in the Country. There is money from property sales coming out of London and making it’s way into the Country – and we expect an increase in Londoners cashing in on good London prices and moving to the country over 2013. As usual, the M3/M4/M40 corridors and the West Country are strong. We see no dwindling in demand for quality Country property.

The property market is about people, and people have to move house – there are now over 3 million properties that might have been expected to change hands over the last 4 or 5 years, which haven’t. Mainly because they haven’t come to the market.

A great many houses are potentially for sale, but not on the market, and there are unlikely to be as many properties openly available for sale as people expect. However, the suspension of HIPS’s has allowed agents to go back to the time-honoured practice of ‘marketing quietly’ e.g . seeing what interest there may be in a property, without going to the expense of marketing and brochures.

The clever vendors are aggressively marketing their houses with good agents at the right price – a keen, competitive, fair and reasonable price. Our advice to sellers would be – ‘be realistic’. There is little point in hanging out for top price – you won’t get get it – you will wait and wait – and wait.

If you are selling and buying, start looking for your new home the moment your current property goes on the market. Proactively seek out what you want and, when you find it, negotiate firmly (which may enable you to drop the price on the house you are selling).

On the assumption that most people have to buy AND sell a property, it’s a good time to be moving. And for families living in London, a generational opportunity to buy in the Country.

To hear more, contact us and our local offices.

James Greenwood

How to spot potential for adding value to a property

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Market Comment Spring/Summer 2013

The UK property market remains very steady.  The biggest impact on value is inflation, which many believe to be considerably higher than the measures used by the Bank of England, so values outside Central London are generally being eroded.

Central London and not-so-Central London are defying all expectations so far this year.  Prices are rising and properties are selling fast.  Not so the rest of the country – and those looking to move from London to the Country are being presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to swap a moderate London property for a spectacular rural home.

From a buyers point of view, vendors have absolutely no excuses for asking excessive prices now.Vendors, please, please, please no more silly asking prices.  Speak to your local estate agents. Trust their judgement as to the price your property will sell at.

However, there is not alot of property available, and competition for limited good stock can be fierce both in London and the Country.   But buyers should not be over-enthusiastic – paying over the odds should only be considered on the very best in class.  However, finally, a trickle of the Quantative Easing cash seems to be making it’s way through – buyers are finding it a little easier to secure mortgages with reasonable rates and terms.

There is a real divide between London and the rest of the country. London will see continued foreign investment from different sources and at different scales, so well may be wider than just Prime Central.  As forecast, internal domestic intra-London activity is strengthening with strong demand building for family homes and flats in the residential areas of London – the Nappy Valleys of SW London are seeing properties at all levels selling fast.

We are seeing continued activity in the Country. There is money from property sales coming out of London and making it’s way into the Country – and we expect an increase in Londoners cashing in on good London prices and moving to the country over 2013. As usual, the M3/M4/M40 corridors and the West Country are strong. We see no dwindling in demand for quality Country property.

The property market is about people, and people have to move house – there are now over 3 million properties that might have been expected to change hands over the last 4 or 5 years, which haven’t. Mainly because they haven’t come to the market.

A great many houses are potentially for sale, but not on the market, and there are unlikely to be as many properties openly available for sale as people expect. However, the suspension of HIPS’s has allowed agents to go back to the time-honoured practice of ‘marketing quietly’ e.g . seeing what interest there may be in a property, without going to the expense of marketing and brochures.

The clever vendors are aggressively marketing their houses with good agents at the right price – a keen, competitive, fair and reasonable price. Our advice to sellers would be – ‘be realistic’. There is little point in hanging out for top price – you won’t get get it – you will wait and wait – and wait.

If you are selling and buying, start looking for your new home the moment your current property goes on the market. Proactively seek out what you want and, when you find it, negotiate firmly (which may enable you to drop the price on the house you are selling).

On the assumption that most people have to buy AND sell a property, it’s a good time to be moving. And for families living in London, a generational opportunity to buy in the Country.

To hear more, contact us and our local offices.

James Greenwood

Autumn 2013

Spring is in the air! We tend to be very dubious of what we read in the papers, as often is does not seem to equate with what is actually going on in the market and on the ground. However, many seem to be entering the Autumn market with a more bouyant mood and attitude.

However, the UK property market remains very steady. The biggest impact on value is inflation, which many believe to be considerably higher than the measures used by the Bank of England, so values outside Central London are generally being eroded.

Central London and not-so-Central London have defied all expectations so far this year. Prices are continuing to rise and properties are selling fast. Not so the rest of the country – and those looking to move from London to the Country are being presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to swap a moderate London property for a spectacular rural home.

From a buyers point of view, vendors have absolutely no excuses for asking excessive prices now. Vendors, please, please, please no more silly asking prices. Speak to your local estate agents. Trust their judgement as to the price your property will sell at.

However, there is not alot of property available, and competition for limited good stock can be fierce both in London and the Country. But buyers should not be over-enthusiastic – paying over the odds should only be considered on the very best in class. However, finally, a trickle of the Quantative Easing cash seems to be making it’s way through – buyers are finding it a little easier to secure mortgages with reasonable rates and terms.

There is a real divide between London and the rest of the country.  As forecast, internal domestic intra-London activity is strengthening with strong demand building for family homes and flats in the residential areas of London – the Nappy Valleys of SW London are seeing properties at all levels selling fast.

We are seeing continued activity in the Country. There is money from property sales coming out of London and making it’s way into the Country – and we expect an increase in Londoners cashing in on good London prices and moving to the country over the rest of the year. As usual, the M3/M4/M40 corridors and the West Country are strong. We see no dwindling in demand for quality Country property.

The property market is about people, and people have to move house – there are now over 3 million properties that might have been expected to change hands over the last 4 or 5 years, which haven’t. Mainly because they haven’t come to the market.

A great many houses are potentially for sale, but not on the market, and there are unlikely to be as many properties openly available for sale as people expect. However, the suspension of HIPS’s has allowed agents to go back to the time-honoured practice of ‘marketing quietly’ e.g . seeing what interest there may be in a property, without going to the expense of marketing and brochures.

The clever vendors are aggressively marketing their houses with good agents at the right price – a keen, competitive, fair and reasonable price. Our advice to sellers would be – ‘be realistic’. There is little point in hanging out for top price – you won’t get get it – you will wait and wait – and wait.

If you are selling and buying, start looking for your new home the moment your current property goes on the market. Proactively seek out what you want and, when you find it, negotiate firmly (which may enable you to drop the price on the house you are selling).

On the assumption that most people have to buy AND sell a property, it’s a good time to be moving. And for families living in London, a generational opportunity to buy in the Country.

To hear more, contact us and our local offices.

James Greenwood

Autumn 2013

As the Autumn progresses, Spring is in the air! We tend to be very dubious about what we read in the papers, as often the reality of the market and on the ground is somewhat different. However, many seem to be entering the Autumn market with a more bouyant mood and attitude.

But is there a bubble? Of course, the answer is yes AND no. In prime Central London and Prime Residential London, it’s gone nuts. A 30% rise in achieved values compared with the same time last year makes limited economic sense. But as my Economics Professor said, ‘if you want to make money, study Psychology rather than Economics.’

Outside this bag of postcodes, the UK property market remains very STEADY. The biggest impact on value is inflation, which many believe to be considerably higher than the measures used by the Bank of England, so values outside Central London are generally continuing to match or being eroded by inflation.

Central London and not-so-Central London have defied all expectations so far this year. Prices are continuing to rise and properties are selling fast. Not so the rest of the country – and those looking to move from London to the Country are being presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to swap a moderate London property for a spectacular rural home. If you planning to make the London-Country move in the foreseeable future, you want to start getting ready now.

From a buyers point of view, vendors have absolutely no excuses for asking excessive prices now. Vendors, please, please, please no more silly asking prices. Speak to your local estate agents. Trust their judgement as to the price your property will sell at.

However, there is not alot of property available, and competition for limited good stock can be fierce both in London and the Country. But buyers should not be over-enthusiastic – paying over the odds should only be considered on the very best in class. However, at last, a trickle of the Quantative Easing cash seems to be making it’s way through – buyers are finding it a little easier to secure mortgages with reasonable rates and terms.

There is a real divide between London and the rest of the country. As forecast, internal domestic intra-London activity is strengthening with strong demand building for family homes and flats in the residential areas of London – for example, the Nappy Valleys of SW London are seeing properties at all levels sell fast.

We are seeing continued activity in the Country. There is money from property sales coming out of London and making it’s way into the Country – and we expect an increase in Londoners cashing in on good London prices and moving to the country over the rest of the year. As usual, the M3/M4/M40 corridors and the West Country are strong. We see no dwindling in demand for quality Country property.

The property market is about people, and people have to move house – there are now over 3 million properties that might have been expected to change hands over the last 4 or 5 years, which haven’t. Mainly because they haven’t come to the market.

A great many houses are potentially for sale, but not on the market, and there are unlikely to be as many properties openly available for sale as people expect. However, the suspension of HIPS’s has allowed agents to go back to the time-honoured practice of ‘marketing quietly’ e.g . seeing what interest there may be in a property, without going to the expense of marketing and brochures.

The clever vendors are aggressively marketing their houses with good agents at the right price – a keen, competitive, fair and reasonable price. Our advice to sellers would be – ‘be realistic’. There is little point in hanging out for top price – you won’t get get it – you will wait and wait – and wait.

If you are selling and buying, start looking for your new home the moment your current property goes on the market. Proactively seek out what you want and, when you find it, negotiate firmly (which may enable you to drop the price on the house you are selling).

On the assumption that most people have to buy AND sell a property, it’s a good time to be moving. And for families living in London, a generational opportunity to buy in the Country.

To hear more, contact us and our local offices.

James Greenwood

2014 – what’s the story?

2014 is already proving to be a much better year for the UK property market.

But what do we mean by a ‘better year’? Basically – more stock, more transactions, more people moving. More people will be putting their properties on the market so that they can move for any number of the reasons that people want to move house e.g. work, family, retirement etc.

But there is still not enough stock to supply demand, and prices will continue to rise in areas that are fashionable and popular – and not just in London, the Country market is facing similar pressures.

But is there a bubble? The answer is yes AND no. In prime Central London and Prime Residential London, it’s still nuts. A 30% rise in achieved values over 2013 makes limited economic sense. But as my Economics Professor said, ‘if you want to make money, study Psychology rather than Economics.’

Outside this bag of postcodes, the UK property market remains pretty STEADY. The biggest impact on value is inflation, which many believe to be considerably higher than the measures used by the Bank of England, so growth in values outside Central London is generally continuing to be matched or eroded by inflation.

Central London and not-so-Central London defied all expectations over 2013. Prices rose and properties sold fast. Not so the rest of the country – and those looking to move from London to the Country are being presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to swap a moderate London property for a spectacular rural home. If you are planning to make the London-to-Country move in the foreseeable future, you want to start getting ready now.

From a buyer’s point of view, vendors have absolutely no excuses for asking excessive prices now. Vendors, please, please, please no more silly asking prices. Speak to your local estate agents. Trust their judgement as to the price your property will sell at.

Competition for limited good stock will be fierce over the rest of 2014 both in London and the Country. But buyers should not be over-enthusiastic – paying over the odds should only be considered for the very best in class. However, at last, a trickle-turning-to-a-flow of the Quantative Easing cash seems to be making it’s way through – buyers are finding it a little easier to secure mortgages with reasonable rates and terms.

There is a real divide between London, Commutable Country and the rest of the country. As forecast, internal domestic intra-London activity has strengthened with strong demand for family homes and flats in the residential areas of London – for example, the Nappy Valleys of SW London are seeing properties at all levels sell fast.

We are seeing better activity in the Country. There is money from property sales coming out of London and making it’s way into the Country – and we expect an increase in Londoners cashing in on good London prices and moving to the country over 2014. As usual, the M3/M4/M40 corridors and the West Country are strong. We see no dwindling in demand for quality Country property.

The property market is about people, and people have to move house – there are now over 4 million properties that might have been expected to change hands since 2007/08, which haven’t. Mainly because they haven’t come to the market.

A great many houses are potentially for sale, but not on the market, and there are unlikely to be as many properties openly available for sale as people expect. However, many properties are being ‘marketing quietly’ e.g. agents are seeing what interest there may be in a property, without going to the expense of marketing and brochures, or even placing it on a property portal.

The clever vendors are aggressively marketing their houses with good agents at the right price – a keen, competitive, fair and reasonable price. Our advice to sellers would be – ‘be realistic’.

If you are selling and buying, start looking for your new home now, and certainly from the moment that your current property goes on the market. On the assumption that most people have to buy AND sell a property, it’s a good time to be moving. And for those living in London, a generational opportunity to buy that home in the Country.

To hear more, contact us and our local offices.

James Greenwood

Summer 2014 – OK, who wants to move?

2014 is already proving to be a much better year for the UK property market. Not as good as many expected, but expectations were always going to need being managed. The 2007/08 crisis was a major shock to the UK property market, but the wounds are healing.

But, please, let’s not get too exuberant and have another accident. Luckily, London is showing some signs of having some good common sense – prices are still rising but they are plateauing, especially above the £2m mark – and that must put a dampener on the wider market.

But what do we mean by a ‘better year’? Basically – more stock, more transactions, more people moving. More people will be putting their properties on the market so that they can move for any number of the reasons that people want to move house e.g. work, family, retirement etc.

But there is still not enough stock to supply demand, and prices will continue to rise in areas that are fashionable and popular – and not just in London, the Country market is facing similar pressures now. We have had to ward off gazumpers on a number of properties we have bought for clients this year.

But is there a bubble? The answer is yes AND no. What’s happening is that the market is still weak and brings forward limited stock that is pushed unbelievably quickly to a new level in some parts of the country and on some properties. And inflation that started in London is spreading out fast into the Home Counties and further afield.

Is London OK? Yes.

So the UK property market actually remains pretty STEADY.

Central London and not-so-Central London defied all expectations over 2013 and the beginning of 2014. Prices rise and properties sell fast. Not so the rest of the country – and those looking to move from London to the Country are being presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to swap a moderate London property for a spectacular rural home. If you are planning to make the London-to-Country move in the foreseeable future, you want to start getting ready now.

From a buyer’s point of view, vendors have absolutely no excuses for asking excessive prices now. Vendors, please, please, please no more silly asking prices. Speak to your local estate agents. Trust their judgement as to the price your property will sell at.

Competition for limited good stock will be fierce over the rest of 2014 both in London and the Country. But buyers should not be over-enthusiastic – paying over the odds should only be considered for the very best in class. However, at last, a trickle-turning-to-a-flow of the Quantative Easing cash seems to be making it’s way through – buyers are finding it a little easier to secure mortgages with reasonable rates and terms. But hurdles to obtain a mortgage continue to be raised, so speak to a good mortgage broker about your position.

The divide between London and Commutable Country is closing, and both continue to distance themselves from the rest of the Country, for the moment. As forecast, internal domestic intra-London activity has strengthened with strong demand for family homes and flats in the residential areas of London.

We are seeing improved activity in the Country. There is money from property sales coming out of London and making it’s way into the Country – as expected, there is an increase in Londoners cashing in on good London prices and moving to the country. As usual, the M3/M4/M40 corridors and the West Country are strong. The demand for good Country property is rising.

The property market is about people, and people have to move house – there are now over 5 million properties that might have been expected to change hands since 2007/08, which haven’t. Mainly because they haven’t come to the market.

A great many houses are potentially for sale, but not on the market, and there are unlikely to be as many properties openly available for sale as people expect. However, many properties are being ‘marketing quietly’ e.g. agents are seeing what interest there may be in a property, without going to the expense of marketing and brochures, or even placing it on a property portal.

The clever vendors are aggressively marketing their houses with good agents at the right price – a keen, competitive, fair and reasonable price. Our advice to sellers would be – ‘be realistic’.

If you are selling and buying, start looking for your new home now, and certainly from the moment that your current property goes on the market. (If you want help getting a good local estate agent round to ask their advice on selling your property, just contact us and we will put you in touch).

On the assumption that most people have to buy AND sell a property, it’s a good time to be moving. And for those living in London, a generational opportunity to buy that home in the Country.

To hear more, contact us and our local offices.

James Greenwood

Autumn 2014 – New Reality or same old, same old?

2014 is already proving to be a much better year for the UK property market. Not as good as many expected, but expectations were always going to need to be managed.

But what do we mean by a ‘better year’? Basically – more stock, more transactions, more people moving. More people are putting their properties on the market so that they can move for any number of the reasons that people want and need to move house e.g. work, family, downsizing, lifestyle, investment.

Prices have stabilised in London, and the Country market is facing similar pressures, particularly from the tough new mortgage regime.

The fear of a Bubble has receded.  Well done, Mr. Carney – Round 1 to you.

Is London OK? Yes.

So the UK property market actually remains pretty STEADY.

Those looking to move from London to the Country are still being presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to swap a moderate London property for a spectacular rural home. If you are planning to make the London-to-Country move in the foreseeable future, depending on your circumstances and position, you want to start get on with it.

Vendors have absolutely no excuses for asking excessive prices now. Vendors, please, please, please no more silly asking prices. Speak to your local estate agents. Trust their judgement as to the price your property will sell at.

Competition for good stock will be fierce over the rest of 2014 both in London and the Country. But buyers should not be over-enthusiastic – paying over the odds should only be considered for the very best in class.

The divide between London and Commutable Country remains constant, and both continue to distance themselves from the rest of the Country. As forecast, internal domestic intra-London activity has strengthened with strong demand for family homes and flats in the residential areas of London, and there is plenty of supply now.

We are seeing improved activity in the Country. There is money from property sales coming out of London and making it’s way into the Country – as expected, there is an increase in Londoners cashing in on good London prices and moving to the country. As usual, the M3/M4/M40 corridors and the West Country are strong.

The property market is about people, and people have to move house – there are now over 5 million properties that might have been expected to change hands since 2007/08, which haven’t. Mainly because they haven’t come to the market.

A great many houses are potentially for sale, but not on the market.  However, many properties are being ‘marketing quietly’ e.g. agents are seeing what interest there may be in a property, without going to the expense of marketing and brochures, or even placing it on a property portal.

The clever vendors are aggressively marketing their houses with good agents at the right price – a keen, competitive, fair and reasonable price. Our advice to sellers would be – ‘be realistic’.

If you are selling and buying, start looking for your new home now, and certainly from the moment that your current property goes on the market. (If you want help getting a good local estate agent round to ask their advice on selling your property, just contact us and we will put you in touch).

On the assumption that most people have to buy AND sell a property, it’s a good time to be moving. And for those living in London, a generational opportunity to buy that home in the Country.

To hear more, contact us and our local offices.

James Greenwood

Winter wonderland or advent calendar-sized window of opportunity?

The latter I am afraid.  2014 has already been a much better year for the UK property market – not as good as many expected, but expectations were always going to need to be managed.  Now it feels flat – so there is opportunity out there for those prepared to put the work in before the General Election 2015.

Prices have stabilised in London.  The fear of a Bubble has receded thanks to Mr. Carney’s timely words earlier in the year.

So the UK property market actually remains pretty STEADY.

Those looking to move from London to the Country are still being presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to swap a moderate London property for a spectacular rural home. If you are planning to make the London-to-Country move in the foreseeable future, depending on your circumstances and position, you want to start get on with it.

Vendors have absolutely no excuses for asking excessive prices now. Vendors, please, please, please no more silly asking prices. Speak to your local estate agents. Trust their judgement as to the price your property will sell at.

The divide between London and Commutable Country remains constant, and the rest of the Country of the Country follows. As forecast, internal domestic intra-London activity has strengthened with strong demand for family homes and flats in the residential areas of London, and there is plenty of supply now.

We have seen improved activity in the Country. As expected, there has been an increase in Londoners cashing in on good London prices and moving to the country. As usual, the M3/M4/M40 corridors and the West Country are strong.

The property market is about people, and people have to move house – there are now over 5 million properties that might have been expected to change hands since 2007/08, which haven’t. Mainly because they haven’t come to the market.

A great many houses are potentially for sale, but not on the market.  However, many properties are being ‘marketing quietly’ e.g. agents are seeing what interest there may be in a property, without going to the expense of marketing and brochures, or even placing it on a property portal.

The clever vendors are aggressively marketing their houses with good agents at the right price – a keen, competitive, fair and reasonable price. Our advice to sellers would be – ‘be realistic’.

If you are selling and buying, start looking for your new home now, and certainly from the moment that your current property goes on the market. (If you want help getting a good local estate agent round to ask their advice on selling your property, just contact us and we will put you in touch).

On the assumption that most people have to buy AND sell a property, it’s a good time to be moving. And for those living in London, a generational opportunity to buy that home in the Country.

To hear more, contact us and our local offices.

James Greenwood

Property Market – Summer 2016

Our message remains – ‘if you want to move, get into the market now, there are some great opportunities for buyers’.  In our view, the uncertainty of the Referendum remains an opportunity for committed buyers – uncertainty = opportunity.

We don’t expect much movement in price over the next 12 months. Quite clearly the London market has plateaued, and supply should match demand in most sectors. Without doubt, there are good deals to be done. Our advice to buyers – get active now.

So that’s good news – prices have stabilised in London and should remain relatively stable across the UK.

Whilst the reforms to Stamp Duty is good news for the majority of property buyers, there has been considerable fall-out. Sales at the £2m+ plus have already been seriously affected, with SDLT now a significant, material factor.

The London market has slowed up considerably and the main reason is Stamp Duty. Vendors have got to realise that if they are selling a house over £1.5m+, they have got to help buyers absorb the higher Stamp Duty costs associated with buying.

We thought we might get news of a move towards an improved Council tax system, but the Government seems hell-bent on building more houses, rather than using the existing housing stock more effectively.

The 3% Stamp Duty surcharge on second homes and buy-to-let properties we expect to see passed straight on to buyers and tenants, but, again, negotiate hard.

Those looking to move from London to the Country are still being presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to swap a moderate London property for a spectacular rural home. If you are planning to make the London-to-Country move in the foreseeable future, depending on your circumstances and position, you want to get on with it.

Vendors have absolutely no excuses for asking excessive prices. Vendors, please, please, please no more silly asking prices. Speak to your local estate agents. Trust their judgement as to the price your property will sell at.

The divide between London and Commutable Country remains constant, and the rest of the Country follows. There has been an increase in Londoners cashing in on good London prices and moving to the country, but not as many as we might have expected, considering the gap between London and Country prices. As usual, the M3/M4/M40 corridors and the West Country are strong.

The property market is about people, and people have to move house – there are now over 5 million properties that might have been expected to change hands since 2007/08, which haven’t. Mainly because they haven’t come to the market.

A great many houses are potentially for sale, but not on the market. However, many properties are being ‘marketing quietly’ e.g. agents are seeing what interest there may be in a property, without going to the expense of marketing and brochures, or even placing it on a property portal.

The clever vendors are aggressively marketing their houses with good agents at the right price – a keen, competitive, fair and reasonable price. Our advice to sellers would be – ‘be realistic’.

If you are selling and buying, start looking for your new home now, and certainly from the moment that your current property goes on the market. (If you want help getting a good local estate agent round to ask their advice on selling your property, just contact us and we will put you in touch).

On the assumption that most people have to buy AND sell a property, 2016 is a good time to be moving. And for those living in London, a generational opportunity to buy that home in the Country.

To hear more, contact us and our local offices.

James Greeenwood

UK Property Market – 2015


So what is going to happen to the UK property market in 2015?Looking back, 2014 was generally a much better year – not as good as many expected, but expectations were always going to need to be managed.

The good news is that prices have stabilised in London.  The fear of a Bubble has receded thanks to Mr. Carney’s timely words over 2014.

So the UK property market actually remains pretty STEADY.

Actually it felt a bit flat, until George Osborne’s ‘rabbit-out-of-a-hat’ changes to Stamp Duty.

We welcome the reforms. An antiquated system has been reorganised in a much fairer way. It’s good news for the majority of property buyers, but the best news for the market as a whole is that, without the threat of the proposed Mansion Tax, the upper end of the market will be freed up, and buyers can act in the full knowledge of what tax will be payable.

The biggest difference of course is that this SDLT system is effectively discretionary rather than mandatory. The Mansion Tax system would have penalised those who already lived in properties worth more than £2m. The new system, announced today, only affects those who choose to buy.

There’s a likelihood that sales at the £2m mark will be affected. In the short term there is likely to a frenzy of re-negotiation at this level, and there will be a greater proportion of sales falling through in the coming weeks.

So there is opportunity out there for those prepared to put the work in before the General Election 2015.

Those looking to move from London to the Country are still being presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to swap a moderate London property for a spectacular rural home. If you are planning to make the London-to-Country move in the foreseeable future, depending on your circumstances and position, you want to start get on with it.

Vendors have absolutely no excuses for asking excessive prices now. Vendors, please, please, please no more silly asking prices. Speak to your local estate agents. Trust their judgement as to the price your property will sell at.

The divide between London and Commutable Country remains constant, and the rest of the Country follows.  We have seen improved activity in the Country. As expected, there has been an increase in Londoners cashing in on good London prices and moving to the country.  As usual, the M3/M4/M40 corridors and the West Country are strong.

The property market is about people, and people have to move house – there are now over 5 million properties that might have been expected to change hands since 2007/08, which haven’t. Mainly because they haven’t come to the market.

A great many houses are potentially for sale, but not on the market.  However, many properties are being ‘marketing quietly’ e.g. agents are seeing what interest there may be in a property, without going to the expense of marketing and brochures, or even placing it on a property portal.

The clever vendors are aggressively marketing their houses with good agents at the right price – a keen, competitive, fair and reasonable price. Our advice to sellers would be – ‘be realistic’.

If you are selling and buying, start looking for your new home now, and certainly from the moment that your current property goes on the market. (If you want help getting a good local estate agent round to ask their advice on selling your property, just contact us and we will put you in touch).

On the assumption that most people have to buy AND sell a property, it’s a good time to be moving. And for those living in London, a generational opportunity to buy that home in the Country.

To hear more, contact us and our local offices.

James Greenwood

 

Pre-Election Opportunities

So what is happening in the 2015 UK property market so far?

The good news is that prices have stabilised in London.  The fear of a Bubble has receded, so the UK property market actually remains pretty STEADY.

We welcome the reforms to Stamp Duty. An antiquated system has been reorganised in a much fairer way. It’s good news for the majority of property buyers.

The biggest difference of course is that this SDLT system is effectively discretionary rather than mandatory. The new system only affects those who choose to buy.

However, sales at the £2m+ plus have already been affected, with lower transaction levels both in and out of London.  Part of the drop-off can be explained by the fear of Mansion Tax – it’s really more the fears of the uncertainties over Mansion tax.

In our view, Mansion Tax is largely a red herring and should be ignored.  Politicians have been grand-standing on the idea, but continually row back when it comes to the detail.  Yes, we might get a new Council tax system or we might get a Mansion Tax or we might get both, but they will be relatively benign.  It is a period of uncertainty, but the ‘known unknowns’ are not the bogeymen some would have you believe.  Life will go on after the Election.

So there is opportunity out there for those prepared to put the work in before the General Election 2015.  Many buyers are sat on their hands, doing nothing.

Those looking to move from London to the Country are still being presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to swap a moderate London property for a spectacular rural home. If you are planning to make the London-to-Country move in the foreseeable future, depending on your circumstances and position, you want to start get on with it.

Vendors have absolutely no excuses for asking excessive prices now. Vendors, please, please, please no more silly asking prices. Speak to your local estate agents. Trust their judgement as to the price your property will sell at.

The divide between London and Commutable Country remains constant, and the rest of the Country follows.  We have seen improved activity in the Country. As expected, there has been an increase in Londoners cashing in on good London prices and moving to the country.  As usual, the M3/M4/M40 corridors and the West Country are strong.

The property market is about people, and people have to move house – there are now over 5 million properties that might have been expected to change hands since 2007/08, which haven’t. Mainly because they haven’t come to the market.

A great many houses are potentially for sale, but not on the market.  However, many properties are being ‘marketing quietly’ e.g. agents are seeing what interest there may be in a property, without going to the expense of marketing and brochures, or even placing it on a property portal.

The clever vendors are aggressively marketing their houses with good agents at the right price – a keen, competitive, fair and reasonable price. Our advice to sellers would be – ‘be realistic’.

If you are selling and buying, start looking for your new home now, and certainly from the moment that your current property goes on the market. (If you want help getting a good local estate agent round to ask their advice on selling your property, just contact us and we will put you in touch).

On the assumption that most people have to buy AND sell a property, it’s a good time to be moving. And for those living in London, a generational opportunity to buy that home in the Country.

To hear more, contact us and our local offices.

James Greenwood

 

Autumn 2015

First signs of the Autumn market 2015 is that there could be a lack of stock. Our message throughout 2015 has been – ‘if you want to move, get into the market now, there are opportunities for buyers’. If you want to move in the next 6 months, you have got to work at it.

The spectre of Mansion Tax has largely disappeared. The Conservative victory is likely to invigorate the housing market. There should be more choice as people decide to make that (delayed) move, and we expect to see more property coming to the market, albeit slowly.

We don’t expect much movement in price, as we expect increased supply to match pent-up demand. Without doubt, there are good deals to be done. Our advice to buyers – get active now.

The good news is that prices have stabilised in London and should remain relatively stable across the UK.

We welcome the reforms to Stamp Duty. An antiquated system has been reorganised in a much fairer way. It’s good news for the majority of property buyers. The biggest difference of course is that this SDLT system is effectively discretionary rather than mandatory. The new system only affects those who choose to buy. However, sales at the £2m+ plus have already been seriously affected, with SDLT now a significant, material factor.

The London market has slowed up considerably and the main reason is Stamp Duty. Vendors have got to realise that if they are selling a house over £1.5m+, they have got to help buyers absorb the higher Stamp Duty costs associated with buying.

We might get a new Council tax system; watch this space.

Those looking to move from London to the Country are still being presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to swap a moderate London property for a spectacular rural home. If you are planning to make the London-to-Country move in the foreseeable future, depending on your circumstances and position, you want to get on with it.

Vendors have absolutely no excuses for asking excessive prices – just because we have a new Conservative Government, it doesn’t mean your house is worth more than it was before May 7th. Vendors, please, please, please no more silly asking prices. Speak to your local estate agents. Trust their judgement as to the price your property will sell at.

The divide between London and Commutable Country remains constant, and the rest of the Country follows. We have seen improved activity in the Country. As expected, there has been an increase in Londoners cashing in on good London prices and moving to the country. As usual, the M3/M4/M40 corridors and the West Country are strong.

The property market is about people, and people have to move house – there are now over 5 million properties that might have been expected to change hands since 2007/08, which haven’t. Mainly because they haven’t come to the market.

A great many houses are potentially for sale, but not on the market. However, many properties are being ‘marketing quietly’ e.g. agents are seeing what interest there may be in a property, without going to the expense of marketing and brochures, or even placing it on a property portal.

The clever vendors are aggressively marketing their houses with good agents at the right price – a keen, competitive, fair and reasonable price. Our advice to sellers would be – ‘be realistic’.

If you are selling and buying, start looking for your new home now, and certainly from the moment that your current property goes on the market. (If you want help getting a good local estate agent round to ask their advice on selling your property, just contact us and we will put you in touch).

On the assumption that most people have to buy AND sell a property, it’s a good time to be moving. And for those living in London, a generational opportunity to buy that home in the Country.

To hear more, contact us and our local offices.

James Greenwood

 

So what’s happening now? Autumn 2016.

Our message remains – ‘if you want to move, get into the market now, there are some great opportunities for buyers’.  In our view, the uncertainty of the Brexit remains an opportunity for committed buyers – uncertainty = opportunity.

After a summer of catching breath, the markets have reopened and are trading effectively both in London and the Country, although activity levels are down significantly in both.

It is great to be out and about again seeing some fantastic houses.  In some areas and sectors, that stock is likely to be limited.

We don’t expect much movement in price over the next 12 months. Quite clearly the London market has plateaued, and supply should match demand in most sectors. Without doubt, there are good deals to be done. Our advice to buyers – get active now.

Prices have stabilised in London and should remain relatively stable across the UK.

Those looking to move from London to the Country are still being presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to swap a moderate London property for a spectacular rural home. If you are planning to make the London-to-Country move in the foreseeable future, depending on your circumstances and position, you want to get on with it.

Vendors have absolutely no excuses for asking excessive prices. Vendors, please, please, please no more silly asking prices. Speak to your local estate agents. Trust their judgement as to the price your property will sell at.

The property market is about people, and people have to move house – there are now over 5 million properties that might have been expected to change hands since 2007/08, which haven’t. Mainly because they haven’t come to the market.

The clever vendors are aggressively marketing their houses with good agents at the right price – a keen, competitive, fair and reasonable price. Our advice to sellers would be – ‘be realistic’.

If you are selling and buying, start looking for your new home now, and certainly from the moment that your current property goes on the market. (If you want help getting a good local estate agent round to ask their advice on selling your property, just contact us and we will put you in touch).

On the assumption that most people have to buy AND sell a property, 2016 remains a good time to be moving. And for those living in London, a generational opportunity to buy that home in the Country.

To hear more, contact us and our local offices.

James Greeenwood

 

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"Stacks has been an invaluable source of experience and wisdom on the successful landing of just the right house"
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Sunday Telegraph

2018-11-06T13:59:47+00:00

Sunday Telegraph

"...took just days to come up with the property that fitted all our criteria"
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2018-11-21T13:11:13+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:54:09+00:00
"Stacks takes great pride in their service, is an expert in their field and above all, demonstrated integrity in all our interaction with them"
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2018-11-21T12:42:07+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:14:45+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:20:39+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:12:00+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:43:03+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:43:48+00:00
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“We want to thank you so much for the very professional and sensitive support you have given us in navigating through the various properties we have considered for investment of our small inheritance.”
2018-11-05T22:55:02+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:28:29+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:45:49+00:00
"I would recommend using Stacks as they are well connected to the property market and provide a realistic assessment of activity and pricing."
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2018-11-21T13:18:01+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:57:31+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:51:23+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:47:38+00:00
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2018-11-06T14:00:36+00:00

Financial Times

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2018-11-21T13:21:20+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:37:14+00:00
"found us a home in a sought-after area with a high demand for properties and very little on offer"
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2018-11-21T12:39:48+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:17:15+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:13:46+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:08:49+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:50:28+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:49:38+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:21:23+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:07:43+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:56:37+00:00
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