Property Market Comment

2023 has been an interesting year so far. National statistics will tell you that the economic difficulties we are all facing combined with higher mortgage rates, are causing house prices to slide and some economists are suggesting that a housing price crash is on the cards. However national statistics lump all price ranges and locations into the same basket, and therefore can create a false impression for some areas of the market. In the south of the country we are very unlikely to see a crash in prices.

In Hampshire, West Sussex and Surrey there is still very strong demand for properties above £1m, although buyers are being a lot more cautious. The most desirable houses with no blights (roads, trains, planes, pylons, flood issues) are still attracting multiple bids, but the rest are floundering and vendors are having to lower their price expectations. This is causing a much wider rift between the ‘best in class’ houses and the rest, which some vendors are struggling to accept and so their houses remain unsold.

Something else for vendors to consider is that over 30% of sales are falling through at the moment and it is no longer a seller’s market . If you get good strong buyers for your house you should get to exchange of contracts as soon as possible, no longer can you afford to ask them to wait until you find your ongoing purchase.

It has been tough for buyers over the last few years with a dreadful lack of properties to buy, and more recently with the problem of climbing mortgage rates. However this Spring saw more houses becoming available and it feels as though inflation may be topping out. Borrowers have had a fantastic twelve years of rock bottom rates, and while it is very painful for many, the new rates will soon become the new normal.

If there is a further dip in prices then I think the second half of 2023 could be a great time to buy. I believe the continuing strong demand will prevent prices from sliding too far, but in the meantime there may be some good opportunities.

In the last 4yrs, over 70% of the properties we have bought for our clients have not been advertised on the internet. The benefits of instructing a buying agent based in the area you are looking who has expert knowledge, good local contacts, an excellent track record and a close relationship with all the local agents, is paying huge dividends in the current climate. We continue to get fantastic testimonials from our clients who have experienced the high level of professionalism and bespoke service that Stacks provides. In 2023, local knowledge and contacts are proving more important than ever.

There are lots of negatives for house prices going forward: rising mortgage rates, rising school fees, rising cost of living, an economic recession. The press have been full of it since interest rates started going up. But the oldest and most important dictator of price is supply and demand and this is going to continue to trump everything else as we move into 2023.

I think we all know that Covid kick-started an exodus to the southern counties from London in late 2020 and the throttle has been fully open ever since. However as we approach the end of 2022 with rising interest rates and the cost of living crisis foremost in everyone’s mind, are we going to see a sharp downturn in prices (or a crash as has been widely spoken about)?

The quick answer is no, it will be more a case of the brakes being applied and maybe a slight dip.

There has been so little supply over the last two years that the latent demand has still not been satiated and there are still plenty of buyers looking for their family homes. However we are seeing the beginnings of a small correction, the days of buyers scrabbling to secure a house at 25% over the asking price are over, and going forward bids will be more considered. The best-in-class houses will still attract a lot of interest if they are priced sensibly, but other vendors may have to curb their expectations and either drop their asking price or accept a lower offer.

Mortgage lenders are being tricky and mortgage valuers are often downvaluing properties, so buyers need to build in a bit of wiggle room to counteract this. Cash is still king and so buyers who do not need financing will always be preferred. The number of fall-throughs has increased from an already very high 30%.

All of this indicates that going forward there should be some good opportunities for buyers who can react quickly and are ready financially.

In the last 3yrs, over 75% of the properties we have bought for our clients have not been advertised on the internet. The benefits of instructing a buying agent based in the area you are looking who has expert knowledge, good local contacts, an excellent track record and a close relationship with all the local agents, is paying huge dividends in the current climate. We continue to get fantastic testimonials from our clients who have experienced the high level of professionalism and bespoke service that Stacks provides. In 2023, local knowledge and contacts are going to be more important than ever.

In 2021 if a seller was sensible about the asking price, within 2 weeks of appearing on the portals they were getting up to 50 viewings, 5 offers, and agreeing a sale at the best price ever. As you can imagine this meant that there were lots of disappointed potential buyers all year. Too much demand and too little supply, meant that prices in Hampshire, Surrey and West Sussex rose by close to 10%. In plenty of sales last year, the agreed price was a good 20% over the asking price.              

As we move into 2022 there is still a logjam of buyers and until we get some supply, prices will remain buoyant. However estate agents are reporting that there should be a raft of new instructions as we move towards the Spring, and there are some potential hiccoughs in the economic world. It looks as though interest rates are on the up for the first time since 2007, and a very large percentage of home owners will not have experienced anything but rock bottom rates. I think this will put a bit of a break on prices at the lower end of the market which might filter through, but for properties above £1m, until the huge latent demand is satisfied, prices are likely to remain unchanged.

If you are considering selling in the next couple of years; with the current high demand, I would advise that the earlier the better in 2022, would be the best time.

80% of the properties we bought for our clients last year, were not advertised on the internet. The benefits of instructing a buying agent based in the area you are looking who has expert knowledge, good local contacts, an excellent track record and a close relationship with all the local agents, is paying huge dividends in the current climate. We continue to get fantastic testimonials from our clients who have experienced the high level of professionalism and bespoke service that Stacks provides. In 2022, local knowledge and contacts are going to be more important than ever.

Hold on to your hats, we’re off again! In a supercharged repeat of the second half of last year, there are an unprecedented number of buyers looking for their dream home in Hampshire, Surrey & West Sussex. Yet again the problem is supply.

This Stacks office has been finding homes for our clients since 1984 and we have never been busier. Demand for family houses in this area has gone through the roof. A large percentage are from London, and many have already made the move down here, they are renting and ready to pounce when the right place comes up. This means that competition for the best houses is fierce and I think turnover will be very high for the rest of the year….as long as we get some supply.

Potential vendors have had plenty of reasons not to market their houses over the last year, from home schooling children to shielding, and although the first three months of the year are usually quiet for new instructions, this year has obviously been particularly sparse. Another issue for people thinking about selling is that they are not seeing anything available for their ongoing purchase. However, it feels as though this post-Easter period is about to get busy. Estate Agents are furiously valuing properties and vendors are beginning to understand that right now is a really good time to sell.

Prices could go up slightly over the next few months which might appear counter-intuitive when one considers the economy and issues surrounding job security. But the most basic economic principle comes into play here; there are more buyers than sellers.

The benefits of instructing a buying agent based in the area you are looking who has expert knowledge, good local contacts, an excellent track record and a close relationship with all the local agents, is paying huge dividends in the current climate. We continue to get fantastic testimonials from our clients who have experienced the high level of professionalism and bespoke service that Stacks provides. In 2021, local knowledge and contacts are more important than ever.

Since the end of the property market lockdown on May 13th the number of transactions has gone through the roof, with a lot of estate agents reporting their busiest summer months on record.

After 4 years of uncertainty caused by Brexit and a backlog of buyers and sellers putting their plans on hold, plenty of people were gearing up to move in 2020 when Lockdown spoilt the party. After we were allowed out to play again, the situation had intensified as even more people decided they needed to move. Lack of space available for those finding themselves working from home galvanized many Londoners to accelerate their plans to move, with the consequence that the demand for family homes in the southern counties went stratospheric. This happily coincided with a good pent-up supply of new stock.

In the £1.0m to £4.0m range more houses than ever sold before the agents had the time to put the brochures together and so they never made it to the property portals. Buying agents have been rushed off their feet and since lockdown the Stacks Hants/Surrey/W Sussex office has continued our ratio of 80% of the houses we bought for clients not being advertised on the internet.

There is still a lot of demand for good family homes and going forward I expect prices to remain level in the south, despite the probable upcoming economic woes and unemployment. I fear the problem may be on the supply side, especially with the uncertainty caused by lockdowns and curfews making a reappearance.

The benefits of instructing a buying agent based in the area you are looking who has expert knowledge, good local contacts, an excellent track record and a close relationship with all the local agents, is paying huge dividends in the current climate. We continue to get fantastic testimonials from our clients who have experienced the high level of professionalism and bespoke service that Stacks provides. Our local agents know which pubs are noisy, which roads are busy and where the flightpaths are, despite some of these not being completely apparent in the current situation. In 2020, local knowledge and contacts are more important than ever.

The property market lockdown ended on May 13th and in the three weeks that have passed since then, Estate agents and Buying agents have been very busy with new enquiries from potential buyers. Viewings have recommenced under strict regulations and deals have been done. Very few deals in Surrey, Hampshire & West Sussex that were agreed before lockdown have fallen through and most of those that did have been snapped up again quickly. Estate agents are busy valuing properties and already we have seen new stock coming onto the market. All the signs are indicating an active market over the second half of this year, with demand probably outstripping supply.

Most of the new buyers we are seeing are from London. It appears that life during lockdown has demonstrated to many people that the benefits of living in the capital are not enough to outweigh the advantages of a bigger house and garden that they could afford by moving further away. The other very crucial factor is the enormous number of employees and companies who have discovered that they can all work from home. If people only have to be in their offices to meet clients, and therefore would only have to commute one or two days a week instead of five, then living closer to the office may no longer be necessary.

Another stream of enquiries has been from potential buyers looking for a second home in the UK, in the countryside or near the sea. Not being able to go on holiday for the last 3 months has refocused some people’s holiday thoughts back to the UK; in particular those who have holiday homes abroad and have not been able to access them. This office and our branch in Cornwall are busy and we are continuing to get a lot of enquiries.

Going forward, we will continue to see solid buying interest in the southern counties for the rest of the year. Supply will increase over the next couple of months and I believe transaction levels will be high. Good houses priced correctly will sell quickly and possibly in competition.

The benefits of instructing a Buying Agent based in the area you are looking who has expert knowledge, good local contacts, an excellent track record and a close relationship with all the local agents, will pay dividends in the current climate. At Stacks we have been doing video viewings for our expat clients for the last twelve years. Our local agents know which pubs are noisy, which roads are busy and where the flightpaths are, despite none of these being completely apparent in the current situation. Local knowledge and contacts are more important than ever.

What a very frustrating start to the year!  The housing market in the south of England was lively for the first three months and plenty of deals were being done. Brexit was agreed, we have a government with a solid majority for the first time in over a decade and after a few years of a slow property market all the signs were indicating a busy Spring. Then lockdown came along! 

The housing market is now effectively closed until the end of lockdown, but the big question is where prices will be when we are allowed back to work. There was good demand for houses in Hants/West Sussex & Surrey before the outbreak and I believe that pent-up demand will still be there. We often see bricks & mortar investment after a downturn which should help to underpin prices in this instance. There might also be further interest in this area from families in London who were planning a move out in the next few years, but have decided to bring that forward after craving for more space during the lockdown period. I think there will still be good demand.

Before March 23rd, estate agents were attending a lot of valuations with a number of potential sellers wanting to wait until their gardens looked at their best in the Spring. Whether any of these owners will change their minds after this remains to be seen, but agents may also see some new instructions from people who have been hit hard by the current economic restrictions. Sellers will have to be realistic because buyers will think they have the upper hand in this climate, but if a house is priced sensibly, I think it will still create buying interest and achieve the right price.

Everything depends on how long lockdown goes on for. At the moment it appears that this situation will be in place until the end of April and quite possibly into May, if it lasts beyond that then I will have to re-evaluate. However I think that there is a very good chance that the demand for solid houses in Hants/West Sussex & Surrey will continue to outstrip supply, with a caveat that I expect buyers to be very cautious about spending too much. Therefore at the end of lockdown, I believe prices will start again where they left off and plateau for the rest of the year. I expect more transactions than normal in the Summer market, and the traditionally high-turnover Autumn market will be very busy.

Finally!! After years of political uncertainty we appear to have reached a sojourn of confidence, possibly for the next five years. The housing market has suffered from a lack of optimism in the UK while all the Brexit stuff has been going on and business has been a little stilted, but now the chains are off. There is a lot of pent up demand built into the market at the moment and we believe the number of transactions will soar in 2020. We don’t think prices will follow suit and we believe a modest rise of up to 5% will be seen over the year (maybe more in London as confidence returns and foreign investors get busy before the government raise their taxes).

A few thoughts for 2020:

  • We have heard that some vendors in the south of England might believe that a Boris majority will have added an extra 20% to the value of their houses. This is not going to happen.
  • Buyers now have more valuation tools at their disposal than ever before and although we expect good demand throughout 2020, it is only the houses that are priced correctly that will sell, and they could sell very very quickly.
  • Buyers will have to be in a good position and able to proceed financially with the purchase at the point of making an offer.
  • A well-priced house with no blights will probably attract multiple bids and so purchasers who don’t have a property to sell or who have their financials in place, will be preferred over others.

If you are thinking of moving in the near future then maybe the sooner the better. We think that there are quite a large number of people who have put their moves on hold while all the political shenanigans have played out and there will be a good opportunity to participate in an active market in 2020, for the first time in 4yrs.

The benefits of having someone on the ground, in the area you are hoping to buy, with good private contacts and excellent relationships with all the local estate agents, has proved to be invaluable for our clients. If a good house becomes available at the right price, especially during quiet times, you have to be able to move very quickly. Over the last two years, 80% of the houses our clients bought were never advertised on the internet, in some cases we found them privately and in others we were informed about them very early on and our clients had their offers accepted before the agent had the time to put a brochure and web page together.

Stacks also has a fantastic track record. Currently national figures suggest that 40% of Sales are falling through (!!!), this Stacks office has had 0% fall-throughs for over 5yrs. Estate Agents know this and that is why they like dealing with us and it ensures that our clients and their offers, are always taken very seriously in the negotiating phase.

The housing market in Hampshire, West Sussex and Surrey in 2019 has obviously been affected by Brexit and all the political turmoil, however we believe this is a buying opportunity.

We have now had 3 years of severe political uncertainty, starting with the lead-up to the referendum and culminating with numerous delays since the UK was supposed to leave the EU on March 29th. All things considered, property prices in the southern counties have held out very well. One might have reasonably expected that prices would have come under pressure during these difficult times, as they have done in London, and yet we find them almost unchanged over this period. The number of transactions has taken a hit as a lot of potential sellers have decided to put their moves on hold because of the misconception that prices are down and there are no buyers around, however this is wrong. There are of course lots of people who have not been able to postpone their move and have had to carry on with their lives over the past three years (for work reasons or kids getting to school age etc.) and they have struggled to find themselves the right property because the number of houses being marketed has dropped and therefore their options have been limited. The upshot of this is that when a decent house with no blights comes onto the market and it is fairly priced, it flies out of the window, often in the first week of viewings and sometimes in a bidding competition.

Our overriding feeling is that once we get some clarification as to what is actually going to happen with Brexit, the property market in the south will be unshackled and able to move ahead, with prices rising slowly. It can be argued that it almost doesn’t matter what the end result is, as long as we get a decision, allowing everyone to move forward again with confidence.

The benefit of having someone on the ground, in the area you are hoping to buy, with good private contacts and excellent relationships with all the local estate agents, has proven to be invaluable for our clients in 2018 and 2019. If a good house becomes available at the right price, especially during quiet times, you have to be able to move very quickly. Last year 80% of the houses our clients bought were never advertised on the internet, in some cases we found them privately and in others we were informed about them very early on and our clients had their offers accepted before the agent had the time to put a brochure together.

Stacks also has a fantastic track record in making sure our client’s purchases make it all the way to Completion. We only recommend good, focused solicitors who are usually ready to exchange contracts within 5 weeks, instead of the current average 5 months and 10 days that other convayancing solicitors think is acceptable. In Q4 2018, national figures suggest that 49.2% of sales fell through (!!!), this office has had 0% fall-throughs for over 5yrs. Estate Agents know the above and that is why they like dealing with us and it ensures that our clients and their offers, are always taken very seriously in the negotiating phase.

Stacks are totally independant Buying Agents with close relationships and regular contact with all estate agents and other property professionals, so we posess a good all-round view of our local markets. After a slow start for the property market in Hampshire, Surrey and West Sussex, activity picked up in April and has been continuing ever since, albeit at a slightly slower rate than normal. Some estate agents have had a confusing year, with targets not being met some months, but then far exceeding their goals in other months. I don’t think any rocket science algorythms are needed to explain this, it’s all been down to price. There have been plenty of serious buyers around but in the current uncertain political climate they are being extremely wary (when making their biggest and most important financial commitment of their lives) not to pay too much for their new homes.

All estate agents are reporting this year tougher than usual to put deals together. As well as vendors needing to be very pragmatic and sensible about their asking price, many buyers have not been particularly clever in 2018 either. Prices have been relatively stable in the south all year, probably drifting off slightly in the autumn, we have not experienced the drop in prices that London has seen.The press always takes the whole country’s stats when reporting the current climate in the property market, which is obviously skewed by the situation in London, this has posed a problem for estate agents in the south this year as a lot of buyers have been automatically offering 20% below the asking price because they think it is a buyer’s market. This is not the case and it has more been about what a house is actually worth. A classic example in September was a house in Surrey which had been on the market for £1.45m for a while and in the last two months of marketing had 5 viewings and 1 offer (which was more than a 20% discount to the asking price). The vendors deided to drop the price to £1.25m and immediately got 20 viewings in 2 weeks and 3 offers at, or above, the asking price.

I am expecting a quiet winter at least until we get some sort of decision on Brexit (!!) and then I believe activity will pick up briskly and prices could follow. In almost any market of any product, uncertainty causes stagnation, inactivity, and prices to drop slightly and then when a decision is made the market and prices pick up. Very often it doesn’t matter what the decision is, just the fact that the uncertainty has gone allows confidence and activity to return. I think  the next few months are a buying opportunity.

The benefits of having someone on the ground, in the area you are hoping to buy, with good private contacts and excellent relationships with all the local estate agents, has proven to be invaluable for our clients so far this year. Especially during quiet times, if a good house becomes available at the right price, you have to be able to move very quickly. One of our clients bought a property in Hampshire in the Summer, their offer was not the highest but the estate agent informed the vendor that Stacks’ clients were much more likely to make it to completion quickly without messing around and they also had no chain which is always very beneficial. The seller accepted our client’s offer and they are now very happy in their new home. Stacks’ reputation amongst estate agents is of a professional, hard-working, no-nonsense company who they enjoy dealing with. Last year 80% of the houses our clients bought were never advertised on the internet, in some cases we found them privately and in others we were informed about them very early on and our clients had their offers accepted before the agent had the time to get all of the details on the property portals.

In Hampshire, Surrey and West Sussex the property market started off in a very sluggish fashion and after a brief flurry of good activity in April & May, it seems to have slowed again in June. Prices have remained relatively stable and that may have something to do with the continuing poor supply of new instructions. To have any chance of securing your new home you need to be alert, quick to react, understand the true value of the property you want to buy and then get the deal through to exchange as quickly as possible. In the UK the average time from the acceptance of an offer to exchange of contracts is over 3 months, we consistently manage to help our clients and their solicitors to that point in under 5 weeks, and this dramatically diminishes the chances of the deal falling through.

In the second half of the year there is a high chance that the current state of affairs will persist. A recent statistic showed that in 1988 people were likely to move every 7.4yrs on average, the latest stats for this year show that this has rocketed to only every 19.2yrs. We think that demand is still likely to outstrip supply and prices in the south will remain mostly unchanged again, despite the hammering that prices in London have taken.

The benefits of having someone on the ground, in the area you are hoping to buy, with good private contacts and excellent relationships with all the local estate agents, has proven to be invaluable for our clients so far this year. One of our clients has just exchanged on a property in Hampshire, their offer was not the highest but the estate agent informed the vendor that Stacks’ clients were much more likely to make it to completion quickly without messing around and they also had no chain which is always very beneficial. Stacks’ reputation amongst estate agents is of a professional, hard-working, no nonsense company who they enjoy dealing with. Last year 80% of the houses our clients bought were never advertised on the internet, in some cases we found them privately and in others we were informed about them very early on and our clients had their offers accepted before the agent had the time to get all of the details on the property portals.

There are some excellent properties available but you have to be on the ball. Let’s hope the England football team are too!

What will a Stacks buying agent in Hampshire, West Sussex & Surrey do for you?

Professional Expertise

We’ll talk with you about how you want to live, the demands of your work, and your plans. We’ll establish what you need from your next home… and why.

Finding a Property

We’ll scour the market, bend the ears of our contacts, and hound the estate agents. We’ll leave no stone unturned to find the right home for you.

Saving you Money

We’ll haggle hard and bring all that we’ve discovered to bear to agree the best terms on your behalf. Our clients enjoy preferred bidder status with estate agents. 

Trouble Free Completion

We’ll problem-bust, tackle obstacles, arrange surveys, and liaise with planners. A myriad of issues can raise their head at this point… we’ll deal with them all for you.

Call Bill to discuss what you are looking for.
Tel: 07792 807770

How We Do It

“You showed fantastic attention to detail, anticipated all eventualities, and provided timely and practical help and guidance every step of the way.  Above all, you supported me in making my own considered decisions, and I am so grateful to you for all your help in getting me to where I am now!”

“We firmly believe that without Rachel and her skilled negotiation we would not have secured the property.”

“We felt they genuinely wanted to help.”

“Stacks’ performance on this assignment has been absolutely outstanding and more than met my expectations. Her understanding of the brief and the ‘after-find’ service set a standard of professionalism that I have not met before.”

“It is not often that one is pleased to part with money but I can truthfully say that I am on this occasion. You have earned every penny of this cheque and what is more, you have done it with great courtesy and good humour. It has been very pleasant working with you. You really did take most of the stress out of our house hunting.”

“Encouraging me to think creatively about what could work for me.”

“Finding a plot not yet on the market and persuading the developer to enter into an exclusive contract with me to build to my specification.

“I was impressed by the efficient, kind and courteous service provided by Stacks”

“Stacks were a tremendous help and we would never have found our home without them. She is a lovely person with a great sense of humour which was essential during some of our tricky negotiations

“You gave a much-valued ‘younger’ perspective on our situation, which was a real asset”

“We found the service extremely helpful and professional at all times”

“I have been delighted with the service I have received from Stacks and will not hesitate to recommend Stacks in the future.”

 
Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive updates about the world of property, straight to your inbox.

* indicates required