Market Comment

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!

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

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"You have found us a superb home which we feel fortunate to call our own."
2018-11-21T13:18:39+00:00
"You have found us a superb home which we feel fortunate to call our own."
"Well done in taking us to a house we didn’t know we wanted … and then fell in love with!"
2018-11-21T13:14:45+00:00
"Well done in taking us to a house we didn’t know we wanted … and then fell in love with!"
"...took just days to come up with the property that fitted all our criteria"

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"
"We are delighted with our choice and so are the children."
2018-11-21T13:08:49+00:00
"We are delighted with our choice and so are the children."
"Thank you very much for the professionalism, patience and understanding"
2018-11-21T12:55:04+00:00
"Thank you very much for the professionalism, patience and understanding"
"The best decision we could have made!"
2018-11-21T12:55:52+00:00
"The best decision we could have made!"
"I completely underestimated how much of a difference you would make"
2018-11-21T12:43:03+00:00
"I completely underestimated how much of a difference you would make"
"Through the whole process they went above and beyond, and it was worth every penny!"
2018-11-21T12:59:15+00:00
"Through the whole process they went above and beyond, and it was worth every penny!"
"We cannot imagine how long it would have taken us to find our perfect home without Stacks – and we suspect that we would have compromised a long time ago!"
2018-11-21T13:09:36+00:00
"We cannot imagine how long it would have taken us to find our perfect home without Stacks – and we suspect that we would have compromised a long time ago!"
"You made a huge difference to our search as I am sure you do for all your clients."
2019-05-02T11:00:08+00:00
"You made a huge difference to our search as I am sure you do for all your clients."
"Being able to 'stand behind' Stacks, whilst they brought their negotiating skills to the fore, took us to another level"
2018-11-21T12:22:38+00:00
"Being able to 'stand behind' Stacks, whilst they brought their negotiating skills to the fore, took us to another level"
"Relentlessly provided us with the context and facts we needed to make an informed decision "
2018-11-21T12:50:28+00:00
"Relentlessly provided us with the context and facts we needed to make an informed decision "
"You we able to give us confidence that we were doing the right thing"
2018-11-21T13:20:39+00:00
"You we able to give us confidence that we were doing the right thing"
"Should I move again, I shall definitely use you again"
2018-11-21T12:51:23+00:00
"Should I move again, I shall definitely use you again"
“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
“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.”
"It made a potentially very stressful process very straightforward"
2018-11-21T12:48:37+00:00
"It made a potentially very stressful process very straightforward"
"They've been a close and very helpful part of our discussions with everybody. When you’re new to a town and an area, that’s priceless."
2018-11-21T12:58:19+00:00
"They've been a close and very helpful part of our discussions with everybody. When you’re new to a town and an area, that’s priceless."
"found us a home in a sought-after area with a high demand for properties and very little on offer"
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"
"The house is ideal ... and it is nothing like our first (unsuitable) ideas!"
2018-11-21T12:56:37+00:00
"The house is ideal ... and it is nothing like our first (unsuitable) ideas!"
"got our offer accepted even when it was not the highest"
2018-11-21T12:38:34+00:00
"got our offer accepted even when it was not the highest"
"...negotiate on anything"

Financial Times

2018-11-06T14:00:36+00:00

Financial Times

"...negotiate on anything"
"Because I had invested in the process of working with a Buying Agent, I had the confidence to go ahead"
2018-11-21T12:21:23+00:00
"Because I had invested in the process of working with a Buying Agent, I had the confidence to go ahead"
"You saved me many miles of driving and were very professional"
2018-11-21T13:19:40+00:00
"You saved me many miles of driving and were very professional"
"We were in a tricky housing situation, looking to buy a very specific type of house and needing to find it in a very specific time frame"
2018-11-21T13:12:00+00:00
"We were in a tricky housing situation, looking to buy a very specific type of house and needing to find it in a very specific time frame"
"They didn’t try to persuade us to buy anything unsuitable."
2018-11-21T12:57:31+00:00
"They didn’t try to persuade us to buy anything unsuitable."
"You have exceeded our expectations for a buy-side property service and have made the process a smooth one for us."
2018-11-21T13:18:01+00:00
"You have exceeded our expectations for a buy-side property service and have made the process a smooth one for us."
"Despite other interested parties, Stacks were able to help us secure our preferred property."
2018-11-21T12:32:12+00:00
"Despite other interested parties, Stacks were able to help us secure our preferred property."
"Stacks has been an invaluable source of experience and wisdom on the successful landing of just the right house"
2018-11-21T12:53:20+00:00
"Stacks has been an invaluable source of experience and wisdom on the successful landing of just the right house"
"a fantastic job in impossible circumstances"
2018-11-21T12:17:11+00:00
"a fantastic job in impossible circumstances"
“We really enjoyed working with Sara and Stacks and would highly recommend having them on your side in the home buying process”
2019-06-19T13:54:55+00:00
“We really enjoyed working with Sara and Stacks and would highly recommend having them on your side in the home buying process”
"Would not hesitate to use you again."
2018-11-21T13:16:29+00:00
"Would not hesitate to use you again."
"delivered a great service at a reasonable cost"
2018-11-21T12:30:52+00:00
"delivered a great service at a reasonable cost"
"always courteous and pleasant, and most importantly, in our opinion, trustworthy."
2018-11-21T12:19:57+00:00
"always courteous and pleasant, and most importantly, in our opinion, trustworthy."
"Practically, I needed someone to do the legwork and the eye-balling"
2018-11-21T12:49:38+00:00
"Practically, I needed someone to do the legwork and the eye-balling"
"We were moving country – had booked the packers – and had nowhere to move into!"
2018-11-21T13:12:46+00:00
"We were moving country – had booked the packers – and had nowhere to move into!"
"I’ve seldom had such consistent, wise support in a major life decision, and I can’t emphasize enough how helpful it is."
2018-11-21T12:46:40+00:00
"I’ve seldom had such consistent, wise support in a major life decision, and I can’t emphasize enough how helpful it is."
"In essence, you are buying your best ally "
2018-11-21T12:47:38+00:00
"In essence, you are buying your best ally "
"Stacks had the critical combination of expertise and tenacity to broker a solution for us"
2018-11-21T12:52:31+00:00
"Stacks had the critical combination of expertise and tenacity to broker a solution for us"
"We love the house and cannot wait to move in and get settled."
2018-11-21T13:10:27+00:00
"We love the house and cannot wait to move in and get settled."
"was fantastic at explaining and helping us with everything that was happening"
2018-11-21T13:07:43+00:00
"was fantastic at explaining and helping us with everything that was happening"
"Without somebody on the ground asking the right questions on our behalf, finding a home would have been truly impossible."
2018-11-21T13:15:37+00:00
"Without somebody on the ground asking the right questions on our behalf, finding a home would have been truly impossible."
"a calming, guiding presence where nothing was too much trouble"
2018-11-21T12:13:26+00:00
"a calming, guiding presence where nothing was too much trouble"
"Stacks takes great pride in their service, is an expert in their field and above all, demonstrated integrity in all our interaction with them"
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"
"Your advice on how to effectively instruct and motivate our professional team allowed us to complete in one month."
2018-11-21T13:22:31+00:00
"Your advice on how to effectively instruct and motivate our professional team allowed us to complete in one month."
"We would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending them to anyone thinking of using such a service"
2018-11-21T13:13:46+00:00
"We would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending them to anyone thinking of using such a service"
"great value to us during a difficult, competitive purchase"
2018-11-21T12:39:48+00:00
"great value to us during a difficult, competitive purchase"
"found precisely what I was looking for, and even on my request made an offer before I had even seen the property!!"
2018-11-21T12:35:46+00:00
"found precisely what I was looking for, and even on my request made an offer before I had even seen the property!!"
"utterly tenacious..."
2018-11-21T13:06:52+00:00
"utterly tenacious..."
"carried out with discretion"
2018-11-21T12:28:29+00:00
"carried out with discretion"
"I gained a house, setting and location which are right for me"
2018-11-21T12:43:48+00:00
"I gained a house, setting and location which are right for me"
"I would recommend using Stacks as they are well connected to the property market and provide a realistic assessment of activity and pricing."
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."
"helped our parents downsize from the family home, in what was a traumatic move for them"
2018-11-21T12:41:04+00:00
"helped our parents downsize from the family home, in what was a traumatic move for them"
"You have an empathetic approach which, added to your knowledge and wise guidance, has made the whole thing a lot less stressful"
2018-11-21T13:17:15+00:00
"You have an empathetic approach which, added to your knowledge and wise guidance, has made the whole thing a lot less stressful"
"I needed the continuous advice and support on the many issues that can and do arise, and, above all, someone acting in one’s own interest."
2018-11-21T12:44:59+00:00
"I needed the continuous advice and support on the many issues that can and do arise, and, above all, someone acting in one’s own interest."
"extremely helpful, knowledgeable and tireless in their efforts to assist us"
2018-11-21T12:33:22+00:00
"extremely helpful, knowledgeable and tireless in their efforts to assist us"
"We now own a most suitable house in the position of our dreams thanks to Stacks"
2018-11-21T13:11:13+00:00
"We now own a most suitable house in the position of our dreams thanks to Stacks"
"You were able, by taking on much of the responsibility and the effort, to enable us to relax and enjoy the process"
2018-11-21T13:21:20+00:00
"You were able, by taking on much of the responsibility and the effort, to enable us to relax and enjoy the process"
"How extraordinary to have found what we were looking for"
2018-11-21T12:42:07+00:00
"How extraordinary to have found what we were looking for"

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