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No dinner party would be complete without talk of property values, gazumping, or someone who has made a killing, or a loss, on their home. We are obsessed with our bricks and mortar. More of us own our own home than any other European country – although this is decreasing as values have risen to unattainable levels for many.
On this crowded and class-conscious island, home ownership has always been associated with status and self-worth. Indeed, up until the late nineteenth century only property owners were allowed to vote. More recently, mortgages for the masses have further fuelled the thirst for ownership.
In less than a generation the proportion of adults living in their own home has leapt from a third to more than two-thirds. The pressures to buy are huge, but first time buyers are struggling to get a foot on the ladder unless the bank of Mum and Dad steps in. Mortgages for young people can be difficult to acquire and many parents, whose property wealth has grown dramatically over the past 30 years, are now moving to something smaller, thereby releasing equity for their fortunate off- spring.
So, more than any other time, the influence of the top of the market on the bottom of the market is greater than you might expect. Many of our top end sales are prompted by a bottom end need and the skill of a good estate agent is to ensure that the synergy between the two fits the needs of parents and children alike!
Of the relatively modest 1.5% annual increase in the price of new-to-market properties on the portal, 0.8% of this occurred last month! This is very much in line with our own observations of very buoyant start to the year, with enquiries from both buyers and sellers on the up.
To put this in context, many properties coming to market at this time of year would be expected to be priced at 1.6% higher than the previous month, so 0.8% demonstrates that these sellers are serious about selling.
It is the enquiries from sellers that are most encouraging. Only when more people come to market can buyer demand be satisfied. So many people have delayed moving because they feel they may not find a suitable property to buy. (This is a shame as we always have “off-market” properties available for these buyer/sellers).
The SDLT (Stamp Duty) break given to first-time buyers has undoubtedly had the desired effect, with about a third of sales going to this group of buyers. This makes so much sense as, according to the Halifax, it costs over 11% more to rent each month, than it does to buy, excluding any capital appreciation! Indeed, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) the supply of rental properties fell by 8% last month, which will only serve to put more upward pressure on rents.
The momentum has therefore started early this year, possibly due to pent-up frustrations caused by last year’s economic and political uncertainties. Combined with the usual spring rush, 2018 could turn out to be a pivotal year that sees more people who want to move house be able to do precisely that. And OUR job is to help make it happen! So if you’re contemplating a move, your timing could be perfect.
Why not call us for a friendly no-obligation chat on 01933 224400 and let’s turn that snow into go!
As a seller, it is tempting to accept the highest estate agent’s valuation you receive. However, there are three sound reasons why you should avoid overpricing your home initially, as overpriced property often ends up selling for less than it otherwise might have.
Firstly, buyers buy by comparison. Why should they buy your house if it is more expensive than a similar alternative? This simply does not make sense, and your property is unlikely to sell until such time as any competing homes have sold. By that time your house may have suffered overexposure and be “going stale” on the market.
Secondly, buyer activity is highest when the property is new on the market. If your price prevents buyers from seeing the house, you will have missed this opportunity and may have to wait some time before a suitable buyer is found. Competition between buyers drives up your price, whereas time on the market drives it down.
Thirdly – a clear response to sellers who say “but we can always take an offer!” The problem here is that if fewer buyers see your house, the chance of an offer being received is significantly reduced. The wrong price also attracts the wrong buyers, who have high expectations and are therefore unlikely to offer in any event. People tend to purchase a property at the top of their price range; so your likely buyer pool is people looking in a lower price range than your property, not a higher one. So don’t scare away the right buyers!
Intense buyer activity in the early days of marketing is the key to achieving the highest price for your property, and our job is to help you stimulate such activity.
So be realistic; be competitive; quote the right price and stick to it, and you should readily secure the highest price the market will pay for your home. Accurate pricing combined with an optimistic approach has been one of the keys to our being able to help so many people fulfil their home-moving dreams – to budget and on time!
We are all trying to raising funds for Prostate Cancer UK. This charity is helping to fight the battle against prostate cancer with over 40,000 men each year being diagnosed with this primary cancer which can spread to other organs.
I am running the Big Half in London on 4th March 2018, the 13.1 mile route starts on Tower Bridge and finishes at Cutty Sark. Although I am a recreational runner, I am trying to raise at least £100 for every mile, with a target of £1,310.
Please help to reach this target and help save the life of many men by early diagnosis.
At Richard James we know a thing or two about land and development consultancy.
If you have a large garden or own land which could form a ‘land assembly’ along with your neighbours our expertise is on hand to advise you about its potential for development.
The same applies if you own commercial premises or strategic land on the edge of settlement.
Or perhaps it’s a site with planning history.
The good news is there are many options open to you – and our land experts can help you maximise the value of your asset.
You may be thinking: ‘What’s my land worth?’
It’s a question we’re asked frequently.
When it comes to value, the best returns are typically achieved by obtaining planning permission to develop on land.
Getting planning permission and approval can be challenging to achieve and it often requires experience, technical knowledge and a great deal of tenacity. This is just one of the areas where we can help.
If you’re selling land, you’re in the driving seat.
You can choose the route which is most suited to you, and we can support you with advice to apply for planning yourself, or alternatively we could guide you through the process of selling to a house builder or developer.
It’s worth bearing in mind there are further valuable options if you choose this route and we can suggest the best one to suit your needs and expectations.
We work with house builders, planning consultants, architects and developers across Northamptonshire and can help you achieve the very best price within your timescales.
To find out more about intricacies of selling land and how we can help please don’t hesitate to contact our Planner, Daniel Morris for a chat on 01933 224400.
There is probably no all-encompassing answer. Typically, people initially investigate the market to find out what they can buy for their money. Inevitably, during this research they fall in love with the “ideal” property. As they have yet to sell, as purchasers, they find themselves in a weak position and are unlikely to have anything below an asking price offer accepted. After all, why should a vendor limit the sale of their property to the saleability of someone else’s?
Even if terms are agreed, then what? You end up being forced to sell quickly, possibly at a low figure, so that you don’t lose your new property. Annoyingly, once a property goes under offer, everyone seems to want it!
The difference between your expensive purchase and cheap sale could cost you as much as 20% more than the cost of a move in more controlled circumstances.
So be cool. Sell from a position of strength, and buy using the power of cash. A proceedable purchaser is a joy to the ears of an estate agent and you might even be offered “off market” properties of which other buyers are unaware.
As for that dream home – isn’t it rather a coincidence that the perfect property just happens to be on the market at the precise moment you are looking? There is always another one around the corner, and it may even be better! And if you don’t find a suitable property in time, then you are hardly likely to be homeless, as nobody is going to force you to sell until you are ready – it is entirely your decision.
We aim to reduce the pressure of moving for our clients in many ways, but our answer to the chicken and egg scenario is emphatic …the chicken!
Please feel free to contact us on 01933 224400 You’ll get straight-talking good advice and we should be able to give you an idea on the spot of how long it should take to get you moving.
James Rota, Hazel Loka and Amanda Smith from Richard James Estate Agents Wellingborough office have all received an ‘Advanced’ assessment as their company’s Relocation Agent Specialists. The 2018 assessment was awarded by Relocation Agent Network. It is achieved by going above and beyond in the relocation service, which individual staff members provide to relocating families moving either from or to the Northamptonshire area as assessed by Relocation Agent Network based on performance results.
Only 10% of Relocation Agent Specialists from Relocation Agent Network across England, Scotland and Wales have received the ‘Advanced’ award.
The Importance of Service Accreditation
James, Hazel and Amanda first qualified as a Relocation Agent Specialist in either 2014 or 2015 by completing Relocation Agent Network’s comprehensive online training programme, The Importance of Service. A national network of leading estate agents (of which Richard James is a member), Relocation Agent Network introduced the training programme to ensure each of their members provides the very highest customer service to those relocating around the UK.
To be successfully accredited, participants must complete three phases of learning, which begins with four training sessions on the importance of customer service. This is followed by three online seminars covering the Relocation Agent Network Referral Process and how best to help customers who are relocating around the UK. Finally, participants must convert their theoretical learning into a practical skill set by delivering assistance to three relocating customers.
Richard Fowler Co-Founder of Richard James said, “Having three Relocation Agent Specialists in the team offers our relocating customers the added assurance that they’ll be working with people who understand the relocation process, someone who can offer help and guidance along the way. We’re so proud that the performance of James, Hazel and Amanda has been assessed this year, resulting in them achieving the ‘Advanced’ award and it’s a great example of the continual development we invest in, here at Richard James.”
Relocating With Richard James Estate Agents
By working with fellow members across England, Scotland and Wales, Relocation Agent Network members provide an exclusive relocation referral service to customers. For those relocating to East Northants, Richard James guides their customers through the daunting task of moving to an unfamiliar location. This includes local area information on schools and amenities, popular neighbourhoods and (of course) finding the right property for them. As a Relocation Agent Specialist, James, Hazel and Amanda ensure that this process is made even smoother.
Relocation Agent Network’s Managing Director, Richard Tucker said, “Congratulations to all three members of the Richard James team. To be recognised for their performance this year and receive our ‘Advanced’ assessment is truly a fantastic achievement, with only a handful of people across the Network making the grade. Selected by us to represent the Network in East Northants, Richard James has proved themselves to be the area’s Local Expert. So with the addition of an in-house Relocation Agent Specialists, they have gone one step further to provide relocating buyers and sellers with the very best customer service.”
For example, according to the Land Registry, a total of 850,281residential properties were sold during 2017, which is a clear 14.6% fall on 2016 (although still 30% up on the low-point of 2008). In respect of properties listed as flats, terraced, semi-detached or detached, London was hardest hit at -27% and so was Manchester, supposedly the new kid on the “where to invest” block at -24%.
However, the problem with relying on Land Registry data is that it is seldom a true reflection of what is actually happening today. The recorded data is published at up to a month after registration of completion, which can be up to two months after actual completion, which is usually a month after exchange, which is often two months after the sale was agreed. That’s a total of up to six months after the sale was agreed. That’s a long time when the market can turn on the slightest change in public confidence based on a host of economic and/or political indicators!
Yet the latest data from Lloyds Bank suggests the market has turned. They state that the number of people moving is up 2% on this time last year. These figures are a more likely indicator of the current appetite for a move as they are based on the number of people identified as currently “active” in the market.
The continued climate of low interest rates, and a “let’s just get on with it” attitude to Brexit seem to be showing themselves in a new confidence towards the property market. We have certainly noticed a healthy increase in the number of people wanting to talk to us about marketing their property – especially the confidential, or “off-market”, sales for which we are known.
So it looks like spring might have sprung early this year! If you are considering a sale, our advice would be to do so sooner rather than later so that you can still take advantage of an undersupply of competing homes before the market really kicks in! Why not call us for an initial chat on 01933 224400?