Monthly Archives: April 2017

The Market

The MarketAnalysing and understanding the UK property market is notoriously difficult. Conflicting reports and biased perspectives often confuse people who simply want a degree of reassurance that their purchase or sale is well-timed. Many people who currently have no intention of moving are also naturally curious about the value of their home, which is usually their biggest investment.

There are two angles on the property market that interest us most – property values, which are driven by the relative balance of supply and demand, and transaction volumes, which are primarily influenced by confidence levels and affordability.

The past year has been relatively unstable: we saw a massive rush to purchase buy-to-let investment properties before a change to the SDLT tax regime in March 2016. We then had the Brexit referendum, a change in Prime Minister, an American election and continuing sporadic terrorist activity. Yet through all this, the property market has remained strong in terms of prices, primarily due to lower supply levels as people “wait and see what’s going to happen”. And what usually “happens” is “not much”! Life goes on following anything other than a major crisis. And there have been no major crises in the property market for years.

The market is certainly gaining a long-awaited fluidity, with transaction volumes having risen about 21% compared to February. Any comparison with the same time last year would of course be distorted by last year’s SDLT deadline. However, the pace of house price growth continues to soften; whilst The Land Registry puts annual price growth at 5.8% there will always be a time lag in this behind asking prices. Rightmove currently reports annual asking prices up 2.3% compared with 7.6% this time last year, so we expect reported Land Registry figures to reflect this damping in the coming months.

And what of the election? The consensus is that this election is unlikely to have any major effects on the property market. Any potentially scary stuff has already happened in the past twelve months and whatever the outcome of the election there is unlikely to be any fallout that would have any significant bearing on whether people will choose to buy or sell their home. There are fewer speculative sales than ever before, with most transactions stimulated by a genuine need to move, prompted by the real stuff of life – a job change, marriage, a growing or shrinking family, debt, divorce, etc. The election is unlikely to affect any of these and it is also fortunate that polling day, on 8th June, will follow a very short campaign.

As ever, we British keep calm and carry on. So if you plan to move house, there really is nothing standing in your way and we’d be delighted to help you move. Why not contact us today for an idea of how our marketing plans could make this as profitable and painless as possible? You might be pleasantly surprised.

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What are the most popular properties and areas to live in?

RAN_4col_block_stackedAre you selling an in-demand property-type? Are you looking for a home in a sought-after area? According to a recent survey by Relocation Agent Network, the type of property and area that buyers are looking to move to has remained largely unchanged when compared to seven years ago.

Popular Properties
Taken amongst Relocation Agent Network members across England, Scotland and Wales (including us), the survey not only found that two to three bedroom houses were the most in demand in 2010, but they are the most sought-after property this year too. Indeed, over 81% of survey respondents – the vast majority – indicated that two to three bedroom houses were the most in demand so far this year. That’s just one percentage point (82%) below what respondents indicated in 2010.

City Centre Vs. Suburbs
The most popular area-types also remained relatively unchanged, with respondents rating ‘suburban areas’ and ‘town/city centres’ as the top two in demand areas for both 2010 and 2017. Interestingly this year, suburban living climbed 11 percentage points (57%). This was compared to 46% of 2010 respondents indicating that the suburbs were the most popular area-type. And the number of people searching for properties in rural areas actually fell this year to 3%, compared to 11% seven years ago.

Thinking of selling?
Richard James Estate Agents is a selected member of Relocation Agent Network, who has chosen us as East Northants Local Expert, based on our customer service and a variety of other criteria. Not only does this prove our credentials as one of the area’s leading estate agents, but through our Network membership, we are able to offer sellers a completely unique channel of buyer that no other estate agent in East Northants can provide. Visit to find out more.

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Tenants – Help Us to Help You.

TenantsLetting agents love the challenge of helping you find your ideal home. Sometimes however, it can be more of a challenge than need be. So if you are looking to rent a property, here are a few guidelines that will really help us to help you:

• Turn up for viewings at the agreed time.
We use our knowledge and experience to calculate how long a viewing takes, so if you arrive 15 minutes late, then a substantial part of that appointment time is lost, or worse still we may think you are not going to turn up and so you miss the viewing altogether. So if you can’t make it or are going to be late please do ring and tell us. You’ll always get a friendly and courteous response and we’re happy to arrange an alternative time.

• Tell us what’s important to you
We want to show you properties that are most relevant to you, so talk to us about your preferences in detail. If all that matters is being ten minutes walk from the railway station or having somewhere for the children to play football or the property being in absolutely perfect decorative order, then please tell us and we’ll suggest the places that we think best meet your needs. We’ll also advise if we feel you may need to compromise in some areas.

• Tell us what you really think of a property.
Remember that our job is to ensure that you make the right choice of property, so please tell us what you really think of those we show you. We won’t be offended, and can use this information to help you better going forward.

Simple really – and highly effective!

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Tips For First Time Buyers

FTB box

First time buyers do not always demonstrate to estate agents the same level of urgency as someone who is selling. If you are eager to view, you’ll be top of the list when something new comes on the market.

Here are some other tips for first time buyers to conclude our series on this topic:

  • Be prepared to view at short notice. This not only demonstrates your seriousness, but also means that you will be among the first to see properties which have just come on the market – which are often the best! Good properties never hang around long!
  • Make good use of your lunch hour or view properties on the way to or from work.
  • Don’t be afraid to visit with tradesmen to find out if your plans for a property are realistic before you commit to buying.
  • If you’re tempted to buy a run-down property to renovate, check how long it’s been on the market. If no-one else thought it was viable you might want to think twice.
  • New carpets, bathrooms and kitchens can either suggest that the property has been recently renovated or could be a sign of a quick tart up job! Take your time and look beyond the superficial.
  • A vendor who offers to show you a record of the works done on the property, ideally with their cost, is generally likely to be thorough and transparent in their dealings.
  • If you do discover a defect, is it really going to be such a problem to your enjoyment of the property? Some compromise is inevitable and most people find they quickly learn to live with, or can easily remedy, all but the most serious of faults.
  • If you see something you like – go for it before somebody else does!
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