Thursday, May 12, 2011Read more
Too much secrecy surrounding house buying process, Ed responds to Graham Norwood
Tuesday, May 03, 2011Read more
It comes easel-y
Tuesday, May 03, 2011Read more
Good recession bad recession, bad for property but better to come
Thursday, April 14, 2011Read more
April fools day was Apr 5th this year
Friday, April 01, 2011Read more
Wednesday, March 02, 2011Read more
Lettings IS the new salesBack in 2008 when sales volumes dived many agents had a two pronged attack to stay afloat. Most slashed staff numbers, and if they didn’t have a lettings side they rushed to start one. If that lettings operation hasn’t flourished it’s likely they’re going to rue the day they didn’t concentrate more on it. With sales volumes around our ankles and the English Housing Survey last week claiming there are now 40% more of us in rented than there were 5 years ago, and that that number set to climb, rentals will supplant sales in terms of income generation. The main driver was lack of mortgage finance and given that for the life of me I can’t see this changing in the near future surely that rented figure must rise very significantly. So any estate agency without a solid rentals base is going to be in serious trouble very soon. Rules are being tightened for landlords and tenants but redress is still not a mandatory requirement for lettings agents and with money being handled the opportunities for fraud continue to pile up and seem likely to increase. Never has the need to have a good agent to handle your rental, and this applies to landlords and to tenants, been so great. Having watched as a friend’s son on gap year was ripped off trying to secure a flat in Sydney by some indescribably grubby Nigerian scammer it’s equally tempting to save money, again either as a landlord or a tenant, by cutting out agents, but it’s a false economy.
Friday, February 18, 2011Read more
Better sales contracts might stop overvaluing and silly asking pricesWe’ve got as many buyers registering as we’ve had since the credit crunch (remember that, seems like so long ago now) but there are distinctly Egyptian rumblings amongst many buyers that wild asking prices are getting out of hand. The problem stems in London from the fact that just because one or two properties sell for relatively high prices everyone with anything even vaguely similar immediately thinks theirs is worth the same. Their over confidence is bolstered by [desperate] agents trying to keep their registers more than one page long. As an agent it’s equally tempting to talk about silly fees and in 30 years of agency I’ve never known fees so low. If you combine that with catastrophic volumes you have a recipe for commercial disaster.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011Read more
Politicians should concentrate on what they CAN do to help housingPoliticians have no idea about housing, so says the press http://bit.ly/fe6X4G why should they, it’s a market. No one has really got any idea so disparate is our market and with Labour admitting they got it wrong and CLG carrying out a review of the private housing market it’s perhaps time for everyone to go back to encouraging people to move and to stop hand wringing. Ultimately various Governments have failingly addressed the supply side of the market, and they’ve periodically tried to encourage the demand side with the resulting boom and busts. So sensitive are homeowners as voters that it wouldn’t be that prescient to suggest that interest rates are watched more for their effect on the housing market than they are for Industry or anything else.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011Read more
2010 went out like “a bit of a damp squib" Michael Hodgson reflects on 2010 and looks forward to 2011 in our Market Report....2010 went out like a bit of a damp squib. Both the sales and lettings market saw growth throughout the year as a whole with properties increasing in value by an average of 11.5% and lettings average prices increasing by just under 16% in the year as a whole. However, both markets saw very little movement in the second six months of the year with sales only recording an increase of 1.7% and lettings 3.1%.