• Better sales contracts might stop overvaluing and silly asking prices

    Friday, February 18, 2011

    Better sales contracts might stop overvaluing and silly asking prices

    We’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.
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  • Politicians should concentrate on what they CAN do to help housing

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    Politicians should concentrate on what they CAN do to help housing

    Politicians 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.
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  • 2010 went out like “a bit of a damp squib" Michael Hodgson reflects on 2010 and looks forward to 2011 in our Market Report....

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    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%.
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  • “I  believe that London home owners have an inherent desire that they have to sell for a higher price than they bought for" George Franks, Sales Director takes a look at what is happening in the Sales Market

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    “I believe that London home owners have an inherent desire that they have to sell for a higher price than they bought for" George Franks, Sales Director takes a look at what is happening in the Sales Market

    Every time you pick up a newspaper and read a report on the property market, it reminds me of a game of tennis. The property reporters can’t decide whether the property market is rising or falling but in true journalistic style, the baseline returns talk of huge peaks and troughs. This discussion will go on for many years to come which in my opinion proves the irrelevance of it all. Let’s make one thing absolutely clear, there is no such thing as a “property” market. Even in the areas of Central and South West London that we cover, every office experiences differences in its market. Chelsea, for example, will have a very different outlook in terms of international buyers than let’s say West Putney, which is indeed very much a family market.
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  • The Rental Market, Virginia Skilbeck, Director of Lettings, comments "The squeeze on available stock is ...fuelling rent rises"

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    The Rental Market, Virginia Skilbeck, Director of Lettings, comments "The squeeze on available stock is ...fuelling rent rises"

    The main problem facing our lettings offices at the moment is a dire shortage of property. In our Chelsea office for example, as I write, we have 34 properties available to rent. This time 2 years ago, if you were looking to rent through D&G in Chelsea, you would have been able to chose between over 80 different properties! So it's a dramatically different market, offering very restricted choice to tenants, whereas landlords are often in the enviable position of having more than one offer coming through at the same time.
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  • "Media savvy Ed Mead wonders whether tweeting in people's Face is really the way forward."

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    "Media savvy Ed Mead wonders whether tweeting in people's Face is really the way forward."

    There's a lot of rubbish being talked about how corporate entities can gain traction from such sites as Twitter and Facebook in order to gain competitive advantage. Conversely, the whole thing is fluid and subject to change. One important issue is that the drivers of change in these sites tend to be a totally different age from those running the companies looking to use them. Take Facebook, most users will be in the 20 - 30 age bracket. Given the average age of a first time buyer is 36, most users will not appreciate a page that's simply an extension of a corporate website. Research shows that most users only "like" 5 or so companies, and so is it simply too early to jump on the bandwagon. A few have done and their pages are cringe making, although I am 50 so am bound to, aren't I?
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  • Douglas & Gordon opens in Notting Hill

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    Douglas & Gordon opens in Notting Hill

    Following the success of our Kensington Church Street office over the last 5 years, our market was pushing us progressively into the Notting Hill area. We are delighted to announce the opening of our Notting Hill branch, which is located at 299 Westbourne Grove. This new office will not only cover the immediate area but will also market properties within the surrounding areas including Holland Park, Bayswater and North Kensington.
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  • Winter 2011 Market Report

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Winter 2011 Market Report

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  • Ironic customer service award on TV last night

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Ironic customer service award on TV last night

    Drab TV really wasn’t it. It was cringe making and frustrating in equal measure and really quite brave of Simon Gerrard to open his company to scrutiny. Nice easy target for Mary Portas and it took a while to start to understand what she was on about having never seen her program before. By the end her efforts were rewarded and it was possible to see that like any customer facing business that has a bloody great arc light shone into it there’s room for improvement.
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