It is certainly feeling somewhat autumnal as the weather gets colder and wetter and with British Summer Time officially ending on 29th October.
As we write, the shops are full of Halloween frippery and the first week of November seeks Guy Fawkes Night with many local fireworks displays organised. No sooner these events have passed than many thoughts will start to turn to Christmas.
There is however a lot else going on. Negotiations over Brexit continue and, crucially, the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be delivering his autumn budget statement on 22nd November with inflation rising and the likelihood of the first rise in the Bank of England base rate for ten years just around the corner.
The budget statement is likely to see housing issues feature quite strongly with announcements on increasing house building and changes to lettings regulation to the fore.
There has been much lobbying from across the property industry on the subject of stamp duty, particularly since the additional 3% surcharge was added on purchases of second homes and investments. We shall have to wait and see if Mr Hammond looks to pull a rabbit out of his hat on this one!
There is certainly a need to create more momentum in the housing market, both in the private sales and rental sectors and in the provision of affordable and social housing. Increasing supply will ultimately help affordability but demand currently outstrips supply by such a large multiplier that this will take some time and a range of “interventionist” measures such as a continuation of Help 2 Buy on new homes and, possibly, changes to stamp duty seem the most likely options.
In the meantime, the market continues. There remains a large part of the population that cannot afford to sit on their hands and wait and that needs to get on and buy, sell, let and rent and that is what is happening.
Sensible pricing is key to attracting interest but there are still good levels of activity across all markets from those who need to transact.
Motivated sellers and buyers are agreeing transactions as are motivated landlords and tenants.
As we enter the last two months of the year it is getting less likely to be able to complete a sale or purchase this side of 2018 but this opportunity still exists in the rental market.
Key to successfully transacting in today’s market is the combination of professional, experienced advice, great marketing and a detailed understanding of all party’s requirements. It is not a question of simply putting a property on the internet and waiting for an enquiry which is the modus opearndi of many of the pay up front, internet only, operators.
Paying an upfront fee, irrespective of result, can be a huge cost and we are now selling and letting many properties where the client has tried that approach only to end up getting the result they need via our combination of traditional, customer focused service and innovative marketing and reach. An approach proven over many year and across all market conditions.
The market is currently challenging but it is not bad. In our opinion, there are no such things as “bad markets” just “bad estate agents” who fail to adjust their approach and advice to meet the needs of their clients in whatever market conditions prevail.
If you are looking to sell or buy or let or rent, speak to our local team and we shall be pleased to assist you with your plans.
Chris Harper and Darren Murphy