Tuesday, September 27, 2016

“It’s Not Just About Selling”


Many estate agents put substantial emphasis on their ability to find a buyer, and they highlight this as a primary reason to sell through them.

However, we believe in going far beyond this. In many ways, finding a buyer is the easy bit! Most switched-on agents have access to most of the buyers in the market, primarily via their advertising in the press, website and portals, enabling them to build a large database of registered buyers.

But the issue is not actually about selling. For most people it’s about moving. Selling your home is only one component of the process, and for most it is not as exciting as the buying component! Whilst an agent’s sales success and their investment in technology and advertising will always be important to vendors, there does seem to be a huge gap in estate agency that provides the reassurance homeowners deserve when they are moving.

On average about a third of sales arranged in England and Wales fall through prior to exchange of contracts (although our own fall-through rate is substantially below this). The chances of a sale failing to exchange can be considerably reduced if the seller’s agents are as concerned about the whole move in context as they are about the sale in isolation. So often, it is issues relating to linked sales or purchases that can be the cause of problems, be they legal, structural or emotional.

Our aim is to make the process of buying and selling be the celebration it should be, rather than the daunting process it often is. So when you speak to one of our property advisers, don’t be surprised to find them as interested in your moving plans as they are in your sale. Because that’s what meaningful and relevant service is all about!      


So if you’d like to work with a committed and accountable agent who will actually help you move, then please do contact us for an initial chat on 01708 851999

Regards

Paul

Monday, September 26, 2016

13,300 People Live In Every Square Mile Of South Ockendon – Is South Ockendon Over Crowded?


South Ockendon is already in the clutches of a population crisis that has now started to affect the quality of life of those living in South Ockendon. There are simply not enough homes in South Ockendon to house the greater number of people wanting to live in the town. The burden on public services is almost at breaking point with many parents unable to send their child to their first choice of primary or secondary school and the chances of getting a decent Dentist or GP Doctor Surgery next to nil.

Well that’s what the papers would say.. but let’s look at real numbers, and in particular my specialist subject of South Ockendon Property, with the housing issue in South Ockendon. To start with, the UK has roughly 1,065 people per square mile – the second highest in Europe. The total area of South Ockendon itself is 1.457 square miles and there are 19,400 South Ockendon residents, meaning …

13,300 people live in each square mile of South Ockendon, it’s no wonder we appear to be bursting at the seams!

… but yet again, newspapers, politicians and property market bloggers quote big numbers to sell more newspapers, get elected or get people to read their blog (I recognise the irony!). A square mile is enormous, so the numbers look correspondingly large (and headline grabbing). Most people reading this will know what an ‘acre’ is, but those younger readers who don’t, it is an imperial unit of measurement for land and it is approximately 63 metres square.

In South Ockendon, only 19.03 people live in every acre of South Ockendon … not as headline grabbing, but a lot closer to home and relative to everyday life, and if I am being honest, a figure that doesn’t seem that bad.

Yet, the issue at hand is, we need more homes building. In 2007, Tony Blair set a target that 240,000 homes a year needed to be built to keep up with the population growth, whilst the Tory’s new target since 2010 was a more modest 200,000 a year. However, since 2010, as a country, we have only been building between 140,000 and 150,000 houses a year. So where are we going to build these homes .. because we have no space! Or do we?

Well, let me tell you this fascinating piece of information I found out recently in an official Government report. Looking specifically at England (as it is the most densely populated country of the Union), all the 20 million English homes cover only 1.1% of its land mass. That is not a typo, only one point one per cent (1.1%) of land in England is covered by residential property. In more detail, of all the land in the Country -

  •      Residential Houses and Flats 1.1%
  •         Gardens 4.3%
  •         Shops and Offices 0.7%
  •         Highways (Roads and Paths) 2.3%
  •         Railways 0.1%
  •         Water  (Rivers /Reservoirs) 2.6%
  •      Industry, Military and other uses 1.4%



.. leaving 88.5% as Open Countryside (and if you think about it, add to that the gardens, which are green spaces, and the country is 92.8% greenspace)


As a country, we have plenty of space to build more homes for the younger generation and the five million more homes needed in the next 20 years would use only 0.25% of the country’s land. Now I am not advocating building massive housing estates and 20 storey concrete and glass behemoth apartment blocks next to local beauty spots such as nearby Belhus Woods Country Park or Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve, but with some clever planning and joined up thinking, we really do need to think outside the box when it comes to how we are going to build and house our children and our children’s children in the coming 50 years in South Ockendon. If anyone has their own ideas, I would love to hear from you.


Regards

Paul

Friday, September 23, 2016

September 2016 Property Market Comment



Three months after the Brexit referendum and there has been no property market apocalypse as some had predicted. As ever, we British are very good at keeping calm and carrying on. Fortunately the referendum itself was simply a pointer to change, not a change in itself and we probably have three years over which to adjust to the gradual implications that may affect the market.

In the meantime, as with any major economic or political event, the market was somewhat put on hold over the summer, with reported transactions only now showing themselves. Whilst the latest transaction volumes were up year on year to July by 8.3%, this is lower than the 9.7% recorded last July. And most of these latest transactions would have been agreed prior to the referendum result.

More telling might be that mortgage approvals, according to e.surv, were nearly 5% down on the same time last year and house price growth according to The Halifax house price index is at its lowest for three years at 6.9%, down from 10% in March, although much of this fall could be attributed to seasonal effects and wild differences across the country. Some areas of London for example have experienced a slowdown whilst others have seen rises of up to 18.7%. The Land Registry now puts the average house price at £216,750 nationally – up 8.3% on the year based on July’s figures, while Rightmove reports a 10.5% hike in asking prices of new sellers during August.

Interestingly, the RICS reports that new sales listings have fallen at the fastest rate ever, possibly indicating a “wait and see” attitude from sellers. Buyers on the other hand appear much more confident, especially with interest rates at 0.25%! This imbalance of supply and demand, plus medium- to long-term uncertainty suggests that people considering a sale in 2017 and beyond might be well advised to bring their decision forward. Not only would they be able to maximise their own sale price, but they’d be in a stronger position as they themselves become buyers as more properties potentially come to market, at a time when things might not seem so rosy.

If we can help you reach the right decision for your own circumstances, then please feel free to call us on 01708 851999 for friendly, sincere, expert advice.

Regards

Paul

Ps. Hope you all have a good weekend!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The South Ockendon Love Affair with its 3,400 Terraced Houses


Call me old fashioned, but I do like the terraced house.   In fact, I have done some research that I hope you will find of interest my South Ockendon property market blog reading friends!

In architecture terms, a terraced or townhouse is a style of housing in use since the late 1600’s in the UK, where a row of symmetrical / identical houses share their side walls. The first terraced houses were actually built by a French man, Monsieur Barbon around St. Paul’s Cathedral within the rebuilding process after the Great Fire of London in 1666.  Interestingly, it was the French that invented the terraced house around 1610-15 in the Le Marais district of Paris with its planned squares and properties with identical facades. However, it was the 1730’s in the UK, that the terraced/townhouse came into its own in London and of course in Bath with the impressive Royal Crescent.

However, we are in South Ockendon, not Bath, so the majority of our South Ockendon terraced houses were built in the Victorian era.  Built on the back of the Industrial Revolution, with people flooding into the towns and cities for work in Victorian times, the terraced house offered decent livable accommodation away from the slums. An interesting fact is that the majority of Victorian South Ockendon terraced houses are based on standard design of a ‘posh’ front room, a back room (where the family lived day to day) and scullery off that.  Off the scullery, a door to a rear yard, whilst upstairs, three bedrooms (the third straight off the second).  Interestingly, the law was changed in 1875 with the Public Health Act and each house had to have 108ft of livable space per main room, running water, it’s own outside toilet and rear access to allow the toilet waste to be collected (they didn’t have public sewers in those days in South Ockendon – well not at least where these ‘workers’ terraced houses were built).

It was the 1960’s and 70’s where inside toilets and bathrooms were installed (often in that third bedroom or an extension off the scullery) and gas central heating in the 1980’s and replacement Upvc double glazing ever since.

Looking at the make up of all the properties in South Ockendon, some very interesting numbers appear.  Of the 8,178 properties in South Ockendon …

637 are Detached properties (7.8%)
1,947 are Semi Detached properties (24.0%)
3,419 are Terraced / Town House properties (42.2%)
2,093 are Apartment/ Flat’s (25.8%)

And quite noteworthy, there are 82 mobile homes, representing 1.0% of all property in South Ockendon. 

When it comes to values, the average price paid for a South Ockendon terraced house in 1995 was £39,812 and the latest set of figures released by the land Registry states that today that figure stands at £230,500, a rise of 479% - not bad when you consider semi-detached properties in South Ockendon in the same time frame have only risen by 300%.

But then a lot of buy to let landlords and first time buyers I speak to think the Victorian terraced house is expensive to maintain.  I recently read a report from English Heritage that stated maintaining a typical Victorian terraced house over thirty years is around sixty percent cheaper than building and maintaining a modern house- which is quite fascinating don’t you think!


Don’t dismiss the humble terraced house – especially in South Ockendon!  For more thoughts on the South Ockendon Property Market – visit the South Ockendon Property Market Blog http://southockendonproperty.blogspot.co.uk/


Regards

Paul

Ps Have a good Tuesday!

Monday, September 19, 2016

“A Proactive Approach Essential”


Estate Agents are generally an up-beat type. Selling property, to the right buyer, quickly and at an impressive price requires a “can do, will do” approach that is unlikely to be found in a pessimist.

Agents with a positive attitude are more likely to be able to identify opportunities on behalf of our clients. Combine this with a strong focus on proactivity and hard work and results tend to follow. To this end we have found that embracing the following activities pays real dividends in this market: 

1     Encouraging former vendors to consider relisting their property. These vendors in turn become buyers again, adding fuel to the market.

          Demonstrating to buyers and investors that this is actually a historically good time to purchase property. We do of course have all the all the economic data and housing stats at our disposal to prove this point.

3   Having direct access to the latest mortgage products, thereby empowering buyers who might previously have had difficulty in securing funding.

4       Becoming even more deeply involved in managing chains of linked transactions. This might include chasing mortgages and solicitors up/down the line, or even renegotiating a distant deal in order to save others.  

5    Working more intensively with good buyers by interpreting their needs thereby helping them to understand where areas of compromise may be required. Also helping them to recognise relative value so they feel confident about any offer they make, ensuring that the sale sticks!   

So why not engage an agent who, through hard work, innovation and a progressive approach, continues to deliver exceptional results? Why not call us on 01708 51999 for an initial no-obligation chat. Oh yes, you’ll find us really nice people too!   

Regards


Paul

Ps Have a great Monday!!


Thursday, September 15, 2016

47.1% of South Ockendon Rented Property have Children living in them.


A few weeks ago I was asked a fascinating question by a local Councillor who, after reading the South Ockendon Property Blog, emailed me and asked me – “Are South Ockendon Landlords meeting the Challenges of tenanted families bringing up their families in South Ockendon?”

What interesting question to be asked.

Irrespective of whether you are tenant or a homeowner, to bring up a family, the most important factors are security and stability in the home. A great bellwether of that security and stability in a rented property is whether tenants are constantly being evicted. Many tenancies last just six months with families at risk of being thrown out after that with just two months’ notice for no reason.

Some “left leaning Politian’s” keep saying we need to deal with the terrible insecurity of Britain’s private rental market by creating longer tenancies of 3 or 5 years instead of the current six months. However, the numbers seem to be telling a different story. The average length of residence in private rental homes has risen in the last 5 years from 3.7 years to 4 years (a growth of 8.1%), which in turn has directly affected the number of renters who have children. In fact, the proportion of private rented property that have dependent children in them, has gone from 29.1% in 2003 to 37.4% today.

Looking specifically at South Ockendon compared to the National figures, of the 718 private rental homes in South Ockendon, 338 of these have dependent children in them (or 47.1%), which is interestingly (although expected) above the National average of already stated 37.4%.

Even more fascinating are the other tenure types in South Ockendon…

  • ·        32.7% of Social (Council) Housing in South Ockendon have dependent children
  • ·        46.8% of South Ockendon Owner Occupiers (with a Mortgage) have dependent children
  • ·        10.7% of Owner Occupiers (without a Mortgage) have dependent children


Although, when we look at the length of time these other tenure types have, whilst the average length of a tenancy for the private rented sector is 4 years, it is 11.4 years in social (council) housing, 24.1 years for home owners without a mortgage and 10.4 years of homeowners with mortgages.

Anecdotally I have always known this, but this just proves landlords do not spend their time seeking opportunities to evict a tenant as the average length of tenancy has steadily increased. This noteworthy 8.1% increase in the average length of time tenants stay in a private rented property over the last 5 years, shows tenants are happy to stay longer and start families.

So, as landlords are already meeting tenants’ wants and needs when it comes to the length of tenancy, I find it strange some politicians are calling for fixed term 3 and 5 year tenancies. Such heavy handed regulation could stop landlords renting their property out in the first place, cutting off the supply of much needed rental property, meaning tenants would suffer as rents went up. Also, if such legislation was brought in, tenants would loose their ‘Get Out of Jail card’, as under current rules, they can leave at anytime with one months notice not the three or six month tenant notice suggested by some commenters.  


Finally, there is an extra piece of good news for South Ockendon tenants. The English Housing Survey notes that those living in private rented housing for a long periods of time generally paid less rent than those who chopped and changed.

Regards

Paul

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

“Pick a Letter”


There are many styles of estate agency operating in the South Ockendon area, and picking the right one to sell your property can be daunting.   

Different agencies provide a variety of services, yet some people are unaware of the indirect benefit that apparently unrelated services can offer. Whilst you may be thinking of selling rather than letting your property, have you considered the benefit of instructing an agent who also provides letting services – as we do – as it could be the make or break of your sale, for a number of reasons:

Firstly, as we handle both sales and lettings, we have long-term buy-to-let property investors permanently on our books who buy through us regularly. They know us, they make quick decisions and reliable offers. They prefer to buy through an agency that also does lettings because it is easy for them to then let out their new investment. Indeed, we are often able to find, reference and process a tenant who can move in quickly - even on the day of completion in some instances, thereby helping to maximising the investor’s return on investment!

Secondly, many of our tenants, wishing to get their foot on the property ladder, subsequently go on to buy a property. As we build good relationships with our tenants we are in prime position to be able to help them buy one of our own clients’ properties - smoothing to move from rented to purchased accommodation.

Thirdly, there are times when a vendor decides not to sell, but to rent, or even pursue both options simultaneously, in which case we are of course well positioned to handle both. Likewise, it is sometimes the case that a prospective tenant decides to buy instead of renting, again adding to our stock of pre-qualified buyers.


So when the time comes to sell, pick an estate agent who also offers letting services. It will improve your chances of a successful sale on the best possible terms! 

Regards

Paul

Friday, September 9, 2016

New House Building in South Ockendon slumps by 29.3% in the last year

Let me speak frankly, even with Brexit and the fact immigration numbers will now be reduced in the coming years, there is an unending and severe shortage of new housing being built in the South Ockendon area (and the UK as a whole).  Even if there are short term confidence trembles fueled by newspapers hungry for bad news, the ever growing population of South Ockendon with its high demand for property versus curtailed supply of properties being built, this imbalance of supply/demand and the possibility of even lower interest rates will underpin the property market.

When the Tories were elected in 2015, Mr. Cameron vowed to build 1,000,000 new homes by 2020.  If we as a Country hit those levels of building, most academics stated the UK Housing market would balance itself as the increased supply of property would give a chance for the younger generation to buy their own home as opposed to rent.  However, the up-to-date building figures show that in the first three months of 2016 building starts were down.  Nationally, there were 35,530 house building starts in the first quarter, a long way off the 50,000 a quarter required to hit those ambitious targets.

Looking closer to home, over the last 12 months, new building in the Thurrock Council area has slumped.  In 2014/15, for every one thousand existing households in the area, an additional 11.72 homes were built.  For 2015/16, that figure is now only 8.28 homes built per thousand existing households.  Nationally, to meet that 1,000,000 new homes target, we need to be at 7.12 new homes per thousand, which means Thurrock Council is actually above the National target, the problem is the country is only building at a rate of 4.9 for every thousand exiting households – we can’t just rely on little old South Ockendon or Thurrock Council to build for the rest of the Country.

To put those numbers into real chimney pots, over the last 12 months, in the Thurrock Council area,

·        460 Private Builders (e.g. New Homes Builders)
·        80   Housing Association
·        Nil   Local Authority

I am of the opinion Messer’s Cameron and Osborne focused their attention too much on the demand side of the housing equation, using the Help to Buy scheme and low deposit mortgages to convert the ‘Generation Rent’ i.e. South Ockendon ‘20 somethings’ who are set to rent for the rest of their lives to ‘Generation Buy’.  On the other side of the coin, I would strongly recommend the new Housing Minster, Gavin Barwell, should concentrate the Government’s efforts on the supply side of the equation.  There needs to be transformations to planning laws, massive scale releases of public land and more investment, as more inventive solutions are needed.

However, ultimately, responsibility has to rest on the shoulders of Theresa May.  Whilst our new PM has many plates to spin, evading on the housing crisis will only come at greater cost later on.  What a legacy it would be if it was Mrs. May who finally got to grips with the persistent and enduring shortage of homes to live in.  The PM has already referenced the ‘need to do far more to get more houses built’ and stop the decline of home ownership.  However, she has also ruled out any changes to the green belt policy – something I will talk about in a future up and coming article.  Hopefully these statistics will raise the alarm bells again and persuade both residents and Councilor’s in the Thurrock Council area that housing needs to be higher on its agenda.

Regards


Paul

Monday, September 5, 2016

“Avoid Virtual Tours”


Some agents have introduced a number of concepts and innovations which they hope will impress you enough to sell your property through them, yet we do not believe that every apparent “tool” at an agent’s disposal is necessarily to your best advantage.   

For example, some agents use virtual tours on their website, and on the surface this appears to be a reasonable and useful addition to a website. However, we choose not to use virtual tours of our clients’ property on our website. This is because we do not believe that anyone will buy your property unless they actually step inside and have a look for themselves. The purpose of a website is to encourage buyers to contact us and, following a qualification procedure in the interests of security, subsequently view your home. Virtual tours can even prevent viewings as there appears to be no need for the buyer to physically visit your home!.

Additionally, due to the limiting nature of lens technology, virtual tours can often make a property appear much smaller than it actually is. They certainly convey little, if anything, of the atmosphere that a property has to offer. Unfortunately, atmosphere is often the hidden “I’ll know it when I see it” quality to which buyers certainly do need to be exposed.


Our role as estate agents is to facilitate the sale by ensuring that maximum numbers of qualified buyers actually visit your property, and this has been a key component of our success. I know I’d rather give my property to an agent who has a great record of getting buyers through your door, than to one who has tried to automate what remains essentially a people business!

Regards

Paul

Thursday, August 25, 2016

“How Serious is my Buyer?”



As the internet has become the first port of call for most prospective buyers, estate agents can feel somewhat swamped with buyers. The issue is not a lack of enquiries, but which of those enquiries will turn out to be serious.   

This is because many estate agency websites are simply an invitation for buyers to register on line, yet all too often this results in huge numbers of poorly qualified “window shoppers” applying. Whilst this is a good service for the buyer who is “just browsing” it can be difficult to assess the seriousness of genuine buyers from their basic requirements alone.

This is where the skills of a good estate agent come in, and part of your estate agent’s job is to identify the most able and motivated buyers. One of the ways good estate agents do this is actually to speak with their buyers rather than simply accepting a brief on-line “wish list” at face value. The agent can probe and listen, and respond accordingly, saving buyer and seller alike time that would otherwise wasted on unsuitable viewings.

Only by fully understanding a buyer’s needs in context can an agent direct that buyer to the most suitable homes. For example, does a request for a garage mean that the buyer needs to park a valuable car, or do they just need good storage space? If the latter, then the agent will be able to offer that buyer a far wider range of suitable homes than those limited to a garage.


A deeper understanding of buyers also means that the agent can discover what has prompted the move, the likely timescale involved, and whether there are related-sale or finance issues to be addressed. A successful sale does not depend solely on the suitability of the property, but also on whether the buyer’s circumstances are compatible with those of the seller.    

Regards

Paul

Friday, August 19, 2016

Post Brexit - South Ockendon Property Prices set to drop £24,300 in the next 12 months?


Even the most sane person in Britain has to admit the Brexit vote will, in one shape or another, affect the UK Property market. Excluding central London which is another world, most commentators are saying prices will be affected by around 10%. So looking at the commentators’ thoughts in more detail, property values in South Ockendon will be 10% lower than they would have been if we hadn’t voted to leave the EU.

As the average value of a property in the Thurrock Council area is £243,100, this means property values are set to drop for the average South Ockendon property by £24,310 … batten down the hatches .. soup kitchens and mega recession here we come ..it’s going to get rough.

.. but before we all go into panic mode in South Ockendon .. the devil is always in the detail

Look at the phrase again, and I have highlighted the relevant part “Property values in South Ockendon will be 10% lower than they would have been if we hadn’t voted to leave the EU”

Property values today, according to the Land Registry are 22.41% higher than a year ago in the Thurrock Council area. The 12 months before that they rose by 13.56% and the 12 months before that, they rose by 5.07%. If we hadn’t voted to leave, I believe on these figures, we could have safely assumed South Ockendon House prices would have been 15% higher by the Summer of 2017.

… and that’s the point, we won’t see a house price crash in South Ockendon, it’s just that house prices in a years time will only be 5% higher than they are now (ie 15% less the 10% lower figure because of Brexit). Let’s look at the historic figures and how that compares to today’s figures for the Thurrock Council area and South Ockendon as a whole.

Average Value of a property 20 years ago                               £43,500
Average Value of a property 10 years ago                               £161,900
Average Value of a property 2 years ago                                 £174,900
Average Value of a property 1 year ago                                   £198,600
Average Value of a property today                                          £243,100
Projected Value of a property in 12 months’ time                   £255,300

Therefore, I believe the average value of a South Ockendon property will be £12,200 higher in 12 months’ time than today.

That’s not to say South Ockendon property prices might not dip slightly in the run up to Christmas (in fact they always have done just about every year since the year 2000 and most of those were boom years) .. but in 12 months time this is my considered opinion of where South Ockendon property values will be.. and looking at the historic prices, even if I (and many other property market commentators) are wrong and they drop 10% from TODAY’S figure .. in the whole scheme of things, we have been through a Credit Crunch, Black Monday and 15% interest rates over the last 20 to 30 years .. and still South Ockendon house prices have always bounced back.


 Whilst the UK's vote for Brexit has created an uncertainty in the South Ockendon housing market, there is no need to panic and prospective buyers should merely use common sense about their purchases. I always say to people to be prudent and if you are taking out a mortgage, at some stage during the life of that mortgage, circumstances will be difficult. We won’t have a 2008 Credit crunch fire sale of properties because after the Mortgage Market Review which took place in the Spring of 2013, mortgage borrowers are not as highly leveraged this time around.  As a result of this, with any luck there will not be too many distressed sales, which cause widespread price reductions.


.. and South Ockendon landlords? They have recently been thrashed by Osborne’s tax changes, but yields could rise if South Ockendon house prices fall/stablise and rents grow, and this might also make it easier to obtain mortgages, as the income would cover more of the interest cost. If prices were to level or come down that could help South Ockendon landlords add to their portfolio, as rental demand for South Ockendon property is expected to stay strong as more people find it more and more difficult to obtain mortgages.


Regards

Paul

Ps. Hoe you all have an enjoyable weekend!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

“Catch 22 –Should I Sell First or Buy?”



Many who receive a good offer for their home turn it down because they have not yet found “the right property” and worry that they will in effect become homeless should they sell first (although we have never known this to happen!)     

Of course the problem would become a self-fulfilling prophecy if everyone were to take this stance, and the entire market would grind to a halt. But in realty it isn’t that bad and, whilst we don’t have a magic wand, the closest thing we have to a miracle cure is to encourage sellers to have a little faith. Because as soon as you find a buyer, amazing things can happen!

First, the fact that you have a buyer in place positions you as a “red hot buyer” with estate agents. This means you will be offered new properties as soon as they come onto the market, often ahead of public marketing or portal exposure. Secondly, you are in a much stronger negotiating position when you do find a property you like, meaning that you are preferred to other buyers who may be in a weaker position. Thirdly, you may well find that once you are psychologically committed to your sale, you’ll have a clearer focus on which property will actually suit you best. It’s easy to “umm and ah” when there’s no pressure!


So, in essence, if you need help making a decision, find a buyer for yours first! And of course, we’d be happy to help on that front as well! Indeed, we pride ourselves on our ability to create and manage linked transactions. Why not call us on 01708 851999 to find out how we might be able to help make you move – smooth!  

Regards

Paul

Friday, August 12, 2016

Dedicated Sales Progressor


“Why Sales Fail”

Many estate agencies simply act as a broking service that matches people to property. However, we are acutely aware that there is far more to successful selling than this alone. Indeed, about a third of property sales in this country fail to reach completion, for a number of reasons.  

One of the main reasons is that a buyer simply gets cold feet and withdraws as a result of “buyer remorse”. This is a familiar phenomenon to estate agents and occurs when a buyer feels overwhelmed by the apparent enormity of the decision to buy and takes the more comfortable “low-risk” option and does nothing.

Perhaps the buyer is offered another property which they prefer, or something else comes on the market that makes the price they have offered on your home look expensive.

Your buyer may lose their job, or get a promotion. They might decide to get married or divorced; they might inherit or win a fortune, or their business may be experiencing difficulties. They could even die!

Whilst these types of issues are generally unavoidable and naturally have a profound effect on people’s decisions, the main problem concerns timing. Because offers in this country are not binding until exchange of contracts, the longer the time between offer and exchange, the greater the opportunity there is for the buyer or seller to decide to withdraw.


We go to great lengths to help you move, and work tirelessly to reduce this window of opportunity. That’s why we allocate a dedicated sales progressor to every transaction, whose job it is to facilitate a fast exchange of contracts. This will include a focus on the buyer qualification process (if this has not already been done), although most time will be spent in helping other estate agents and solicitors involved in linked property sales as a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Our aim is that your link should be the strongest.   


Regards

Paul

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

26.2% Of South Ockendon Homes Are One Person Households

 I was having an interesting chat with a South Ockendon buy to let landlord the other day when the subject of size of households came up in conversation.  For those of you who read my Brexit article published on the morning after the referendum, one of the reasons on why I thought the South Ockendon property market would, in the medium to long term, be OK, was the fact that the size of households in the 21st Century was getting smaller – which would create demand for South Ockendon Property and therefore keep property prices from dropping.

Looking at the stats going back to the early 1960’s, when the average number of people in a home was exactly 3, it has steadily over the years dropped by a fifth to today’s figure of 2.4 people per household. Doesn’t sound a lot, but if the population remained at the same level for the next 50 years and the we had the same 20% drop in household size, the UK would need to build an additional 5.28 million properties ( or 105,769 per year) .. When you consider the Country is only building 139,800 properties a year ... it doesn’t leave much for people living longer and immigration. Looking closer to home...

In the Thurrock Council area, the average
number of occupants per household is 2.5 people

When we look at the current picture nationally and split it down into tenure types (i.e. owned, council houses and private renting, a fascinating picture appears.

The vast majority of homeowners who don’t have a mortgage are occupied by one or two people (81% in fact), although this can be explained as residents being older, with some members of the family having moved out, or a pensioner living alone.  People living on their own are more likely to live in a Council house (43%) and the largest households (those with 4 or more people living in them are homeowners with a mortgage – but again, that can be explained as homeowners with families tend to need a mortgage to buy. What surprised me was the even spread of private rented households and how that sector of population are so evenly spread across the occupant range – in fact that sector is the closest to the national average, even though they only represent a sixth of the population.



When we look at the Thurrock Council figures for all tenures (Owned, Council and Private Rented) a slightly different picture appears...

1 person households in South Ockendon
2 person households in South Ockendon
3 person households In South Ockendon
4 person households in South Ockendon
5+ person households in South Ockendon
26.25%
31.41%
17.85%
16.33%
8.16%

But it gets even more interesting when we focus on just private rental properties in South Ockendon, as it is the rental market in South Ockendon that really fascinates me. When I analysed those Thurrock Council private rental household composition figures, a slightly different picture appears. Of the 8,220 Private rental properties in the Thurrock Council area,

·        25.0% of Private Rental Properties are 1 person Households
·        31.3% of Private Rental Properties are 2 person Households
·        20.7% of Private Rental Properties are 3 person Households
·        14.6% of Private Rental Properties are 4 person Households
·        8.1% of Private Rental Properties are 5+ person Households

 As you can see, South Ockendon is not too dissimilar from the national picture but there is story to tell. If you are considering future buy to let purchases in the coming 12 to 18 months, I would seriously consider looking at one and two bedroom flat. Even with the numbers stated, there are simply not enough properties  to meet the demand. They have to be in the right part of South Ockendon and priced realistically, but they will always let and when you need to sell, irrespective of market conditions at the time, will always be the target of buyers. To read more articles on the South Ockendon Property Market and where I consider best buy to let deals are in South Ockendon, please visit the South Ockendon Property Market Blog http://southockendonproperty.blogspot.co.uk/

Regards


Paul