Friday, May 26, 2017

“Why Overpricing May Leave You Out Of Pocket”

As a seller, it is tempting to accept the highest estate agent’s valuation you receive. However, there are three sound reasons why you should avoid overpricing your home initially, as overpriced property often ends up selling for less than it otherwise might have.   

Firstly, buyers buy by comparison. Why should they buy your house if it is more expensive than a similar alternative? This simply does not make sense, and your property is unlikely to sell until such time as any competing homes have sold. By that time your house may have suffered overexposure and be “going stale” on the market.

Secondly, buyer activity is highest when the property is new on the market. If your price prevents buyers from seeing the house, you will have missed this opportunity and may have to wait some time before a suitable buyer is found. Competition between buyers drives up your price, whereas time on the market drives it down.

Thirdly – a clear response to sellers who say “but we can always take an offer!” The problem with this is that if fewer buyers see your house, the chance of an offer being received is significantly reduced. The wrong price also attracts the wrong buyers, who have high expectations and are therefore unlikely to offer in any event. People tend to purchase a property at the top of their price range; so your likely buyer pool is people looking in a lower price range than your property, not a higher one. So don’t scare away the right buyers!

Intense buyer activity in the early days of marketing is the key to achieving the highest price for your property, and our job is to help you stimulate such activity.

So be realistic; be competitive; quote the right price and stick to it, and you should readily secure the highest price the market will pay for your home. Accurate pricing combined with an optimistic approach has been one of the keys to our being able to help so many people fulfil their home-moving dreams – to budget and on time!



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Aveley - Rental yield 6.25%

Good morning readers!

Great investment opportunities do not occur on a daily basis in the Thurrock property market at the moment. However, this upper floor studio flat situated in Meresmans off Teviot Avenue Aveley provides a perfect opportunity to pick up a bargain. The property has just come on the market at £120.000 with M&P Estates South Ockendon branch (01708 851999)

Meresmans Off Teviot Avenue Avele

I have had the opportunity to view this property internally and can say that it does not need a great amount of money spent on it to bring it up to a really good rentalable standard.

Currently properties of this type and location are achieving really good rents at the moment. So if we have a quick look at the figures as usual, properties on the market at £120,000 the rental income being £625 pcm this in itself would bring the property to a rental yield of  6.25%

If you would like to discuss this property or generally the South Ockendon or Aveley property market, why not drop me a line via e-mail at or give me a call on 01708 851999, alternatively I am in the office from Monday through to Saturday and if you would like to come in and have a chat why not book an appointment to come in to see me.



PS Sometimes it is always good to get a second opinion and the advice and information that I provide is impartial and free.

4.39 Babies Born for Each New Home Built in the Thurrock area

As more babies are being born to Thurrock mothers, I believe this increase will continue to add pressure to the over stretched Thurrock property market and materially affect the local property market in the years to come.

On the back of eight years of ever incremental increasing birth rates, a significant 4.39 babies were born for every new home that was built in the Thurrock Council area in 2016.  I believe this has and will continue to exacerbate the Thurrock housing shortage, meaning demand for housing, be it to buy or rent, has remained high.  The high birth rate has meant Thurrock rents and Thurrock property prices have remained resilient – even with the challenges the economy has felt over the last eight years, and they will continue to remain high in the years to come.

This ratio of births to new homes has reach one its highest levels since 1945 (back in the early 1970’s the average was only one and a half births for every household built).  Looking at the local birth rates, the latest figures show we in the Thurrock Council area had an average of 72.7 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44.  Interestingly, the national average is 61.7 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 and for the region its 64.7 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44.

The number of births from Thurrock women between the ages of 20 to 29 are much higher than the national average, but those between 35 and 44 were closer to the national average.  However overall, the birth rate is still increasing, and when that fact is combined with the ever-increasing life expectancy in the Thurrock area, the high levels of net migration into the area over the last 14 years (which I talked about in the previous articles) and the higher predominance of single person households … this can only mean one thing ... a huge increase in the need for housing in Thurrock.

Again, in a previous article a while back, I said more and more people are having children as tenants because they feel safe in rented accommodation.  Renting is becoming a choice for Thurrock people.

The planners and Politian’s of our local authority, central Government and people as a whole need to recognise that with individuals living longer, people having more children and whilst divorce rates have dropped recently, they are still at a relatively high level (meaning one household becomes two households) ... demand for property is simply outstripping supply.

The simple fact is more Thurrock properties need to be built
… be that for buying or renting.

Only 1.1% of the Country is built on by houses.  Now I am not suggesting we build tower blocks in the middle of the Cotswolds, but the obsession of not building on any green belt land should be carefully re-considered.

Yes, we need to build on brownfield sites first, but there aren’t hundreds of acres of brownfield sites in Thurrock, and what brownfield sites there are, building on them can only work with complementary public investment.  Many such sites are contaminated and aren’t financially viable to develop, so unless the Government put their hand in their pocket, they will never be built on.

I am not saying we should crudely go ‘hell for leather’ building on our Green Belt, but we need a new approach to enable some parts of the countryside to be regarded more positively by local authorities, politicians and communities and allow considered and empathetic development.  Society in the UK needs to look at the green belts outside their leisure and visual appeal, and assess how they can help to shape the way we live in the most even-handed way.  Interesting times!



PS Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, May 22, 2017

“Don’t Be Scared By The Legals”

When you decide to move, you are probably focussed on the benefits you will enjoy from your new property, or the relief of finding a solution to some of the issues associated with the old one. It could be issues such as too much or too little space, proximity of location to work, maintenance, etc. Whatever the issue, the new property will usually solve it.

However, whilst most people are happy to make a buying decision based around these solutions, your solicitor is employed to ensure that the transaction actually happens, and that you are protected both as a buyer and seller.  

For example, whilst many buyers are familiar with the concept of undertaking a local authority search which discloses whether any planning applications have been made that might affect the property, fewer are aware of certain other aspects such as restrictive covenants which may have been lodged years ago by the original builder or subsequent seller. This could range from a prohibition on building an extension, to the payment of a right of use charge which might have accumulated unpaid over hundreds of years!

Don’t be surprised if your buyer’s solicitor asks if you are aware of any rights to extract fish, harvest hay, drive cattle or mine minerals at your property, or if anyone has ever claimed a right of way. They are just doing their job of protecting the buyer from every eventuality.    

In some instances you may be asked to cover an insurance premium against eventualities such as the local parish’s right to a contribution towards the upkeep of the parish church (usually discovered by a Chancel Search). The premium can run to several hundred pounds, but you are not obliged to pay, and you could ask the buyer to carry a calculated risk themselves.   

Usually such queries are pure formalities and are unlikely to be pivotal to the success of your transaction, but it’s worth knowing when the time comes. 



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Should the 297 home owning OAP’s of East Tilbury be forced to downsize?

This was a question posed to me on social media a few weeks ago, after my article about our mature members of East Tilbury society and the fact many retirees feel trapped in their homes. After working hard for many years and buying a home for themselves and their family, the children have subsequently flown the nest and now they are left to rattle round in a big house. Many feel trapped in their big homes (hence I dubbed these Thurrock home owning mature members of our society, ‘Generation Trapped’).

So, should we force OAP Thurrock homeowners to downsize?

Well in the original article, I suggested that we as a society should encourage, through building, tax breaks and social acceptance that it’s a good thing to downsize. But should the Government force OAP’s?

Well, one of the biggest reasons OAP’s move home is health (or lack of it).

Looking at the statistics for East Tilbury, of the 297 homeowners who are 65 years and older, whilst 147 of them described themselves in good or very good health, a sizeable 100 home owning OAPs described themselves as in fair health and 50 in bad or very bad health.

16.84% of Thurrock home owning OAP’s are in poor health

But if you look at the figures for the whole of Thurrock Council (not just East Tilbury), there are only 186 specialist retirement homes that one could buy (if they were in fact for sale) and 1,325 homes available to rent from the Council and other specialist providers (again- you would be waiting for dead man’s shoes to get your foot in the door) and many older homeowners wouldn’t feel comfortable with the idea of renting a retirement property after enjoying the security of owning their own home for most of their adult lives.

My intuition tells me the majority ‘would be’ Thurrock downsizers could certainly afford to move but are staying put in bigger family homes because they can't find a suitable smaller property. The fact is there simply aren’t enough bungalows for the healthy older members of the Thurrock population and specialist retirement properties for the ones who aren’t in such good health ... we need to build more appropriate houses in Thurrock.

The Government's Housing White Paper, published a few weeks ago, could have solved so many problems with the UK housing market, including the issue of homing our aging population. Instead, it ended up feeling annoyingly ambiguous. Forcing our older generation to move with such measures as a punitive taxation (say a tax on wasted bedrooms for people who are retired) would be the wrong thing to do. Instead of the stick – maybe the Government could use the carrot tactics and offered tax breaks for downsizers. Who knows – but something has to happen?

.. and come to think about it, isn’t the word ‘downsize’ such an awful word?  I prefer to use the word ‘decent-size’ instead of ‘down-size’- as the other phrase feels like they are lowering themselves, as though they are having to downgrade themselves in their retirement (and let’s be frank – no one likes to be downgraded).

The simple fact is we are living longer as a population and constantly growing with increased birth rates and immigration. So, what I would say to all the homeowners and property owning public of Thurrock is ... more houses and apartments need to be built in the Thurrock area, especially more specialist retirement properties and bungalows. The Government had a golden opportunity with the White Paper – and were sadly found lacking.

And a message to my Thurrock property investor readers whilst this issue gets sorted in the coming decade(s)  – maybe seriously consider doing up older bungalows – people will pay handsomely for them – be they for sale or even rent? Just a thought!



Monday, May 15, 2017

30% of all sales arranged fail to reach a successful exchange of contracts.

It is well documented that, nationally, around 30% of all sales arranged fail to reach a successful exchange of contracts.

However, the sales cycle can be frustratingly slow and the longer the sale takes, the greater the chance of it falling through. This makes it particularly important that your estate agent handles your sale with kid gloves. So we typically advise our sellers as follows:

·       Preparation – Make sure your solicitor has called for the deeds and prepared a draft contract in anticipation of finding a buyer.

·       Be serious - Only accept a serious offer. Does the buyer have anywhere to sell, a mortgage agreed in principle and a solicitor lined up? Ask to see details. A serious buyer will be prepared and won't want to delay.

·       Don’t accept an offer exclusively from someone with a property to sell. By doing so you limit the saleability of your property to the saleability of theirs, and you lose control.  

·       Bridge – Bridging finance can provide a solution if you are caught between selling and buying. It is effective but costly and risky, so think carefully before entering into any agreement.

·       Ask your solicitor about pre-contract agreements, which can bind the purchaser to buy prior to exchange, subject to certain provisions, much as they use overseas. You can even take a deposit from the purchaser to guard against them pulling out or renegotiating.

At M&P Estate, we pride ourselves on our ability not only to deliver buyers to your door – but, more importantly, to make sure that your sale sticks! So you’ll find our agents don’t just walk away once the deal is done, but are fully involved in the whole sale process and will hang in there with you until the day you move. 



PS Have a good Monday!

Friday, May 12, 2017

How The Rented Sector Has Transformed The Property Market In South Ockendon

The South Ockendon housing market has gone through a sea change in the past decades with the Buy-to-Let (B-T-L) sector evolving as a key trend, for both South Ockendon tenants and South Ockendon landlords.

A few weeks ago, the Government released a White Paper on housing. I have had a chance now to digest the report and wish to offer my thoughts on the topic. It was interesting that the private rental sector played a major part in the future plans for housing. This is especially important for our growing South Ockendon population.

In 1981, the population of Thurrock stood at 127,400
and today it stands at 165,200.

Currently, the private rented (B-T-L) sector accounts for 8.3% of households in the town.  The Government want to assist people living in the houses and help the economy by encouraging the provision of quality homes, in a housing sector that has grown due to worldwide economic forces, pushing home ownership out of the reach of more and more people. Interestingly, when we look at the 1981 figures for homeownership, a different story is told.

50.59% South Ockendon people owned their own home in 1981
43.86% South Ockendon people rented from the Council or Housing Association in 1981
 and 5.54% South Ockendon rented from a Private Landlord         

The significance of a suitable housing policy is vital to ensure suitable economic activity and create a vibrant place people want to live in. With the population of Thurrock set to grow to 204,000 by 2037 – it is imperative that Thurrock Borough Council and Central Government all work actively together to ensure the residential property market doesn’t hold the area back, by encouraging the building and provision of quality homes for its inhabitants.

One idea the Government has proclaimed is a variety of measures aimed at encouraging the Build-to-Rent (B-T-R) sector (instead of the B-T-L sector). These include allowing local authorities to proactively plan for B-T-R schemes, and making it simpler for B-T-R developers to offer inexpensive private rented homes.

To do this, the government will invent a distinct affordable housing class for B-T-R, called ‘Affordable Private Rent’, which will oblige new homes builders to provide at least 1 in 5 of a new home developments at a 20% discount on open-market rents and three year tenancies for tenants. In return, the new homebuilders will get better planning assurances.

Private landlords will not be expected to offer discounts, nor offer 3-year tenancies – but it is something South Ockendon landlords need to be aware of as there will be greater competition for tenants.

Over the last ten years, home ownership has not been a primary goal for young adults as the world has changed. These youngsters expect ‘on demand’ services from click and collect, Amazon, Dating Apps and TV with the likes of Netflix. Many South Ockendon youngsters see that renting more than meets their accommodation needs, as it combines the freedom from a lifetime of property maintenance and financial obligations, making it an attractive lifestyle option.

Private rented housing in South Ockendon and Thurrock, be it B-T-L or B-T-R, has the prospective to play a very positive role. 



PS If you are thinking or selling or buying in the Thurrock area and want a second opinion why not give me a call on 01708 851999 or drop me an email  at

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

“Might Sell, Might Not!”

The press is currently full of mixed messages about the property market, especially following the Brexit debate and the up and coming election, etc. Will it rise, will it fall, is it a good or a bad time to move? Fortunately we have remained extremely busy, and find ourselves in need of stock to support this demand.  

Such demand may well be the best indicator of the future of the market than any other indicator. People don’t buy unless they feel confident about the future. At this point in time we are in the transitional stage between a Brexit decision having been made, and actually leaving the EU. The real effects of leaving may not actually be felt for some years. Nevertheless, nobody knows what lies around the corner there could be some volatility in store, with potential knock-on consequences to confidence levels. Fortunately interest rates have fallen to virtually zero, but what effect a 0.25% eventual rise would have on the national mood is hard to predict.

So if you think that you might consider moving in the next year or two, it might be worth bringing that decision forward to take advantage of the strong demand we currently have. By selling for the highest price the market will currently pay you’d not only maximise your sales price, but you’d also put yourself in a strong buying position when you come to look for your next home. Worth a thought!



PS A good starting point would be to ask us to provide you with an estimate of your property’s maximum expected price and saleability in the current market which we’d be happy to do without charge. Please feel free to call us on 01708 851999 or email me at

Friday, May 5, 2017

3,819,352 People use Grays Train Station a year - How does that affect the Grays Property Market?

It might surprise you that it isn’t always the poshest villages around Grays or the swankiest Grays streets where properties sell and let the quickest. Quite often, it’s the ones that have the best transport links. I mean, there is a reason why one of the most popular property programmes on television is called Location, Location, Location!

As an agent in Thurrock, I am frequently confronted with queries about the Grays property market, and most days I am asked, “What is the best part of Grays and its villages to live in these days?”, chiefly from new-comers.  Now the answer is different for each person – a lot depends on the demographics of their family, their age, schooling requirements and interests etc. Nonetheless, one of the principal necessities for most tenants and buyers is ease of access to transport links, including public transport – of which the railways are very important.

Official figures recently released state that, in total, 5,246 people jump on a train each and every day from Grays Train station. Of those, 2,600 are season ticket holders. That’s a lot of money being spent when a season ticket, standard class, to London is £3,444 a year.

So, if up to £8.95m is being spent on rail season tickets each year from Grays, those commuters must have some impressive jobs and incomes to allow them to afford that season ticket in the first place. That means demand for middle to upper market properties remains strong in Grays and the surrounding area and so, in turn, these are the type of people whom are happy to invest in the Grays buy to let market – providing homes for the tenants of Grays…

The bottom line is that property values in Grays would be much lower, by at least 3% to 4%, if it wasn’t for the proximity of the railway station and the people it serves in the town

And this isn’t a flash in the pan. Rail is becoming increasingly important as the costs associated with car travel continue to rise and roads are becoming more and more congested. This has resulted in a huge surge in rail travel.  

Overall usage of the station at Grays has increased over the last 20 years. In 1997, a total of 1,764,852 people went through the barriers or connected with another train at the station in that 12-month period. However, in 2016, that figure had risen to 3,819,352 people using the station (that’s 10,493 people a day).

The juxtaposition of the property and the train station has an important effect on the value and saleability of a Grays property. It is also significant for tenants - so if you are a Grays buy to let investor looking for a property - the distance to and from the railway station can be extremely significant.

One of the first things house buyers and tenants do when surfing the web for somewhere to live is find out the proximity of a property to the train station. That is why Rightmove displays the distance to the railway station alongside each and every property on their website. 



PS If you are thinking of investing in theThuroock Property Market why not give me a call on 01708 851999 or drop me an email at I am always happy to assist you!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Home - Is an expression of who we really are!

“Moving House” may be the term we commonly use, but moving HOME is surely a better description for one of life’s more stressful experiences. Few changes in life, other than a relationship, can stir such emotions.

As estate agents, we are effectively “agents of change” and whilst our natural focus might be to help people move in a practical sense, we find we can be most effective when we really empathize with our clients.

It would be callous to think that a home is just bricks and mortar. Home is so much more than that…

  •            Is the focus for our sense of place
  •            Is the sanctuary that protects us from the sheer noise of life
  •            Is where our real self resides and where we can genuinely relax
  •            Is where our relationships both blossom and are tested
  •             Is where we unharness our emotions and can laugh or cry, unjudged
  •             Is the safe place where family is conceived and nurtured
  •            Is the root of our most precious past and future memories
  •            Is an expression of who we really are

Inevitably, the bricks and mortar element of home will usually reach the end of its useful life as we ourselves move on. It will then be time for the next occupant to regard “your house” as “their home”.

We often note how “similar” a buyer is to the seller of the new home. If people move in seven-year cycles then it is reasonable to assume that the next occupant may well be in the same stage of life as the outgoing seller was seven years ago. They are also very likely to be a strong socio-demographic match to the area into which they are moving.  

We believe that it is our ability to understand our buyers’ preferences, lifestyle expectations and aspirations that has been a key component to our success in matching match people to property. Finely attuned? - Maybe. Effective? - Certainly. Why not call us for an initial chat if you have any thoughts about moving and let us show you how a more connected approach to helping people move can pay real dividends.   



PS  If you are thinking of selling or buying why not give us a call on 01708 851999 we really make a difference!

Friday, April 28, 2017

South Ockendon Rents rise by 18.6% since 2005

The South Ockendon Property Market is a very interesting animal and has been particularly fascinating over the last 12 years when we consider what has happened to South Ockendon rents and house prices.

There’s currently much talk of what will happen to the rental property market following Brexit. To judge that, I believe we must look what happened in the 2008/9 credit crunch (and what has happened since) to judge rationale and methodically, the possible ramifications for long-term investors in the South Ockendon property market. You see, an important, yet overlooked measure is the performance of rental income vs house prices (i.e. the resultant yields over time). In South Ockendon (as for the rest of Great Britain), notwithstanding a slight drop in 2008 and 2009, property rentals have been gradually increasing.

The income from rentals has been progressively increasing over the last 12 years. Today, they are 18.6% higher than they were at the beginning of 2005. In fact, over the last five years, the average growth has been 1.9% per annum. From a landlord’s point of view, increase in average rental income is not to be sneered at. However, the observant readers will be noting that we are ignoring an important factor – our friend inflation.

Turn the clock back to 2005, and we have a property being rented for say £900 a month and that is still being rented at £900 a month today, in Spring of 2017. While the landlord is not getting any less income, this £900 is no longer worth as much. Let me explain, in 2005, £900 may have bought a two-week 4* holiday in Italy. Yet, holidays have increased in line with inflation (which has been 38.5% since 2005), so our holiday would cost today £1,246 (£900 + 38.5% inflation = £1,246). Therefore, the landlord could no longer afford the same holiday, even though having the same amount in pound notes from their rental property.

This means when we compare rents in South Ockendon to inflation since 2005, South Ockendon landlords are worse off today, when they receive their monthly rental income, than they were in 2005 by 19.9% in real terms (rents increased by 18.6% since 2005, less the 38.5% inflation since 2005 – net affect 19.9% drop

However, rental income is not the only way to generate money from property as property values can increase. Although in the short term, cash flows are diminishing, many South Ockendon landlords may be content to accept that for a colossal increase in capital value.

Property values in South Ockendon have risen by 67.07% since 2005

This equates to a reasonably salubrious 5.58% per annum increase over the last 12 years. Even more interesting that this includes the 2008/9 property crash, this will make those South Ockendon landlords and investors feel a little better about the information regarding rents after inflation.

Moving forward, the prospects of making easy money on buy to let in South Ockendon have diminished, when compared to 2005. Last decade, making money from buy to let was as easy as falling off a log – but not anymore.

It would be true to say, my rental income verses property prices study does lead to noteworthy thoughts. I am often asked to look at my landlord’s rental portfolios, to ascertain the spread of their investment across their multiple properties. It’s all about judging whether what you have will meet your needs of the investment in the future. It’s the balance of capital growth and yield whilst diversifying this risk.

If you are investing in the South Ockendon property market, do your homework and do it well. While some yields may look attractive, there are properties in many areas that do not have the solid rudiments in place to sustain them. If you are looking for capital growth, you might be surprised where the hidden gems really are. Take advice, even ask your agent for a portfolio analysis like I offer my landlords. The clear majority of agents in South Ockendon will be able to give a detailed analysis of past and anticipated investment opportunity (especially the awful effect of inflation) on your portfolio. However, if they can’t help – well, you know where I am, the kettle is on!



PS Enjoy your Bank Holiday Weekend!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Market Report - April 2017 “The Market’s Picking Up”

Analysing 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. 



Saturday, April 22, 2017

“What Agents Do” series. Guide No.8…Linked Transactions

The adage that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link could not be more aptly demonstrated than in respect of property transactions in the UK.

Whilst a lot of agents focus on finding a buyer, which is obviously important, it is the quality of that buyer and their situation that will determine whether the sale is likely to proceed to a successful conclusion. But what if the buyers themselves have a property to sell?

Firstly, there is no point in accepting an offer from someone who has a property to sell if their own property is less saleable than your own. This would have the effect of reducing the saleability of your property to the saleability of theirs.

However, it may be that their own property is already under offer, possibly from a buyer who also has a property to sell to someone who is in the same position. See the problem?

When we negotiate a sale we look very carefully at any upward chain before advising acceptance. This means following the chain until the strongest link is found – usually a cash buyer! (NB: check carefully when someone says they are a cash buyer. Whilst they may have nowhere to sell, they might need to arrange a mortgage!) We then check the credentials of each linked buyer.

Indeed, much of our time in facilitating a sale is spent liaising with the other agents and solicitors involved in related transactions, who in turn will be liaising with surveyors and mortgage brokers. If one aspect fails, eg someone’s mortgage valuation is insufficient to support their loan, we’ll know about it quickly and will usually have a plan B up our sleeve, such as a back up buyer.

So there’s more to our style of estate agency than you might expect! If you’d like to find out more please call us today on 01708 851999 for a free marketing appraisal.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Only 75 Properties For Sale in South Ockendon

2017 has started with some positive interest in the South Ockendon property market.  Taking a snap shot of the South Ockendon property market for the first quarter of 2017, the picture suggests some interesting trends when it comes to the number of properties available to buy, their asking prices and what prices properties are actually selling for.

Let us first consider the number of properties for sale, compared to 12 months ago:

Type of South Ockendon Property
Number of Properties on the Market 12 months ago
Number of Properties on the Market now
% change




So when we add in building plots and other types of properties that don’t fit into the four main categories, that means there are 75 properties for sale today compared with 36 a year ago, a rise of 108%.

Next, South Ockendon asking prices, compared
to the same as a year ago, are 5% lower.

With that in mind, I wanted to look at what property was actually selling for in South Ockendon. Taking my information from the Land Registry, the last available six months property transactions for RM15 show an interesting picture (note the Land Registry data is always a few months behind due to the nature of the house buying process and so November 2016 is latest set of data). The price shown is the average price paid and the number in brackets is the number of properties actually sold.

£388,800 (5)
£374,833 (6)
£380,000 (2)
£396,000 (2)
£373,333 (3)
£419,167 (6)
£345,800 (15)
£308,000 (9)
£327,437 (16)
£305,237 (19)
£298,429 (14)
£321,807 (13)
£303,678 (28)
£259,824 (17)
£281,527 (37)
£258,444 (18)
£264,647 (17)
£270,850 (23)
£189,613 (20)
£156,250 (6)
£155,813 (8)
£184,316 (19)
£186,200 (5)
£172,650 (10)
£285,680 (68)
£273,039 (38)
£280,349 (63)
£254,232 (58)
£275,077 (39)
£281,818 (52)

So what does all this mean for the property owning folk of South Ockendon?

Well, with more property on the market than a year ago and asking prices 5% lower, those trying to sell their property need to be mindful that buyers, be they first timers, buy to let landlords or people moving up the South Ockendon property ladder, have much more price information about the South Ockendon property market at their fingertips than ever before.

Those South Ockendon people who are looking to sell their property in 2017, need to be aware of the risks of over pricing their property when initially placing it on the market. Over the last 12 months, I have noticed the approach of a few South Ockendon estate agents is to suggest an inflated asking price to encourage the homeowner and secure the property to sell on their books. The down side to this is that when offered to the market for the first time, buyers will realise it is overpriced and wont waste their time asking for a brochure. They won’t even view the property, let alone make an offer. So when the price is reduced a few months later, the property has become market stale and continues to be ignored.

Whilst the South Ockendon property-market has an unassailable demand for property – there is one saying that always rings true - as long as the property is being marketed at the right price it will sell.



PS If you want to know if your South Ockendon property is being marketed at the right price, send me a web link and I will give you my honest opinion. emial me at