PULBOROUGH, WEST SUSSEX
Comyn and James Estate Agents
2015 turned out to be a good year – eventually, despite a substantial period of inactivity up to the General Election last May. The local market caters in the main for experienced buyers predominantly in the age range of 35 – 65. Fortunately such buyers are less influenced by dramatic headlines in the press about property prices – all designed to “comfort the worried or worry the comforted” – and to sell newspapers.
This year started quietly but as spring arrived the market gathered pace. Compared to early 2015 all the ‘dashboard signs’ this year have improved: new applicants up by 84 per cent, new instructions up by 100 per cent, viewings up by 73 per cent, offers up by 50 per cent and sales up by 18 per cent.
What is driving the market here at the moment? It is difficult to generalise but in our experience it is demand outstripping supply; fear of being priced out of the market; a desire to own a property rather than rent and a sense of security with owning property rather than low performing stocks and shares.
We cover quite wide range of properties from £150,000 to c.£2m. In the main we focus on, and are consistently asked for, character properties in Downland villages – around £400k to c.£1m.
Rose Cottage, Bignor near Petworth (pictured) is priced at £750,000, a stone cottage with all the character of a tranquil downland hamlet with a beautiful interior, lovely garden and walks on the downs, the local inn etc. – all within 55 miles of London.
Buyers here often move out from London or Surrey seeking a quieter life whilst still being in touch with their previous neighbourhood. Many people return/retire to live in the area having grown up here and moved away. Likewise older buyers with children living/working in SW London seek to be this side of the M25.
What is 2016 going to be like for the local property market? As always it is difficult to predict – but one might see demand continuing to outstrip supply. This is far from ideal from an altruistic point of view as many buyers (especially first time buyers) will be priced out of the market. The current lack of affordable homes is glaringly obvious.
Keats, Estate and Letting Agents
This year has brought changes in legislation for the buy-to-let market and as a result we have experienced high demand for properties in the Grayshott area. Buyers are looking for properties that will rent well and the majority are keen to make sure they complete during early spring.
In the run up to March 2016 the market began to change and we are starting to see the more traditional family market come to life. Now we are enjoying the start of a more active selling and buying period across Grayshott and surrounding villages.
The biggest impact locally is the lack of property going on the market. Therefore, in some cases we have been able to achieve sales prices that exceed the market value due to the interest we have generated. We have the buyers so our focus is on matching the right seller and buyer to achieve the best possible price. Demand for property in our area is high as we are surrounded by excellent schools, both state and private. Because of this our housing stock mostly consists of three, four, and five bedroom family houses and bungalows – with properties dating from the 16th century. The majority of our buyers tend to fall into three categories – families moving into or up in the market, parents moving closer to their children and grandchildren, and empty nesters looking to downsize.
Another major attraction is that Grayshott is located on the edge of three counties incorporating Hampshire, Surrey, and Sussex. We are fortunate to be surrounded by miles of open countryside.
It is mainly heathland and woodland with a high proportion either owned or at least managed by the National Trust.
For those who need to commute, the A3 is easily accessible and it provides road users with good links to London, both Gatwick and Heathrow airports, and the South Coast. Mainline stations at Haslemere and Farnham provide rail links with London which is just an hour’s train ride away.
is a Director at Bennett Walden
With its many attractions, including its famous circular tube station, Southgate attracts many people and has built up a strong residential community with a cosmopolitan feel to it. It has always been a good investment area as it’s so close to Central London and this is continuing. Southgate attracts those wanting to have that ‘London’ postcode (but not at City prices). The area has it all: good schools, fantastic transport links, a cosmopolitan feel with its many cafés and restaurants, as well as being close to green open spaces and a stone’s throw from the City.
We tend to have a mixture of buyers – those wishing to move out a little further for better schooling and to increase their footprint, as well as those seeking a buy-to-let. The current market, although not as buoyant as it has been, is seeing an increase in prices, due to the lack on the market. This means that, for first time buyers at present, Southgate maybe slightly out of their reach.
At the moment, our offices in Southgate and Palmers Green are now experiencing a lack of supply with huge demand for ‘good’ stock. In our area, period properties tend to be more in demand as always however, any property placed on the market for the right price will sell.
Bennett-Walden is still achieving record prices from initial instructions with, a huge demand for three to four bedroom houses in popular locations such as, the Lakes Estate and the Meadway Estate.
A lack of property coming to market has been the main reason for price increases. Buyers fear the fact that the main issue at the moment is supply. Buyer demands are high, but property is not coming through. That said, there is plenty of competition and, as a well-established estate agency, we have to up our level to win the instructions – which is a challenge we relish.
Bennett-Walden are proud members of the Guild of Professional Estate Agents and therefore, we have links to international buyer market.