Regional round-up: North West London, Brighton and South Wales

Each month we visit three agents across the country to discover what is happening in their local market. This month we meet members of The Guild of Property Professionals in North West London, Brighton and South Wales.

Edgware - London - property image
STATS: Average rental per week: £371 Average sale price: 1 bed, £310,246, 2 bed: 382,453, 3 bed: £543,786, 4 bed: 714,074 Average commission: 1.5% for sales and 10% for letting and management Average weekly viewings: 106 in Edgware in 7 days


Steve Wayne - Benjamin Stevens Estate Agents - imageSteve Wayne, Director
Benjamin Stevens Estate Agents

Our local market, Edgware in North West London, is very positive at present, despite the changes to SDLT. The balance of buyer types in the area is shifting to homeowners from buy-to-let landlords.

Edgware is a multicultural suburban area with a strong sense of community. The housing market remains stable as it surrounded by slightly more expensive areas such as Mill Hill and Stanmore. For these areas, prices are slightly beyond what the average owner can afford, so people flock to Edgware for the lower prices, without feeling they are having to downsize.

The area is full of restaurants featuring every type of cuisine, big high street names, supermarkets and entertainment. There are fantastic transports links with the Northern Line underground and bus station based in middle of the high street – and excellent links to the A1, A41, M1, and North Circular. Edgware also has an array of good local schools public and private, including one of the top private schools in the UK, North London Collegiate Girls School.

We continue to receive a steady flow of first-time buyers as well as people, upsizing, downsizing, wanting to move closer to good schools and their extended families.

Benjamin Stevens Estate Agents was established in 2004 and quickly moved from serviced offices in Mill Hill, to our first prime high street location on Station Road, Edgware, where we are still based. We expanded in 2009 opening a second office in Bushey Heath dealing in the highly desirable Bushey and surrounding areas. In 2014 we became Members of the Guild of Professional Estate Agents. In 2015 won a Silver award for Best Agency in the Northern Home counties in The Daily Telegraph Sponsored Guild Awards. We have also received the Gold Winner for the British Property Awards for years – 2017 and 2018. Benjamin Stevens has independent departments for commercial property and serviced office management as well as dedicated property management and investment departments.

Benjamin Stevens Estate Agents now services three counties and manages 700 properties, from small studios to imposing family homes.

Our highest priority is having a reputation for integrity. It is not enough to aim to be the largest agency locally through the number of transactions and the income we provide, rather our aim is for the business to have the best reputation.

South Wales property image
STATS: Average Total Valuations: 100 Average Total Viewings: 250 Total SSTC: 58 Sum of SSTC: £6,971,840.00


Jonathan Morgan - Peter Morgan Estate Agents - imageJonathan Morgan, Director
Peter Morgan Estate Agents

Based in South Wales, Peter Morgan is an independent six office agency offering Sales, Lettings & Financial Services. We want to offer the best service suited for our clients. We were one of the first ‘Hybrid’ agencies to offer an Online offering branded as Online+ with an upfront reduced payment and we offer our No Sale No Fee Premium Sales Service and now we have added Auctions.

Our Lettings business is thriving in a difficult market where Landlords have been swamped with legislative changes and Rent Smart Wales rulings. We are fully qualified and licensed with Rent Smart Wales and offer multiple services from Tenant Find, fully managed and Rent Guarantee.

There are headlines around the housing market stating that Brexit, Stamp Duty Charges and falling prices will be the end of traditional agents. However, from our local market we can see a different picture. Our transaction numbers have remained steady and we continue to sell properties at a very successful rate. The number of available properties that are marketed as available has definitely started to lessen, we closely monitor the markets in our towns and are seeing a decrease in the overall number.

There are now three times the number of agents competing in our area than 2014/15 this coupled with the lessening instruction levels means a more competitive market place than some agents will have ever experienced. This leads inherently to a market with agents who are over-valuing properties and cutting fees to ensure that their stock levels don’t suffer. My forecast for 2019 Q1 is that the market will continue to be difficult with more emphasis and focus on fees and services provided. Agents who rely on a low fee culture will suffer as there is a marked decrease in new instructions. This will impact the “Online only” Agents who require a large market share each month of the instructions.

We at Peter Morgan see an opportunity to become a dominating force with a high street presence and strong online package, coupled with our 40 year track record and local market knowledge we are looking forward to a tough market, and thriving.

Property: Castle Street, Skewen, Neath, Port Talbot. A freehold superior detached residence in an exclusive location, with expansive views from the rear.

Brighton - Sussex - property image
STATS: Average sale price: £400k-£450k Average rental price: £1,350-£1,450


Chris Sawyer - Sawyer & Co - imageChris Sawyer, Director
Sawyer & Co

Despite more stock being available (about 10% above 2017 levels) prices have remained stable in Brighton & Hove this year with longer average times on market, but this can be dependent on the price range. Demand has been inconsistent but it remains steady, although there have been fewer ready, willing and able buyers as many are still waiting to agree sales on their own properties, particularly from those moving into our area from other locations.

Fragile confidence would seem to be the main lag on our local market. Headline dependent at times, it seems to be influencing many people’s decision making. Having said that though, most are getting on with things and have not been putting their lives on hold; sensibly remembering that properties to live in are more than just investments.

The conditions have also been more price sensitive lately. Sensibly priced properties are selling, overpriced properties have to be repositioned to sell. The most asked question is still of course ‘how will Brexit affected the property market?’ and ‘what do we make of Mark Carney’s comments that prices could plummet in the event of no deal Brexit?’

When it comes to brick and mortar, our Fine & Country branch is mostly asked for detached houses in the £1-£1.1 million price bracket. At Sawyer & Co studio and one bedroom rental properties always get the phones ringing, and for sales one or two bedroom garden flats with a share of the freehold are always popular.

We are market leaders in the city with a strong reputation for integrity and local knowledge and considered to be among the Top 5 per cent of UK estate agencies demonstrating an outstanding level of service and care to our clients. Our customer satisfaction reviews give a clear indication that we deliver on our promises.

We understand that no two homes are ever the same. It starts with our ability to offer a bespoke service for each property, supported by individual marketing strategies shaped to your personal requirements – but it doesn’t end there: Our experts will discuss the best marketing strategy for your property. One that maximises the sale price within a suitable timescale.

Property: A stunning one bed flat in the fabulous Adelaide Crescent, Hove, one of the most sought after areas in Brighton & Hove.

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