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Reports from the front line: how’s the property market in your area?

We visit three Guild agents across the country to discover what is happening in their local market in Oxfordshire, East London and Devon.

The Negotiator
OXFORDSHIRE

Oxfordshire property exterior image property market

Andrew Tattersfield imageAndrew Tattersfield – Sales Manager
White Lion Residential
www.whitelionresidential.co.uk

Our property property market is quite varied but centres on the Oxfordshire market town of Thame and its surrounding villages. Despite recent more challenging market conditions we find that there are still plenty of good quality buyers for correctly priced properties in all the areas we cover.

The area is very much in demand due to several reasons. Transport links are excellent – the M40 motorway is on our doorstep and Haddenham & Thame Parkway offers a 38 minute service to London Marylebone. Local employment is high and there are exceptionally good primary and secondary school options. The last few years have seen a dramatic increase in new homes being built in the area, this has been a good thing for our business. We are finding more people are moving to the area, especially from London, and are finding good value in pre-owned homes compared to new. Instructions have been bolstered by developers regularly instructing us on their local part-exchanges.

High price expectations from potential vendors have been an issue as there has been a tendency for some agents to overvalue property to gain instructions. Perhaps against the national trend ‘online’ agents have not taken a significant property market share locally.

We have found that offering an equally high standard of marketing and presentation to every instruction gives us a broad market share. Marketing strategies vary for different price ranges, but by offering the same eye for detail on everything from one bedroom flats to larger town and village homes we are an attractive proposition to proud homeowners who want their properties to be presented impeccably. We genuinely take pride in making sure that everything we offer for sale looks great!

We are very much a forward-looking company with an eye on new ideas to market our properties. All initiatives are implemented inhouse and include professional standard photography, HD video tours, and drone photography (carried out by our in-house Civil Aviation Authority qualified drone pilot). This year we started offering 360° virtual tours to all instructions.

Our success is driven by an excellent reputation for high quality service. Staff turnover is very low and has resulted in a vastly experienced team who have all worked in the local property market for many years. We have high levels of repeat business from previous vendors and wonderful client recommendations on social media.
Pictured property: Allnutts Farm, Henton, £1,250,000

STATS

Average sale price: £530,000
Average viewings per property per month: 16
Average rental price: £1300 pcm.

HACKNEY, EAST LONDON

Hackney, East London, property interior image property market

James Walpole imageJames Walpole
Sovereign House
www.sovereign-house.com

The property market is more challenging than it was 12 months ago, but not significantly so. Buyers are adopting a more cautious approach when offering on a property, but properties that are realistically priced are selling. If we start to face a falling market, it will be important to price a property correctly when first marketing, otherwise any necessary price cuts will tend to be behind the market, chasing it.

This type of market is where the experience of local agents comes to the fore, with accurate valuations based on genuine property market intelligence. Then, knowing your buyers is crucial in order to effect a speedy sale at the best possible price.

In the 30 years we have been selling and letting in Hackney, the area has undergone massive regeneration and investment. Commuter links, shopping, and innovative eating experiences, together with new homes have made Hackney one of the most desirable areas to live in London. As a result all property types, whilst taking a bit longer to sell, are still seeing good levels of interest across the board.

Our office is in the heart of Victoria Park Village, a stone’s throw of Victoria Park, one of London’s largest open spaces. Large Victorian family homes are always in demand, with a premium the closer it is to Victoria Park. The area is blessed with a wide range of homes including ex-Council properties and mid-range modern and Victorian houses. It is a feature of the Victoria Park area that once people move here, they tend to stay. For this reason, over the years we have helped many people move several times within the area.

Continuity of staff has also been crucial to our success. Clients know that, even after a gap of several years, they will find the same experienced advisors waiting to help them with friendly professional advice. You have to have the best negotiators, and we’re fortunate that with our reputation, we are able to attract them. We now have our strongest ever team to help guide our clients through every step of their move.
Pictured property: Cassland Road, South Hackney £1.8m

STATS

Average sale price: £995,333
Percentage of asking price: 96%
Average number of viewings per property: 9

DEVON

Devon property exterior image property market

Jade Boyles-White imageJade Boyles-White,
Complete Estate Agents
www.completeproperty.co.uk

Complete Estate Agents was established in 2007 and started offering a full Lettings Service in 2013. ‘Lettings’ was originally offered as a service across two office areas in the Teignbridge district but quickly expanded into Exeter, thus enabling the high standard of service offered to both landlords and tenants to be portrayed further afield.

Over the past year there has been an influx of new build homes in these areas, attractive to buy to let investors and seasoned landlords. The introduction of more new properties resulted in a higher level of standard in all rental properties and prospective tenants are more concerned about the standard they will accept and rents they will pay. A typical ‘first time renter’ is willing to pay a larger rent to secure a new build property and enjoy the luxuries that come with it, rather than opt for a cheaper first home.

New build homes are attractive to buy to let investors as they offer developer guarantees for two years, meaning that their maintenance pay outs are low and most of new builds are already compliant in terms of smoke alarms required and energy performance ratings.

Although there has been an influx of new property, we noticed a decline in ‘first time’ renters which may be due to the Help to Buy incentives offered to those first time buyers and media pressure to ‘get their foot on the property ladder’ but an incline in the ‘retired renters’, selling up their long standing family homes to downsize to a rental property in Devon, by the moors and sea, with no maintenance and property upkeep to be concerned over.

Although there are new properties on the  market, there has been a steep decline in investors registering with the sales teams and this must largely be due to the sheer volume of lettings legislation, tax implications and stamp duty rises that have been introduced over the past 12 months, with further implications to be introduced throughout 2018 and 2019. However, with good education from agents, becoming an investor landlord is still a viable option, with the right property, agent and service, good returns can be achieved.
Pictured property: Choalk Walk, Bovey Tracey, Devon: £330,000

STATS

73% of appraisals converted to new instructions
166 viewings booked per month
68.75% of new instructions were let agreed within one month from instruction.

May 31, 2018

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