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Regional report

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 Cornwall, South West London and Central London.

The Negotiator
Falmouth property exterior image

STATS: 98.6 % of asking price achieved 1 in 9 sales agreed from viewings Average sale price: £346,000 Average rental price: £780 Average sales viewings per month: 185


Tim Heather imageTim Heather
Heather & Lay

Heather and Lay has operated from the Falmouth office for 31 years. Through ‘boom and bust’ to the growing draw of one of UKs ‘best places to live’ (Sunday Times). Falmouth and outlying villages has many benefits – beautiful scenery, fantastic picturesque sailing waters, sheltered creeks; a centre of recreation combined with an important active dockyard providing local employment.

Falmouth is a year-round destination with a host of varied festivals. A cultural centre of art formed the foundation of what is now Cornwall’s only University, creating vibrancy throughout the area and a draw for students from across the country.

The resulting influx of ‘in migrants’ to the county covers most sectors from ‘Blue chip’ investors in student housing to relocators looking for a better quality of life. The consequential demand has, in most sectors created a dearth of available housing and escalation of values. Falmouth is one of the few areas in the southwest that has shown positive house price growth post 2008, after indexing.

The multi-faceted market place outperforms Truro, Cornwall’s county town, in sales volume, house price growth and investor sales.

Heather and Lay specialises in residential sales, land and new homes and letting from our nearby Penryn offices. We like to do business within the community and rely heavily on our immersion in the local market. Aside from direct developer sales we have dealt with most new homes schemes and manage a large, diverse rental register with an experienced team of twelve.

We are very hands-on with the qualifying and tracking of sales underpinned by a highly experienced team. We have trainees ‘coming through’ but they will be ‘let out’ judiciously according to aptitude and experience.

The market remains very strong with competitive bidding on new instructions. Fees are competitive, and we have seen shrinkage in the online agent offerings and seldom found them serious competition. Corporate estate agency is also well down the pecking order here, where a one size fits all approach seldom appeals. Discerning buyers are happy to pay for a genuine service. The top three estate agents in this area are independents, like many other south west towns. We rely on our customers and their feedback, both new and old, the latter forming a high percentage of our monthly sales, which means we must be doing something right!

Pictured property: Four bedroom apartment in Falmouth, £780,000.

Windmill Drive, South West London, property interior image

STATS: Average sale price: £622,541 Number of viewings in April: 132 Fastest sale time in April (launch to under offer): 1 week


Armond Ghahramani imageArmond Ghahramani,
Sales Manager at Orlando Reid

So far, 2018 has been an up and down year in the South West London market. It started reasonably strong and then there was a trough from the end of January until the Easter break. Since then, we have seen a significant increase in the market with viewings numbers, offers and deals done increasing.

The doom and gloom that has surrounded the local property market is starting to lift and the domino effect of Brexit is starting to have less of an impact. Prices seem to have stabilised. I believe that this is down to asking prices now sitting at a level that reflects the level of the market now. Previously, many listed prices were unrealistic, too high for the market here in the capital.

Latest stats show that from December 2016 to December 2017, property prices in Wandsworth had dropped by 1.5 per cent. The average price in December 2016 was £615,144 and in the subsequent year to December 2017, it had dropped to £605,122. Southwark dropped by three per cent in the same time period. However, the neighbouring borough of Lambeth rose by 0.8 per cent and Merton by an incredible 9.8 per cent!

We have seen success with many clients due to our customer service-based approach. We are transparent and put procedures in place to ensure we have to live up to our promises. I firmly believe that this is why we are gaining more money for our clients. Nowadays, with the rise of online agencies who don’t really have the customer service aspect sorted, this is where an agency like us can flourish. This is illustrated by kind words from happy clients. A vendor wrote: “I can hand-on-heart say that Armond is one of the finest gentlemen that I have met in my 25 years of experience with Estate Agents! Not only is he a pleasure to meet and talk with, he is also very well informed, and 100 per cent delivers with articulate honesty, integrity, and sensitivity; which I feel is what everyone needs when it comes to the stress of buying or selling a home. Feel blessed to have met him, trust he will go far, and have no qualms about recommending both him and Orlando Reid.”

For me, kind words like this make this job worthwhile, even more than the commission.

Pictured property: Windmill Drive, SW4 9DE, £699,999.

Bathhurst Mews, London, property interior image

STATS: Average sale price: £1.9m Average rental: £750 per week Average viewings: 80-100 per month.


Kieran Ryan, Rickman Properties, image

Kieran Ryan,
Managing Director, Rickman Properties 

The Kensington property market offers a diverse selection of properties, in an area where you can find a small flat for £500,000 (a good price for Central London) and large mansion for £30 million, we have buyers from all corners of the globe with various budgets.

Many buyers are investors using properties here, as occasional homes instead of hotels, if a regular visitor. Local residents have often been in the area for many years and seen the value of their home rise by huge margins.

The central London market has been seen as safe haven for those with healthy bank balances. Providing a stable political system, excellent business opportunities, some of the best schools in the world, and believe it or not, a good climate. Culturally, the London mix is appreciated and offers a welcoming environment. Brexit has played a significant part in keeping prices and transactions in check, as some buyers ‘wait and see’. In turn this is providing a great buying opportunity for ‘bullish’ buyers, as prices can seem very reasonable, and even more so if the currency rates are in your favour. The rental market remains very strong, with good rental values being achieved. Stamp duty is the biggest bugbear, especially the additional 3 per cent levy for those having more than one property.

Rickman Property has been serving the Kensington area since 2001, we can source and market properties across the capital. Currently we have properties in Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Earls Court, Notting Hill and Mayfair, plus, of course, Kensington. We specialise in sales, lettings and acquisitions with the emphasis on managing individual properties, which is ideal for our overseas client base. If a client is aiming to add to his portfolio we source these, advise on works to be done to maximise returns and manage the whole process. The central London market is challenging, but offers some of the best property and locations in the world.

You can buy anything from a flat through to a Mews house with a history, to modern apartments, and grand mansions overlooking garden squares.

Pictured property: Bathurst Mews, W2, £3,150,000 freehold.

June 29, 2018

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