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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 Hertfordshire and Kent.

The Negotiator
SAWBRIDGEWORTH, HERTFORDSHIRE
Link to Sales & Lets

STATS: Detailed Rightmove views per day : 67 Viewings per month on average: 180 New applicants per month on average: 164

 

Link to Sales & LetsAdam Mackay MNAEA
Mackay Property

Properties on the market with Mackay Property receive more Rightmove views than any other agencies in Sawbridgeworth. We believe that this is because we use the best professional photography; we always add floorplans to our listings; we use Matterport 3D tours, video and social media marketing – leading buyers to our Rightmove advertisements.

This year, we have registered and average of 164 new applicants per month, who are added to our email marketing system which sends them properties that suit their requirements – bringing our sellers more and more opportunity to find the perfect buyer.

The longterm outlook

It might surprise some people that Brexit hasn’t had the effect on the Sawbridgeworth property market that most people feared at the start of 2018. Property commentators, including me, suggest that a better measure of the health of the property market is the transaction numbers.

The fact is that the fundamental problem of the Sawbridgeworth property market is that there haven’t been enough new homes being built since the 1980s – I don’t say that lightly with all the new homes sites dotted around the locality. Also, the cost of buying your first home remains relatively high compared to wages and, all those issues are armour-plated by the tougher mortgage rules introduced in 2014.

It is these issues that will ultimately determine the rather unexciting, yet still vital, long term outlook for the Sawbridgeworth (and national) housing market – the Brexit issue over the last few years has been the ‘current passing diversion’ for us to worry about.

Mackay Property’s agents have a wealth of experience and expertise in the property market in the area. Our agents are always on hand to help with any queries our clients have about the local property market and what they should do to help their property sell for the best possible price.

Pictured property: The Gables, Matching Green, Essex, £850,000

TRING & BOXMOOR, HERTFORDSHIRE
Link to Sales & Lets

STATS: Average viewings per month sales: 150 Average viewings per month rentals: 100 Average fee: £6000

 

Link to Sales & LetsMatthew Bennett
Orchid Estate Agents

Orchid is a leading independent estate agency with offices in Tring and Boxmoor dealing in sales, rentals and land & new homes. The company was founded in December 2007 by Matthew Bennett.

2019 so far has been a challenging market in the areas covered by Orchid. Prices have been static which has been positive for first time buyers trying to get onto the ladder. In the main, prices have been resilient despite the ever delayed Brexit and we have seen that buyers are frustrated and buyer registration levels have increased within the last 14 days.

The areas covered by our offices are incredibly popular with North London buyers looking to commute into the city served by the Euston Line – which has kept the market relatively buoyant – and prices are lower than where they currently reside. Schooling is very strong in the areas we serve having some of the best primary and secondary schools which is a big driver for buyers moving the area.

Politics and other challenges

Average selling times have lengthened to 10-12 weeks from 8-10 weeks in 2018, which has allowed more opportunity for chain building. Our commission rates are negotiated and not a set structure depending on the clients requirements so tailored on an individual basis. Over 95 per cent of our stock is on a sole agent basis. Orchid particularly focuses on the mid to upper end of the market. The average sale price in the areas we cover is around £325,000 our average selling price sits at £550,000.

2019 has already been strong year for our landlords, we have seen rent increases across the board and demand for rental properties is still at an all-time high – which bodes well with the tenant fee ban as of June. Despite the numerous political changes most of our landlords feel the return on investment still outweighs the extra taxation and fees to be incurred. We have also found that fees still within the rental sector have been less effected by the online agents as most landlords still see value in local agents and better placed to give advice on current market conditions and finding the right tenant opposed to just letting the property.

Pictured property: Dagnall, Berkhamsted £650,000

MAIDSTONE & THE WEALD OF KENT
Link to Sales & Lets

STATS: Viewing to sale ratio: 1:17 Average house price on pales: £376,726 Market share: 7.5%

 

Link to Sales & LetsSimon Miller
Simon Miller & Company

Simon Miller & Company has an expansive network of offices and departments servicing Maidstone, Malling and the Weald of Kent. We are celebrating 20 years of trading, having witnessed many changes to the property industry and weathered much economic uncertainty. We are proud to retain traditional values whilst embracing modern technologies, ensuring our work processes are efficient and transparent to the public who engage our services.

Headcorn Village is eight miles from Maidstone and is recognised for its own small airfield and aviation museum. As a market leader in the village, we understand the importance of a strong High Street presence and subsequently made the commercial decision in 2016 to move to a more prominent location, enabling us to showcase our Period Homes by Simon Miller offering, specifically designed to showcase properties with character, historic importance or charm.

Business success

Average house prices in 2018 were £411,173 on instruction, reducing slightly to £376,726 on exchange of contracts. Fees were respectable at 1.3%, illustrating our ability to differentiate ourselves against our competitors. Despite experiencing ongoing economic uncertainty, we fully expect these figures to remain consistent throughout 2019, such is the level of appetite for properties in this area. New instructions are slightly down on 2018 but we remain market leaders with 7.5%. Viewing to sales conversion remains high at 1:17 highlighting the need for proactive salesmanship.

Our success over the years has been our ability to adapt quickly to changing market conditions, whilst investing heavily in staff to ensure they are well equipped to effectively recognise sales opportunities. Ongoing training and staff progression ensures that our teams are motivated to deliver the best service levels possible. Our desire to be the best is deep rooted and is what drives us daily.

The Simon Miller Group has won numerous awards over the years, ranging from Gold Winners for Customer Service by All Agents in 2018 at our Bearsted office to ‘Best Overall Operator’ awarded to our Fine & Country Cranbrook office in 2017. Our success is no coincidence and is testament to the hard work and commitment of our staff.

May 30, 2019

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