Kieran Ryan, Managing Director
The local market in Kensington and Chelsea has, without doubt, improved. While prices have not increased over the last year for sure, we have seen an influx of activity and confidence seems to have improved.
We are finding that sellers are more realistic in their expectations regarding prices and our offices seem to have increased our market share against the corporates, which is interesting!
Currently, the average sale price that we have achieved in the area is £1.5 million, with the average rental price per week around £600.
In recent times, we have seen many potential overseas buyers coming into our offices to register and enquire about purchasing various types of property and asking about what the costs are attributed to this etc. A few have even resulted in actual sales. With prices well below peak times and the value of the pound extremely low, these factors are, at the present time, driving this surge.
INDEPENDENT IN A CORPORATE FIELD
Here at Rickman, we are the only nominated representative of The Guild of Property Professionals in this area and we are proud of that fact. The Guild gives Rickman tremendous support as an independent agency, which is in an area dominated by the larger corporate agents, but it has been proven that with the support of the Guild, the professionalism of our employees, the extra mile we put into everything we do, we provide an excellent alternative by being Independent. We have been serving Kensington and Chelsea since 2001.
Pictured property: Harrington Garden, South Kensington, £4,250,000
Andrew Lodge, Managing Director
Andrew Lodge Estate Agents
Farnham Town Centre is undergoing an amazing period of change with major redevelopments in the East Street area creating growing interest in the town. Farnham Estates, Crest Nicholson and Berkeley Homes are changing the face of the town, providing many new homes, some of which will be affordable housing.
We recently received a regional housing market update from The Guild of Property Professionals, reporting economic growth of 1.4% across the South East when we look at GDP growth between Q4 2017 and Q4 2018. There has been a 2.7% increase in residential transactions, rising from 99,060 in Feb 2018 to 101,780 in Feb 2019. There have been around 486 property sales in Farnham over the past year with an average price paid of £539,417.
BUCKING THE TREND
While the market has been fairly subdued the RICS expects sales rates and price growth to pick up across most parts of the UK over the next year. On a national level, the report notes that a lack of properties to buy is holding back demand. After Brexit uncertainty, agents in the latest RICS Residential Market Survey cite the lack of stock as being the second biggest challenge to the current market.
However, our team in Farnham is bucking the trend. At our Farnham office, we have plenty of stock to meet demand. Over the last year, our sales team have continuously taken on properties in the £400,000 to £1 million-plus price bracket. We currently have a very exciting portfolio of properties –which is very positive.
We are currently marketing a stunning new development for Farnham Estates in East Street called Lionsgate. The development comprises 12 luxury apartments and two penthouse suites, all spaciously designed to a high spec with underground parking.
Despite all the Brexit uncertainty, there are still plenty of places up and down the UK experiencing resilient market conditions. First-time buyer demand is strong and mortgage rates remaining low. At the same time, employment levels remain high and wages are rising faster than inflation, which is encouraging news for potential buyers.
Pictured property: Lionsgate development – Apartment prices start from £735,000.
Adrian Hardwick, Sales Director
Keats Estate Agents
Market activity is changing month on month depending on demand and the availability of good housing stock. Early on in the season, the focus was on the £1 – £2 million price bracket which encompassed character town homes within easy striking distance of the station to those larger ones with acreage further out. More recently properties under £500,000 including semi-detached houses and apartments have become flavour of the month.
There was a more positive feel to the market in August 2019 compared to July, which was a little surprising and were delighted to see an increase in viewings for both Keats Sales and Lettings and a rise in the number of sales agreed.
Whilst the goose that lays the golden egg is often seen as the buyers coming down the train line from London due to the price volatility in the capital, the key proceedable buyers are more than often found within a 15 to 20-mile radius of Haslemere. We are seeing upsizing and downsizing locally with many staying within the area and when chains do form, it can involve three or more local moves.
UNCERTAINTY -V- CONFIDENCE
There is a misconception that sales are all based on price. Today’s market is very different and while we always look to achieve the best price, there are other demands on us. The key drivers are the excellent schools, transport links to the coast and London, and the quality of life, with the South Downs National Park on our doorstep.
If Stamp Duty Land Tax is altered in the Autumn Statement, we anticipate the market will see a much-needed surge in activity. Estate agents are having to work much harder to secure deals due to the uncertainty Brexit and a potential general election is causing.
Prospective buyers and vendors need encouragement and more guidance as many are nervous to act in the current economic climate. We need to build confidence back up in the UK property market and when we do this will lead to an increase in property transactions. www.keats.biz
Pictured property: Pine View Close, within walking distance of Haslemere town and station. Guide Price: £1.1m