Edward Chelton Brown – Director
Chelton Brown Lettings and Sales
It has been a changing first six months in the 2020/21 financial year. With lockdown, furlough and market uncertainty it seemed that the year was doomed to be a write off. However, as we now know since returning to work in late May the market has experienced a mini boom! In the past four months house prices in Northampton have jumped as much as three per cent in certain areas meaning the average price of home in Northampton is now £237,548. The local market has been spurred by the changes in stamp duty saving the average buyer in Northampton around £5,000 and this combined with a competitive mortgage has turbocharged demand.
Growth through adversity
Here at Chelton Brown we have seen that transactions are up by 400 per cent on the previous year and to combat this we have had four new sales partners join the team since April. A campaign of continued marketing during lockdown and continued good levels of customer service has meant that we are only one of two agents to increase market share, with the average agent in the decreasing in size by 13.47 per cent and Chelton Brown increasing by 17.07 per cent.
This combined with a redesign of our fee packages has led to an average fee increase from £1250 + VAT to £2082.71 + VAT in the same period.
As with many agents, whilst COVID-19 has created challenges, it has also created the opportunity for positive changes. Less physical viewings through the use of 360-degree tours and virtual viewings have provided a safe way to view property cutting the risk to both buyers and seller. Secondly better offer checking and applicant vetting has mean that both the number of viewing to offers is down as well as our fall through rates. As always good marketing and service prevails and with the continued support from the Guild of Property Professionals, a good team and modern marketing methods we can only hope the upward projection continues!
Pictured property: Kislingbury, Northampton – Offers over £690,000
Kieren Goldie – Lettings Negotiator
The local property market, which is based around Radlett, Elstree, Shenley and Aldenham, is in a good position in comparison to the national market across the country. Despite the challenges imposed by the impact of Covid-19 and with consideration for the stability of the market within the next six months, the housing market in this affluent bubble hasn’t been affected too significantly.
Stamp duty boost
The stamp duty break has seen continued activity in house sales below the 500k threshold that the break applies to. At present in the local area, the sale and purchase of properties over the £500,000 threshold is moving well despite the uncertain future.
High end specialists
In terms of sales as an agency, we specialise in high-end market deals, some of which are off market. In terms of lettings, we have a diverse stock of properties to rent and cater for a variety of clients. We are frequently asked for rental properties ranging from two-bedroom apartments all the way up to five-bedroom, five-bathroom detached properties.
The average sales price for our office between August and September this year was in the region of £956,000, while the average rental price was around £2,200pcm.
Pictured property: Recent let five-bedroom, four-bedroom property in Barham Avenue.
Best Property Services
It is a sellers’ market right now and Northern Ireland prices are seeing the highest growth of any UK region. In Newry, Mourne and Down figures indicate a 5.1 per cent increase in house prices annually and 1.9 per cent per quarter. At Best Property Services, 2020 Q3 saw an improved market performance and higher than expected residential sale prices were achieved across Newry & South Down. The stamp duty holiday introduced in July 2020, created an instant and strong buyer demand in the market and provided opportunities for many buyers.
Despite a lower than average supply over this period our sales figures for July and August more than doubled and in September they tripled in comparison to 2019. COVID-19 has undoubtedly contributed to huge changes in how and where people are working and we’ve seen an increase in enquiries for properties with four to five bedrooms and other work-from-home-friendly features.
Despite the positive sales figures in the last quarter, tough lending restrictions currently suggest many buyers need 15 per cent deposit for new homes and 10-15 per cent deposit for resale property to secure a mortgage deal, pricing many out of the housing market.
For us, one of the key takeaways from COVID-19 so far, is the realisation that the quality of offers from viewings is crucial to increasing the efficiency of our agency branch.
COVID-19 has rightly given homeowners a justifiable reason to properly screen those who physically view their property. We ask that all potential buyers watch our online virtual viewings before booking a physical appointment.
We also ensure that those entering our client’s properties are in a legitimate financial position before viewing, to improve our efficiency and our conversion rate for our clients.
Pictured property: Saval, Newry – Offers around £329,000