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Regional report – Hants, Herts and North London

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 Edgeware, Haslemere and Hertforshire.

The Negotiator
Link to Sales and Lets feature

Average property price: £525,257 Average semi-detached house price: £605,015 Prices were up 4% on the previous year but 1% down from the 2018 peak


Link to Sales and Lets featureBENJAMIN STEVENS ESTATE AGENTS
Robert Murray
Edgware Branch Manager

Having been the Branch Manager for the Edgware branch of Benjamin Stevens Estate Agents for over two years now, I have always been extremely proud of the reputation we have for our customer service, honesty, and transparency. These traits have been instilled into all the team by our Managing Director Steve Wayne, resulting in, I believe, us being a multiple award-winning agency in North West London and the Home Counties.

Average houses prices in Edgware stand at over half a million pounds. We always achieve the best prices for our vendors by ensuring we price all properties realistically by using comparable evidence of recently sold and marketed properties in the area. We are then able to attract the largest audiences possible and go on to use strong negotiation and complete communication until a price is agreed. Through these strategies we averaged an additional £14,000 last year from first offer to agreed selling price.

Supply improving

Coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic and towards the end of the Stamp Duty holiday, more properties are coming to the market for both sales and rental. We are consistently speaking with vendors and landlords about pricing strategies to ensure they maximise their property investment to the fullest. We also advise our clients to be wary of overpricing properties or agents that just focus on low fees to attract them to market with them. The cheapest agent is the one that works to achieve the most money for the client – not the one with the lowest fee!

We are currently being asked for three bed semi-detached houses close to the local schools such as the Krishna Avanti school and are achieving record selling prices in this area currently. We offer free up-to-date market valuations to any client contemplating selling or renting out their properties and look forward letting our family support yours in finding your way to your new home.

Pictured property: Hillside Drive – Five-bed, two-bath at £895,000

Link to Sales and Lets feature

STATS: Average sales price: £500,000 Average rental: £1,000 pcm Average sales commission: 1.1% plus VAT (down from 1.25%) Average number of viewings per month – sales: 40 lettings: 25 down from the last two years due to a lack of stock supply for both.


Link to Sales and Lets featureKEATS ESTATE AGENTS
Norbert Baricz, Residential Sales
and Molly Puttock, Lettings

Keats of Haslemere is a busy agency based on the Surrey, Hampshire and West Sussex borders and has sold and let homes for more than 30 years. The residential sales team has found the market strongly increasing in momentum since the start of the year, with lockdown and increased demand against a reduced supply having a strong influence on the marketplace and buyer needs.

The market is clearly defined with buyer interest falling into two main categories – first time buyers who account for around 30% of our sales making every effort to jump onto the property ladder and families (50% of our market) recognising a need to buy larger properties not only in terms of accommodation but also in garden size. A noticeable shift over the past 18 months has been the uplift in the baseline budget for buyers with first timers moving from a modest £325,000 for a two-bedroom freehold house to a spend of £425,000 for a similar property and the price of an average family home moving from £550,000 to around £700,000.

Quality homes in demand

With a willingness to buy at the top end of budget rather than trying to get ‘the best possible deal’ comes an expectation in respect of the quality of the properties for sale with homes in tip top order and presentation achieving exchange values over and above the guide price, while ‘tired and outdated’ homes are taking longer to find a buyer and often having to go through a price reduction.

Molly Puttock who heads the team at Keats Letting notes that properties are letting at a tremendous speed and rents have risen around 10-15% during the last three months with the most popular lets being to families. There’s a shortage of new rental properties coming onto the market, “This isn’t just a local problem,” commented Molly. “From the networking we undertake with other Guild Members, it seems to be nationwide. We are however confident that as we get back to ‘normal’ the market will stabilise.”

Pictured property: Goldenfields Close, Liphook – listed at £700,000 and sold at £730,000

Link to Sales and Lets feature

STATS: Average sales price: £420,000 Average rental: £1,100 pcm Average viewings per property before going under offer: 5


Link to Sales and Lets featureSHEPHERDS PROPERTY SALE & LETTINGS
Adam Sander Company Director

In rental terms, our local property market is being hampered by a lack of available stock. To contextualise this point, in May this year, one of the larger towns we operate in, which usually is a stronghold and focal point of the rental market, had just one page of available stock on Rightmove. Three of the listings on that page were short-term holiday lets. So, this is hugely evident of the lack of stock generally. The rental demographic appears to have shifted from the first lockdown of outside space hunters, back to apartments close to a station or town centres.

To emphasise this point, our rentals team have been so awash with applicants, they have been able to market their listings to our mailing list without putting the property online.

Currently our sales department’s bread and butter stock are three bedroom semi-detached and end of terrace houses. That said, apartment sales are back on the increase and popular, as more information relating to cladding becomes available. Similar to our Lettings Department, over the last month or two, due to the volume of registered applicants to our mailing list, our sales team have followed the same tactic of direct mailing to our database, before going online with any portal. This is a significant operational shift.

Selling over asking price

The last three houses sold have been sold off-line, in this manner. In addition to selling off-line, all three houses have sold over asking price, as ‘full and final’ bids. Two of which achieved £30,000 more than advertised. This evidence of market strength has reflected in all sales since the start of March 2021. During the same time frame, our average sale price is £420,000.

It is safe to assume Covid has had an impact on sales and lettings. Demand for properties in our areas has remained consistent over the last 25 years, due in part, to fantastic train and road links, abundance of amenities and exceptional schooling. As such, it is safe to assume Covid’s impact is being felt most by the local homeowners and tenants choosing to remain where they are, during such a difficult and costly time in our living history.

Pictured property: High Road, Broxbounre, Hertfordshire, EN10 – 4-bedroom, link-detached Victorian home marketed at £674,995

July 21, 2021

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