Post the December 12thelection there was a collective sigh of relief amongst estate agents across the Country. Nor necessarily because estate agents are pro Leave per se, but the majority won in the House marked an end to the political stalemate that has stymied the last Parliament.

 In the short term this had a beneficial effect of house prices, with the Halifax house price index indicating a rise of 1.7% in December compared to November, suggesting that this political clarity has boosted the market. But what are the implications of Brexit moving forward?

 estate agents in Harlow

According to Homes and Property although, “January is steady in the property industry as sellers often hang on until spring to launch their homes. However, this month developers reported levels of enquiries and forward well up on the end of last year.” Which obviously bodes well, but how much of this is a reflection of a post-election ‘bounce’?

Well to be frank, nothing has actually changed. Sure we will be leaving the EU on January 31st, but there will be no ‘agreement’ in place until 12 months after that – so It’s almost impossible to speculate. Property group JLL’s new head of residential research, Nick Whitten says:” We don’t know what life will be like after Brexit.”A recent study by JLL  predicts house price growth across Greater London at one per cent this year and 2.5 per cent next year, before it jumps to 4.5 per cent in 2022. Which is pretty much identical to forecasts should the Brexit vote never have happened in the first place.

selling my house in essex

However, interests rates seem likely to rise which could mean the end of ‘ultra-low’ mortgages. Predictions by the Bank of England and others have also suggested that Brexit could mean an average drop of GDP of up to 8%. Meaning that the average Brittan would be effectively one twelfth worseoff than they were before. Of course such calculations are speculation without the details of any final trade details, due at the beginning of next year. The Housing Market is also particularly resilient and at the moment remains optimistic.

 

As indeed so should we. For the time being at least….

 

The Howick & Brooker Partnership is the leading and longest-established estate agency in Harlow. Howick and Brooker are members of the Guild of Professional Estate Agents

If you are interested in moving into the Harlow area pleas get in touch.

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(with acknowledgement and inspiration from “The Oldie’ magazine)

 

I guess it’s an age thing but I doget annoyed when a complete stranger rings and
calls me by my first name.  And then has the audacity to follow up by enquiring about my health in a chirpy, happy voice: “How are you?”

Likewise, the other day a young estate agent asked after my health twice within an hour! Do they really know that they’re doing it? Have they heard something about my health that I wasn’t previously aware of? I know I’m getting on a little bit, so far, according to my doctors I’m doing remarkably well for my age!

The sands of time haven’t bloody run out yet, and I’m certainly not shuffling off!

growing old disgracefully

And another irritation, which I find almost mind-shatteringly annoying, is when people say: “No Problem” at the end of a conversation! I know there isn’t a problem; well there wasn’t when the conversation started. So I asked politely “What Problem?” followed by a stony silence or, possibly confusion at the other end of the telephone line caused by my question.

I assume that when the young person (always someone young isn’t it?) says: ‘No
Problem,‘ they are suggesting that they have resolved a very demanding task or life -threatening issue? Not sure. Why can’t they say: “Thank you, good bye”?

 estate agents in Old Harlow and Essex

Or what about that American phase (albeit used less frequently now): “You’re welcome and have a nice day!” Aaaaaah. Nature cries out.

‘No problem’ is pointless. It means nothing, not even a ‘Goodbye’. I would even
prefer a: ‘You’re welcome’ but: ‘No problem’ is a question isn’t it?  Or perhaps it’s one-upmanship from the other side – the young people?

I recall recently, I did ‘have a problem’ on chain of sales and needed to talk to another agent for the best part of an hour attempting to resolve it at his end. The conversation ended with him saying: ‘No problem.’

I had had it by then: “There is a bloodyproblem that’s why I rang you!!!”

 

Good-bye. I’m going to have a lie down.

 

Alan Howick is a Director of the Howick & Brooker Partnership  - the leading and longest-established estate agency in Harlow. Howick and Brooker are members of the Guild of Professional Estate Agents  

 

 

If you are interested in moving into the Harlow area pleas get in touch.

T: 01279 418888

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Ask this question to any estate agent up and down the Country and the answer will always be ‘now’ :-)

But….if we want to look at the question as logically as possible (and without seeming patronising) – the answer is naturally: “when there are the largest number of people looking to buy.” More than that however, as with any product or service it’s not just a high level of demand but also a low level of supply. So the answer should be: “when the largest number of people are looking to buy and the lowest number of people are looking to sell.”

Meaning:

  • Competition forces out the best offers.
  • The more buyers there are and the fewer properties there are for sale, the more intense the environment of competition.
  • Competition between buyers over available properties has a positive effect on your achievable sale price.

The Advisory.co.uk who offer expert advice for house sellers, recommends that one researches the NAEA/propertymark website as they offer a monthly, national housing report which may offer indicators to kevels of supply. Searching for similar properties to your own on Rightmove  will also help. Buyer demand levels fluctuate but do follow a general pattern as shown in the table below:

January

First part bad, second half OK

February

First part good, second half great

March

Great

April

Great

May

Great

June

Great

July

First part good, second half OK

August

Bad

September

First party OK, second half good

October

Good

November

OK

December

Bad

Of course the typeof property you’re aiming to sell may affect the rather generic table above: smaller flats and terraces tend to sell better in January and February for example. Bungalows and retirement homes always do better in the warmer months. The reasons for these differences are logical or course and will be explained in later blog posts.

But to conclude this brief article, when is the best time to put your house on the market?

 Why, now, of course….

 

The Howick & Brooker Partnership, is the leading and longest-established estate agency in Harlow. Howick and Brooker are members of the Guild of Professional Estate Agents

If you are interested in moving into the Harlow area pleas get in touch.

T: 01279 418888

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

 

Here we go again. You may have noticed that there’s an election going on….

 

This one seems to have a slightly different feel to the last (which was, remarkably, less than 2 years ago), the political climate feels contentious, cross and well, more ‘grumpy’than before. Throw the never-ending saga of Brexit into the mix and we are left in flux – with no clear idea of what conditions to expect for 2020 and beyond. One could be forgiven for feeling some trepidation about the ramifications on the economy, and in particular the always-flighty property market. But is the outlook really so frightening?

According to the Guardian  house prices have actually risen in the month of November despite insecurities arising from the election, with the Nationwide reporting that house prices are £800 higher than they were a year ago. In a fascinating graphic, also produced by the Nationwide we can see the effects of elections on mortgage approvals since 1997

:
Photograph: Nationwide

 

According to the Nationwide’s Robert Gardner: “It appears that housing market trends have not traditionally been impacted around the time of general elections. Rightly or wrongly, for most home buyers, elections are not foremost in their minds while buying or selling their home.”

 That said it’s not all good news on the property front. Guy Harrington, the CEO of property lender Glenhawk has described 2019 as an ‘annus horriblis’ and goes on to say “Worryingly for UK vendors, with neither the Tory or Labour manifesto offering much cause for optimism, it may take more than a general election and Brexit resolution to rouse the market from its deep slumber.”

 

 

And there we have it again…the ‘B’ word’. Iain MacKenzie, who is CEO of the Guild of Property Professionals  is convinced that the market will remain subdued until there’s more clarity: ”Once we know what to expect, the market can settle into a new normal and activity will start to improve as buyers and sellers get on with it. At the moment there is a lack of stock coming onto the market as sellers hold back and remain on the side-lines. I think this will change once we put Brexit behind us, and we can move forward as a country.”

Which is all well and good, of course, but unfortunately even if Brexit is ‘done’ in January 2020 it may be a number of years before trade deals are reached and so that clarity might be somewhere off in the distance. AND, of course, we still don’t really have any idea whether Brexit will actually happen and what form it might take.

Ho hum.

 

Once again it seems that in the property market, as in Westminster, the only thing we can be sure of is that we can't reallybe sure of anything.

 

The Howick & Brooker Partnership is the leading and longest-established estate agency in Harlow. Howick and Brooker are members of the Guild of Professional Estate Agents.

 

 

If you are interested in moving into the Harlow area pleas get in touch.

T: 01279 418888

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

I have now reached 52 years in Estate Agency (!!) – what to expect from the present and the future?

 

In January 1990 – after many shenanigans with the banks, I (we) finally ended up with our names above the door for the first time, and three decades later we are still going strong! Barbara’s son Paul is now our MD, my son James works alongside him and Barbara’s other son Giles heads up the rental and letting agency next door. My daughter, Samantha, annoyed that she was not offered a job in the ‘family business’ sold up and moved to the US with my grandsons. Well, in truth, her husband had a job relocation, but Sam’s version is more fun…

We have been trading from Gothic House (below), in the centre of Old Harlow since 1978 and the name has changes 5 times in that period. Barbara and I however, have only moved a few yards in all of that time – well upstairs.

how to sell my house in Essex

In 50 years this business hasn’t changes a single bit. OK, computers have helped out a lot, but there is still a place for the ‘hot box’ of index cards, face-to-face conversations and old-style charm. Some of the better changes include no more need to be handwriting thousands of envelopes and sticking stamps on, folding and stuffing ‘millions’ of property details (that’s a BIG plus!). We have no need for secretaries as we do our own correspondence. Progress chasers are now fashionable and I do agree that this innovation works well – providing that agents can lose their egos and talk to eachother on a level playing field.

Conveyancers (who used to be known as legal clerks) are worse now than in the 1970s – they tend to be too cheap and have lost a lot of ‘customer care’. I still moan at length about them and they still moan about me. There remains a massive divide between those who are conveyancing and selling even though we are meant to be on the same side. It’s rather hopeless, and unfortunately will continue to be until we all work as one unit (like they do in Scotland and other enlightened marketplaces such as Australia or The States).

Oh and searches…..there’s another ‘soapbox’ issue of mine…..

The newest phase must be the much-needed improvement in online estate agencies. Interesting media articles and experiences on this matter include more and more dissatisfied sellers coming back to us saying: ‘I have wasted about £1000 and got nothing back in return.’ Will online survive? Of course. But it will have to ‘up its game’ as far as post-sale
proceedure in concerned.

The future? Sooner or later, a forward-thinking agent and a similar-minded lawyer will get together, move out of the high street, find a former ‘Little Chef’ building on the outskirts of town and open a 24/7 property centre with everything included. In the same building will be carpert-fitters, gas and electric engineers, locksmiths and all other trades as well.  Also there needs to be compulsory MOTs for homes, No MOT certificate, no sale. This could replace the sadly-lost ‘HIPs’.

To those about to or have just joined the industry, enjoy! It’s good fun….

 …most of the time.

 

The Howick & Brooker Partnership, is the leading and longest-established estate agency in Harlow.
Howick and Brooker are members of the Guild of Professional Estate Agents 

 

<alt – estate agents in Harlow

 

If you are interested in moving into the Harlow area please do get in touch.

T: 01279 418888

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

 

 

 

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