All posts by Mark Walmsley

Can Self Confidence Really Improve Your Properties Value?

I’m not talking about braggadocio or arrogance here. I’m not even discussing an ability (or lack of) to point out a properties most “sellable” assets. What I’m referring to is our nations endearing strength in it’s own beliefs. With the trigger of Article 50 due later this week many conversations I’ve had over the last fortnight have asked for my opinion on “what will happen?”. Why anyone would ask me I don’t know, but it’s made for a few interesting exchanges.

The HomeOwnersAlliance, after studying recent data released by The Office for National Statistics, revealed the extraordinary evidence that self confidence has not only bucked a trend but stuck candles in it and launched it skyward.

The five regions which voted most strongly to leave the EU have all seen property price increases in excess of 3 per cent compared to June 2016, with the East of England the fastest-growing region at 4.25 per cent.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the only three regions which voted to remain have seen substantially slower growth.

Paula Higgins, Chief Executive of the HomeOwners Alliance said

“There is a clear pattern here; areas that voted more strongly to leave the EU have seen property prices grow faster over the past six months than areas that were pro-reiStock_000002696243XSmallmain.

“Of course, house prices are dictated by a myriad of economic, political and social factors, but confidence – the all-important ‘feel-good factor’ – is vital.

This really does show how “optimism” can “trump” negativity. The public feeling more confident in both their everyday lives and working environments  is echoed by willingness to not only buy but also to spend. Of course, in regions where many incomes are generated by overseas trade and the associated industries that support it, a real nervousness about personal circumstances cannot be underestimated.

Why would you be willing to invest where uncertainty reigns? Like most aspects of life it all boils down to how confident you feel and no advice or opinion can normally alter that!

If You Hear “I Can’t Believe my Home is Worth That Much!?”, Then it Probably Isn’t!

BPA-Vinyls-OL-AiCC-10-Coventry_BPA_540pxYou’ve just won £250,000 on the lottery but need to pay £500 to have the cheque couriered to you! A relative has left £1.1 Million to you but it’s in a holding account in Nigeria!  We Buy Any Car have told you your car is worth more than you could sell it for yourself on Auto Trader! You think your house is worth about £250,000 but an Estate agent with a low volume of agreed sales tells you it should be marketed at £325,000!

If these declarations sound too good to be true, it’s because they are! Since January 1st 2017 we have agreed sales on an incredible amount of new instructions. Sensible sellers, once the facts are presented, understand that if their home is worth “more” they will likely “get more”. Supply and demand in a market place with little stock dictates that buyers may have to pay the “asking price” but if the property is overvalued to start with, then they’ve no idea of the true value anyway. This is when property  just sit’s there.  And that’s no good for anyone.

If priced “reasonably” the public demand increases and in 70% of the cases this year, our properties have sold for the asking price or above.

Our advice, to enable a smooth sale remains the same. If the buying public think an asking price is reasonable, then the buying public will come. They won’t come one at a time either. You will have a choice of buyers to suit your needs and it’s this balance that makes for as little stress as possible. It’s also this balance that enable’s you to move onwards and secure you new home.

“Over Value & Risk Under Selling”, Consumer Watchdog Which? Reports!

Board ImagesWe always try to explain to our clients that if their home is worth more than the valuation we have placed upon it then the public will surely make that decision.

Since January 1st 2017 we have agreed sales on homes valued at a total of £7,967,950. The actual total of sales agreed is £8,010,006.

The consumer watchdog “Which?”has found that 1 in 5 houses had been reduced from there initial asking price . Most interestingly houses that were sold after a 5% reduction sold for an average of £19,000 less than those that were sold from their original asking price.

The indication here is that by overvaluing, greedy agents and sometimes greedy vendors will cost themselves 8% of the value of their home.

A fascinating indictment of these facts was realised by Paul Higgins, chief executive at The Homeowners Alliance. “Sellers shouldn’t just consider the price that agents claim they can get. They should be thinking about how the agent is going to sell the property and whether they are asking the right questions!”

Richard Headland of “Which?” states that if the valuation is not realistic you could end up thousands of pounds worse off and wasting a lot of time.

We completely agree. Think about your onward move with one hand and your proposed sale with another. Don’t get too caught up with the minutiae. Don’t hold out for another £500 for a light fitting if there is a risk of upsetting the sellers of your dream home. Ask your agent for advice. Don’t play games. Just be logical and hopefully your agent will guide you with the bigger picture in mind, not just the initial instruction.

Price Increases in Coventry by 24%. Brexit Showing No Ill Effects Whatsoever!

iStock_000002696243XSmallNo Brexit Ill effects whatsoever? Well, as is always the case the deeper you delve the murkier the reality becomes and that certainly seems to be the case here as well.

Coventry has seen tremendous price rises over the last few years with Styvechale and Earlsdon being the forerunners in most cases. Not anymore. Median price increases are certainly more common than price reductions but some areas have suffered when others have soared.

The remarkable and seemingly unstoppable wave of new students in the city dominates those areas with the highest price rises. CV4 including Charter Avenue, Cannon Park, De Montfort Way, Cannon Hill Road and a radius stretching as far as Hearsall Gold Club have seen prices rise from an average of £370,000 to as much as £458,000 over the last calendar year!

CV6 comes a close second but with a very different demographic. Student accommodation again, albeit Coventry University rather than The University of Warwick, has seen similar increases but with dramatically lower actual sales prices agreed.

What must always be considered when analysing statistics like this is what isn’t included. Statistics are only available because transactions take place. Many areas, Earlsdon being a prime example, have become almost landlocked with sellers wanting to move but with not enough property coming to the market for statistics to be even relevant.

This suggests, as we all know, that if you are truly happy in a location then comparable prices are hard to find and that statistics, sometimes, only tell one of a thousand stories!

 

White Paper, Blank Paper or Paper Promises

A wider range of “affordable housing” is what former Prime Minister David Cameron lauded and was delivered by way of the Governments latest White Paper. However quite how this change in stance genuinely affects the balance between what is “affordable” and what could only be purchased by “first time buyers” is surely the key. Since being a first time buyer in 2001 I have seen nothing that has made the process easier other than having a larger deposit and a wage increase.

How you get this could be a matter of luck, graft, and genetics with a familiar pinch of nepotism becoming the deciding factor.

If the Governments pledge to contribute to savings, shared ownership or life time ISA’s do actually work then in equal measure they have failed. Most schemes have been withdrawn and most were badly marketed resulting in very little uptake.

Bottom line it’s simple. If you want to own a home and you want a mortgage that ties you to it, then you have to find the money to pay for it. You also have to have the earnings to support it. If both answers are yes then you now need to find the housing stock you can afford……

……As of 8th February 2017 it didn’t exist. The Government want 250,000 new homes each year until 2020. Unless the majority of this stock is affordable nothing can or will change and with 360,000 homes having already undergone planning within our existing Green Belt this entire proposal seems more unlikely than ever.

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How South Coventry Benefits From Kenilworth & Vice Versa

IMG_1952Sometimes, reactions surprise you. Our new Office in Kenilworth has been really well received and comments from one customer in particular were fascinating.  “This is great, my children can’t afford to buy in Kenilworth so I’ll send them your way!”. This was unexpected to say the least. I hadn’t even thought of that market at all. Residents of Kenilworth have children and children (and I’m talking 21 – 40 years old here!) can’t often afford to buy in Kenilworth. That’s why we advertise many South Coventry properties in the Kenilworth branch. It works and people are so interested, it’s almost as if they wouldn’t visit us if we were just a Coventry agent. On the flip side of this we have current sellers in Coventry looking to move to Kenilworth to downsize and also families within Kenilworth moving to Finham and Earlsdon. This is a fascinating market in itself because quite honestly the prices in Earlsdon and Kenilworth are surprisingly similar. A three to four bedroom period terrace in both towns are often comparable. The advantages of one over the other though are completely subjective. The schooling in Finham,  Stivichall and Kenilworth is outstanding whilst the infrastructure with the A46 and A45 being so close allows easy access to the motorway networks. What’s for sure is that homeowners with property in Kenilworth, Finham, Stivichall, Earlsdon, Burton Green, Gibbet Hill and Westwood Heath could not find greater coverage for marketing their home than Elizabeth Davenport.

Inner London Slips As The Rest Of Us Climb

BPA-Vinyls-OL-AiCC-10-Coventry_BPA_540pxI’m not saying it’s become affordable or that I’d like to live there at all, but Inner London is sensing a disturbance in The Force. Born out of Brexit jitters and high Buy To Let taxes rather than Dark Side itself, Inner London has seen property growth drop over the last year with 14% less houses coming to market and growth recorded at just 0.1%.

With a predicted national average growth of a further 2% in 2017, Inner London seems to be facing a fall of 5% with some boroughs seeing drops of up to 16%.

Now we are seeing London homeowners moving here. Coventry, much improving and seemingly year on year, has become very much part of the commuter belt now.

Please take note London Midland, your Birmingham and Coventry to London trains are integral to the success of this City, no more talk of cancellations please!

The infrastructure of Friargate is finally taking shape (strewth!) and both Jaguar Landrover and both Universities are attracting swaths of new residents to the City.

Not quite so in London where a degree of panic seems to be encroaching with Article 50 threatening even more pressures.

Like I say, I wouldn’t want to live there though.  A journey of 60 minutes (if we can find our alarm clocks!) and a railcard is certainly more attractive than a house for half the size and twice the price!

Yep. I like it here. It’s all begin to happen.

 

New Years Resolutions and A Commitment To Service

Once I’d stopped eating for more than 8 hours I realised that at some stage Christmas would end and that my routine over the last week would require a serious review. I was one of the lucky ones though. I remained in good health whilst some of the family were poorly. On a much greater scale though we’re all so much luckier than many of our international neighbours. It’s been a difficult year when we look at the World as a whole.

Whilst the festivities raged there was always the knowing that in a matter of days 2016 would be over and that all of the hard work undertaken that year would simply have to begin again come January 1st 2017.

All the successes achieved have now past. Buyers have bought and moved in and sellers having sold and moved on. There have been many lovely reviews posted on Google and plenty of grateful and enthusiastic thank you cards received. But immediate success means an immediate conclusion and once those keys have been collected, the show must go on.

We, like many businesses, are nothing without happy clients and  customers. 2017 will only see our service standards to you improve with further commitment to greater staffing levels, better technology and certainly, without exception, more smiles and more handshakes.

To Clients and Customers alike, thank you for making 2016 such aBPA-Vinyls-OL-AiCC-10-Coventry_BPA_540px good year and let’s try to make the New Year a much better one for all of us, globally, in 2017.

Christmas, Boxing Day & New Years Day! Do We Really Look At Houses Over The Festive Period?

Whether you can believe it or not some of the most recent statistics released from Rightmove have revealed some really surprising and unusual activities over our Christmas holiday’s! I’m not talking about “Pie Face” or “Charades” here, I’m simply talking about online property views.

Rightmove reports show a whopping increase of over 20% activity levels between Christmas and the New Year.

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The last published statistics revealed that on On Christmas Day there were nearly 14 million page views and over 10,000 people took time out from the festivities to send emails to agents.
On Boxing Day it gets traditionally  busier, with page views jumping to over 25 million.

Views peak on New Year’s Day, with an average of over 38 million page views  (This is no doubt due to many being unable to even step out of their armchairs!).

What does this really tell us? Well, unarguably it shows that when we have time, we use it. Christmas and more specifically the New Year, with the hopes and ambitions it promises (who can’t fail to at least have hopes and ambitions for the year ahead whether realised or not!), is time for prediction and planning. Physical viewings are not so common, but planning ahead and looking at what’s available, can be the spark that lights the fire. Having your property on the market over the Christmas period doesn’t mean that Mr and Mrs Smith are going to disrupt your Figgie Pudding and Brandy Snaps. It means simply that they will likely plan to visit your house after Christmas.

Seeing your home for sale may persuade them to sell their own property and enable them to move forwards. Yours could be the property that instigates those decisions. And more importantly, yours could be the property they buy as well.

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear!

There are plenty of times in your life when friends and family tell you exactly what you want to hear. “Did I do well at my School Play Dad?”, I asked nervously, “Of course you did Son, well done”. I was a Barn Door (better than a sheep though!). We’re already ten minutes late and my wife says “Are you sure this looks OK?”…….I think you know where this conversation is heading!

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So if you want to buy a house for £350,000 and you need to sell yours for £270,000 to make this possible please don’t tell the Estate Agent. If you do, you know what will likely happen. The agent will know there is little chance of an instruction without persuading you that your house is genuinely worth, you’ve guessed it, in the region of £270,000.

At Elizabeth Davenport we know that the right advice and what you want to hear  are often two different beasts. What we do know is that in order to attract the most interest and at the highest price possible you certainly don’t need to start marketing unrealistically high. It just doesn’t work.

Rightmove statistics have shown that since 1st January 2016 we have reduced a lower percentage of our properties than any other agent in Coventry and Kenilworth.

As the very bespoke nature of property alludes, we can’t always get it right but we certainly won’t advice you of the impossible just to win your instruction. Beware of listening only to what you want to hear! I’m not talking about my wife now ( I made that bit up!).