Category Archives: Uncategorized

STAMP DUTY HOLIDAY BOOST FOR BUYERS

At the time of writing, the Chancellor is due to announce immediate plans for a Stamp Duty Holiday on the first £500,000 on residential property purchases.

This is a huge boost for homebuyers and the property market as a whole. Buyers will make substantial savings when purchasing a home and this could mean additional sales and spur those buyers and sellers who have been hesitating, to now strike while the iron is hot and proceed with moving home.iStock_000002696243XSmall

On a £300,000 purchase this would save £5,000 (a new luxury bathroom) whilst on a £500,000 property the saving would be a whopping £15,000 (average cost of a bespoke fitted Kitchen with appliances).

This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity if you are looking at moving home. In the coming months and years, the taxman could be looking to recuperate some of the lost revenue that he has suffered during the lockdown. Taxes could rise (including stamp duty) in the future so this is an opportunity not to be missed.

Speaking as a buyer, my only regret is I moved house last November and have already stumped up a sizeable Stamp Duty payment to the Treasury in the last 6 months. Such is life.

If you would like to take advantage of this incredible opportunity or need further advice on moving home in the current market, please call our office on 01926 298 298 and we will be delighted to offer a free consultation.

Thank you Mr Sunak…

Prepare For a Quick Sale!

Like most things in life, preparation can be key to a successful outcome. Or put it another way “If you fail to prepare then you are preparing to fail” goes the saying. Popular-web

So why would you need to prepare for a quick sale of your home? Because quite simply finding a buyer is one of the simpler parts of the process in the current buoyant market (there is currently lots of pent up demand from buyers after the lockdown). Once a buyer is secured, the complicated legal process begins and this can take several months but on average takes around 12 weeks, depending upon the urgency of those involved and how quickly all parties are to getting paperwork filled out, responding to queries, etc.

If you are suitably motivated then you can begin preparation for this process beforehand. Start by finding a good local solicitor/conveyancer. Local means one that is based in the same town and will be familiar with most of the local housing stock as well as already having relationships with other local solicitors and Estate Agents. In addition you can begin filling out some of the paperwork required by the solicitors. “Property Information Questionnaires” are standard forms used by all conveyancers. We can provide one for you before a buyer is even found and you can get a head start on other sellers by completing it at the start of the process.

The majority of agreed sales that do fall through are as a result of delays in the legal process that drag the sale out and ultimately a change in circumstances down the line by either the sellers or the buyers causes a change of mind and a collapse in the process.

If you make the best preparations possible and help speed the process along by liaising closely with the Estate Agent and your solicitor you will increase your chances of success and a speedy move to your next home.

For more expert advice on the moving process or to get your property on sale call our office today on 01926 298 298 and we’ll be delighted to help.

Brexit, Coronavirus, panic buying. How will your property sale or purchase be affected?

The national Brexit crisis of 2019 now seems like a feeble storm in a teacup compared to the latest news headlines and developments. Aside from people’s fears regarding their own family’s health and wellbeing, most of us could also be forgiven for wondering what financial burdens Coronavirus may bring. ShoppingStampede

In terms of the property market, the signs of a slow down haven’t materialised at date of writing (11th March 2020). Whilst houses aren’t shifting at the same rate as sanitiser or loo roll, record sales were recorded by our Kenilworth & Leamington Branch in February and March has begun in much the same mould. Buyers clearly aren’t being deterred and are getting on with it. Sellers seem a little more hesitant and so there is a shortage of quality new property coming to market, thus if you’re considering selling then there couldn’t be a better time to take the plunge.

Once you have decided to go on the market then there may be some precautions worth taking. Consider what provisions your Estate Agent is taking to ensure your property continues to be marketed during the coming weeks. What contingency plans do they have in place in case their staff are unable to come into work, will they still be able to take calls and enquiries or will your house sale be forced to self isolate?

At Elizabeth Davenport, we have made extensive plans for every eventuality including ensuring that our phone lines will be fully manned in the coming weeks and months, allowing your home to be marketed fully and a sale achieved. Check with your current agent what provisions they have put in place, if they “umm and arr” (or don’t answer the phone!) then it may be time to wash your hands of them.

If you would like further information or advice regarding your property sale then please call one of our helpful agents who will be delighted to chat and offer advice. We are here to help.

On your marks, get set for 2020…

Goodbye 2019. Here comes 2020…

And here are our predictions for the property market for the coming 12 months:

A year where uncertainty becomes certainty, a year where dithering and delay become a time for action. A year where homeowners who weren’t sure become sure and a year where the need for homes and the need for relocation drive the property market as they should, rather than outside unrelated forces. thumbnail 15.59.15

What does this all mean for the homeowner on the ground? Essentially it will mean more choice when shopping around for a new home, more confidence when going on sale or renting and more positive decisions leading to an all round healthy market.

All of this coupled with continued record low interest rates is excellent news. If you are thinking of moving in 2020, then traditionally January quickly becomes a busy time with lots of activity. This continues into Spring with February, March and April being 3 of the busiest months of the year, usually with activity only slowing down during the school summer holidays, purely for logistical reasons with many families away on holiday.

If you are selling, please bear in mind that once a buyer is found the legal process takes up to around 3 months to complete, so taking steps sooner rather than later is advisable. If you want to start the ball rolling then please call our office for a free market appraisal of your property. Our expert consultants can advise on any essential preparations prior to marketing and answer any other questions you may have about the process in general. Call us today to book an appointment.

In the meantime, from everyone at Elizabeth Davenport Estate Agents please do have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We look forward to working with you in 2020.

A Very English Summer!

Wow what a summer, the England Cricket team have won the World Cup and then lost the Ashes demonstrating the highs and lows of sport in only a few short weeks – the housing market has been pretty much the same!

We have achieved some fantastic results for many of our clients and yet there have been some properties that have left us scratching our heads. One thing is for certain though, there are buyers out there looking to buy. Mortgages remain competitive and there are still some fantastic opportunities available.

Shot of a batsman's equipment for cricket
A very English Summer

Unlike the England cricket team this summer as an Estate Agency you have to be able to adapt your approach to the current climate. Whether you find yourself facing the red or the white ball, an escalating or stagnant marketplace you have to find a winning formula!

We as a business have had to adapt and adopt a much more proactive approach to seeking out buyers and keeping our selling clients updated as to what’s happening. Gone for now, are the days of buyers queuing up at open house events scrambling over each other to make offers. Whilst buyers are out there pricing has become more of a primary concern than in the past when we were seeing very strong annual price inflation.

The current situation requires careful thought and planning for every property we are entrusted to sell, bespoke marketing plans with checkpoints at various stages to keep properties fresh and appealing. Detailed pricing plans with appropriate method of sale recommendations, planned marketing reviews to learn from buyer feedback. Dedicated trained professionals accompanying buyers round homes are but only a few examples.

So with one test still to play let’s see if England can win at The Oval and send the Aussies home with a tied series. If anyone has worked out how to get Steve Smith out please feel free to email me nick@elizabethdavenport.co.uk

Life Goes On!

After a quiet start to 2019, the local property market in Warwickshire has seen brisk activity with record numbers of properties being listed during May and June. In addition May saw both our offices agree a huge number of sales during the same period.
George Hartshorn
Rewind to February and March and the market was very quiet. It seems that a large number of homeowners were “waiting to see” (what happened with Brexit) and so what normally is a very busy time of year failed to kick into action.

Once Brexit failed to happen many sellers decided to simply get on with it and put their homes on sale. Most people are simply fed up with Brexit now and want to get on with their lives. This is certainly being reflected in all of the sales figures for the year.

If you are still “waiting to see” then you could be waiting for a long time. Now is a good time to make that decision and decide to move home. Prices are perhaps seeing a small correction at present so being realistic with your expectations is paramount, however don’t forget that you can make savings on your onward purchase in a falling market so it’s no bad thing.

For a no obligation, free market appraisal of your property call our Kenilworth Branch on 01926 298 298 or our Coventry Branch on 02476 010105.

Sometimes Kenilworth & It’s Neighbours Can Be A Symbiotic Solution!

Sometimes, reactions surprise you.

Our stylish window changes  within our Kenilworth office have been really well received and comments from one customer in particular were fascinating.  She was looking at an attractive “South Coventry” property we were marketing for a Kenilworth resident. “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 marketplace at all. Residents of Kenilworth have children (and by children I’m talking 21 – 40 years old here!) who can’t often afford to buy in Kenilworth. That’s why advertising the occasional South Coventry gem in the Kenilworth branch can be so effective. It works and people are so interested.

On the flip side of this equation we have current sellers in Coventry looking to move to Kenilworth to downsize and also families within Kenilworth moving to Earlsdon.

This is a fascinating market in itself because on the face of it and 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 certainly 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.

What We All Thought We Knew, We Do Now!

In many sales and service  industries a common question that always justifies both asking and answering is, “Why should we choose you?“.

Whether you are an Indian Restaurant, an independent Butcher or simply a Charity shop on the local high street ,  the question and the answers should be the same.

Every business needs to show it’s customer’s the difference. And that difference needs to be worth it.

A fascinating study undertaken by the home service group The Advisory, has presented some fascinating figures that go somewhere close to revealing what we thought, but couldn’t be certain of.

If higher fees are charged by a local “high street” Estate Agent, then why are they charged and what does the client receive “that is worth it”?  If  you order a Chicken Saagwala why is it better in one restaurant than another? Is it just the taste or could it be the taste, the ambience of the restaurant and the service you receive? If the price is £5.00 more in the preferred restaurant, this could be as much as 35% or even 50% more than the competition, but you judge that it’s worth it.

The average fee in the UK sits currently at 1.18% with the highest found in London, Sunderland, Manchester and Birmingham all surpassing this average.  The lowest average fees the UK sit currently in both Edinburgh and Hull at just under 0.9%.

In Kenilworth as an example, the fees, with competition being so strong, still have to remain immensely competitive. So whatever the fee, stop and look at it closely. Look not just at the fee itself but what you actually receive for that fee. 1% from one agent can be very different in the quality received  to 1% from another.

Judge these fees (only payable when results are achieved and therefore forcing the agent to prove their worth!),  against paying in advance for lesser “service” and the online threat is purely a perception. The same report states that 95.3% of sellers make the decision to use a high street agent and Rightmove and Zoopla both support this.

What the online “threat” has done, rather than  actually sell houses, is bolster the service delivery of the good agents whilst the ones with nothing to offer simply continue to reduce and reduce.

In short, during the last 3 years and as a national statistic, estate agents fees have reduced by 34% but the quality of the professional high street agent has improved. That’s what “Online and In Advance Payments For Nothing” have done to the industry. That’s what we thought we knew and thanks to this independent research, we do now.

Mark Walmsley, Director, Elizabeth Davenport

World Cup Dream is Over – But What a Ride!

Elizabeth Davenport attended Kenilworth School’s career’s fair at Castle Sixth Form last Tuesday. World Cup fever was in the air and the team at Elizabeth Davenport decided to have a bit of fun and run a World Cup competition for the students. The prize at stake was a brand-new England home shirt, all the students had to do was answer one simple  question…IMG_4622

The question was; how many properties were currently available to buy in Kenilworth?

More than 30 students took part with guesses ranging from 105 to 4,438!

The winning guess was made by lucky student Louis Perry who guessed 178 which was only 8 properties away from the actual figure of 186!*

Nick Luntley, a Director & Branch Manager at Elizabeth Davenport, who was also a former pupil of Kenilworth School said “we were delighted to meet so many keen and enthusiastic students and only hope we were able to offer some genuine insight into how small business and the property industry works. It was a slightly surreal experience for me as the last time I was in this hall I was sitting my final A-level exam nearly 14 years ago! The England shirt competition was just a bit of fun that hopefully gave students a small incentive to come and speak with us!”

“It’s a shame the football didn’t quite work out how we all wanted but I’m sure Louis will still be wearing his new shirt with pride. I’d also like to extend a special thank you to Marie Brennan at Kenilworth School who organised a fantastic day for all the students”.

Elizabeth Davenport regularly support students and school leavers by offering work experience places throughout the year. If this is something that would be of interest please email either Nick (nick@elizabethdavenport.co.uk) or Mark (mark@elizabethdavenport.co.uk).

*Figure provided by Rightmove.co.uk on the day of the competition.

Kenilworth To London in 90 Minutes & Other Milestones!

On the 30th April Kenilworth residents were  finally rewarded by the opening of its new Railway Station. Situated just a few hundred yards from our Warwick Road office we were lucky enough to have been asked to comment on both BBC Coventry & Warwickshire and on BBC One as well. Essentially a shuttle linking the major hubs of Birmingham, Coventry and Leamington Spa together, the social impact of Kenilworth’s station cannot be overlooked. With cheap and easy hourly access to the neighbouring towns and cities, Kenilworth may not remain the “Island” it has sometimes defended itself against. With enclaves of surrounding land earmarked for residential development never has a time to embrace changes for the positive seemed so apt.

A community, that even in the most  recent years knew exactly who it’s eldest residents and original families were, are seeing changes and dramatic rebirth occur.  Whether found by way of a platform on a Station or a glass of Wine within an award winning restaurant, the towns appeal seems to be growing beyond it’s boundaries. Families attracted by schooling and now interconnectivity (without the need for owning your own four wheels!) mean that wherever in Kenilworth you may live you sit never more than a walk away from whatever your needs may be.

This surely, and being at the heart of forthcoming change rather than battling against it,  is where strength in a community must truly be welcomed.

castle house