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By Nat Daniels

CEO, Estate Agent Today

OTHER FEATURES

Property Natter - Here comes Summer.... or maybe Autumn?

We all know that first-time buyers have had a tough time of it lately. Mad mini-budgets resulting in higher interest rates and the cost-of-living crisis have all conspired against would-be homeowners.

Deposits have been a moving target and gathering savings to reach it has been like ascending an escalator going the other way.

2024 has started pretty well. Zoopla reported this week that would-be buyers are enjoying the highest level of Spring-time choice of homes for five years. Apparently, the number of homes on the market is 20% up on 2023.

All the market has been waiting for is that first cut in base rates to signal to borrowers and lenders that charges are on the way down. The hope is that base rates could fall in the Summer which, in turn, would unlock that pent-up demand and lead to a significant summer surge.

Ironically, a report in the Times newspaper this week might delay that but just for a few weeks.

The Times report says Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is planning a stamp duty cut in a pre-election Mini-Budget – probably to take place in September.

According to the article, Hunt is looking at increasing the threshold at which homebuyers pay the stamp duty land tax – up from £250,000 to £300,000.

Nothing, of course, is set in stone until it is actually announced but the source for the story appears to be ‘Government briefings’.

Let’s set aside the fact that a possible stamp duty cut before the general election is suggested to the Press just before the local and mayoral elections. Instead, why don’t we welcome the fact that the Chancellor is thinking about doing something to help first-time buyers and give the market a boost.

The downside, of course, is that transactions may be hit in August (traditionally a slower month) while people wait for the stamp duty cut to kick in.

You never know – it could be a September to remember.

 

Please don’t let me be misunderstood

Great news! Agents are proud of their profession. About time, too!

In a poll of 1,728 estate agents commissioned by GetAgent, 69% of agents believe the nation has the wrong impression when it comes to property professionals. And, 83% of them said they were proud to be an estate agent.

And hats off to agency trainer, Richard Rawlings who took to our Estate Agent Today  comments section to announce that April 24th should be “Agent Celebration Day!”

Some of us think that should be every day….but April 24th is a start.

The generation gap

There was an interesting release this week from home transformation company, HomeHow, comparing the interior design preferences of Millennials and Gen Zs.

Apparently, Millennials are minimalists and Gen Zs are maximalists – speaking generally, of course.

HomeHow says Millennials favour clean lines, uncluttered spaces and a focus on functionality.

Gen Zs, however, are not afraid of bold colour schemes, eclectic patterns and a curated selection of statement pieces.

Good to know.

And, they say, “The focus on functionality isn't solely driven by aesthetics for either generation. Millennials, having entered the workforce during the recession, tend to prioritise spaces that can adapt to their needs. Convertible furniture choices and multifunctional rooms that can seamlessly transition from a home office to a guest bedroom are highlights of a millennial home.”

Whereas, “Gen Z, known for their digital-native status, tend to focus on tech-integrated living. Smart home features, hidden charging stations, and designated workspaces with ample outlets are all high on their priority list. They seamlessly blend technology into their living spaces to create a comfortable and efficient environment.”

You don’t say.

As a final thought, the author tells us: “While there are distinct trends, it's important to remember these are just starting points. Both Millennials and Gen Z are influenced by a variety of sources, from social media to vintage shops. The key takeaway is that personal style reigns supreme. There's a growing appreciation for blending elements from different aesthetics, creating homes that are both functional and full of personality. So, whether you're a minimalist Millennial or a maximalist Gen Z, embrace what makes your home uniquely you.”

As a dyed in the wool baby boomer, all I can say is that things aint what they used to be.

In the words of the song, “All I want is a room somewhere, far away from the cold night air. With one enormous chair…oh wouldn’t it be luverly.”

Until next time….

N

If you’ve got a story you’d like me to natter about, get in touch at press@angelsmedia.co.uk

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