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Property Natter - See a purse and pick it up and all the day you’ll have good luck

Great story this week about the estate agent in St John’s Wood who found a purse in the back of a London cab.

Jason Goldstone, a director of Hanover Residential, opened it and found 60 quid and some credit cards inside. He also found a business card with a name on which he assumed was the owner.

He emailed her and, delighted, she came to the office to retrieve her missing purse – which she thought was long gone.


To cut a long story short, it turned out that the woman was in the process of selling her Camden home. Jason asked if Hanover could help her find a buyer and she agreed.

Eventually, Hanover Residential sold the property for £940,000.

Moral of the story? You never know where the next lead is coming from.

Jason did a good thing but he had no idea that by doing so, he would enter into a conversation that would result in a sale. But the critical moment occurred when he took a chance and asked the woman if she would allow Hanover Residential to help her market the property.

He saw a chance and he took it. More importantly, he made that chance by doing the right thing.

Confidence will do the trick

And there was more good news for the housing market this week with the announcement that the cost of living crisis may have reached its peak and is now, at last, beginning to ease. Inflation dropped to 8.7% from 10.1%. Not massive, I grant you, but it indicates a direction of travel and suggests things may be significantly better by the end of the year.

Perhaps even more significantly, according to Market Research firm, CfK, consumer confidence rose in April for the fourth month in a row – the highest it has been for 15 months.

The housing market relies on stability and confidence.  Don’t take my word for it, read this comment from Kare Noye, mortgage expert at Quilter: “The Spring and Summer months typically bring more demand to the housing market and as such, prices become more buoyant.

“Homeowners will be hoping that the lower inflation figure may spell the start of the end of the cost-of-living crisis, which will also keep prices steady at the very least.

“The advent of new products like the 100% mortgage will also play their part in keeping more first-time buyers in the market. First-time buyers have been priced out recently suffering from the dual problem of having to raise a large enough deposit and eye-watering interest rates. Now, with this new mortgage product, at least one of these problems is behind us.”

There is no shortage of would-be first-time buyers and it looks increasingly likely that more of them will gather the confidence to come forward as the year goes on.

Back to the future…

In this AI age when technology rules and most of us are wondering when all-conquering robots will bestride the narrow world like a colossus, what do you think is the most popular home improvement?

Is it the digital entertainment lounge with cut glass video clarity and home theatre sound?

Maybe it’s the ultimate wet room with more sprays than a perfume counter.

Perhaps it’s the outdoor kitchen or the rooftop terrace?

No. It’s not.

According to Uswitch, the most popular searched-for home improvement renovation is….a garden shed.

And not only is the shed the winner…..it is the winner by a mile.

Uswitch says sheds receive 13,862, 640 related searches every year. Landscaping is runner up with 3,949,440 and attic insulation third with 1,327,872.  

Some might suggest that the garden office was responsible for this surge in interest. But I like to think it’s something else.

It’s that sense of longing for times gone by, it’s village cricket, it’s blackbird song, it’s roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, it’s old paint cans and broken mowers. It’s creosote and solitude.

Until next time.


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    I agree that luck has a role to play in the property market. I'm aware of numerous occasions when people not actively looking for a new home have seen an agency's sale board on a property they've long-fancied, so leading them to buy. 'Old' tried and tested can sometimes give new technology a run for its money! On a similar theme, give me the humble shed instead of a hottub any day.
    On a more serious note, interest rates are likely to go higher and to stay elevated for some time to come. This will obviously impact adversely on the property market -100% mortgages for FTBs are tempting fate in the form of negative equity.


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