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Storm blows in reasons to be cheerful

As much of the country battened down the hatches for the first storm of the season, there may have been a temptation to regret the passing of summer days and slip into a melancholic mood at the prospect of the winter to come.

But unseasonal and hugely welcome green shoots have been discovered poking their heads above ground, bravely bracing themselves against the Atlantic gusts.

Rant and rave as much as you like, Storm Agnes - we have reasons to be cheerful.


Reason 1

In its latest Housing Insight survey for August, leading trade body, Propertymark, reported a 29% increase in the number of new properties for sale at each member branch compared to July.

It also showed that sales agreed had gone up by 9% and the average number of prospective buyers registered by member branch had risen from 64 to 81.

On the lettings side, 68% of member branches felt that rents had risen over the last month and there was a 5% increase in the number of potential new tenants actively seeking a property.

Propertymark’s CEO, Nathan Emerson, said: “This shows that many people are continuing to find an affordable middle ground when coming to the market with negotiations well underway.

“We imagine this picture will only get stronger with more sales completing in the coming months given the recent positive news on inflation rates remaining unchanged. This will give much-needed encouragement to those buyers who were hesitant.”

Now no-one is saying that everything in the garden is suddenly rosy for sellers. We know, for example, that latest figures from Zoopla show that the average discount to asking price has hit a four-year high – typically, around 4.2% (higher in London than anywhere else at 4.8%).

But the point is that there is more general activity and the market is finding its ‘new normal.’

Reason 2

Mortgage rates are dropping – not like a stone of course (more like a feather) but they have been floating gently down since July.

Better news on inflation and an ‘as-you-were’ decision on Base Rate offers hope that rates will continue their downward trajectory as the year goes on, offering potential buyers the reassurance they’ve been looking for to re-engage with what has been a resilient market throughout the year so far.

There are now some 5-year fixes available under the 5% barrier with an LTV of 75%. Most commentators are hinting that the economic challenges may have peaked but the key statistic to look out for is the September inflation figure which will be announced on October 18.

Reason 3

We’ve been here before – the market always bounces back sooner or later because the aspiration of home ownership grows stronger with every new generation.

Which perhaps explains why there are 57,600 estate agents in the UK, according to statista.com

And to prove that news isn’t always ‘bad’ and there’s more to life than facts and figures, I thought I’d take this opportunity to celebrate a couple of success sories.

We all know that estate agency is very much a ‘people business’ but for some it’s also a family affair.

Twenty years ago (when I was little more than a child) John Day and his sons Russell and Nigel launched Riverside Homes – an agency with a difference. It was dedicated to selling homes on or near London’s watersides. It now boasts four offices and a marine consultancy and is now the largest seller of houseboats in the country.

John is still involved in the business but son Russell has now taken the helm on a day-to-day basis. We wish them well and safe passage as they navigate the next leg of their business journey.

And many happy returns, too, to Yorkshire estate agents Preston Baker who celebrate their 15th birthday in October and are celebrating by giving 15 books to 15 schools in their area.

They will be presenting the books to primary schools in Leeds, York, Doncaster and Selby.

What a brilliant way to spread the word.

Until next time…


*Do you have a topic or story you’d like me to Natter about?

 Please drop me a line:press@estateagenttoday.co.uk

  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    Statista is only an aggregator of statistics, analysts look at the original source data so 16,231 estate agents, if the term estate agent is termed to mean a company. If it is a person in a property related industry the amount of practitioners/individuals is 117,322. As to home ownership being on uptick - 1.2M completions over past decade per year is the norm, despite rising population so if anything home ownership is not even static. The big certainty is that technology is going to push itself into this clunky, slow industry, just as it has done in other marketplaces, just take a stroll around any mid sized town, the reason for so many empty units is not a recession, it is trade is just going digital and consumers like it like that.


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