247 Property Agent Latest News
Parents are willing to pay £53,000 more for a home near one of England’s best-performing schools
House prices in parts of England have been thrust upwards by well-performing schools, with parents willing to pay thousands – or even hundreds of thousands – of pounds more to be near them.
Lloyds Bank says that many parents are willing to pay an average of £53,000 more to be in the catchment areas of top state schools – a 31 per cent increase on last year – according to Sky News.
The average house near one of the best-performing 30 schools in England now costs £366,744, compared to a national average of £313,318.
The bank says six of the top 30 schools seem to have pushed prices at least £150,000 over the average price in their county. Unsurprisingly, the biggest premiums are being paid in the more affluent south of England.
Top of the table is Beaconsfield High School in Buckinghamshire, in whose catchment area homes sell for almost £630,000 – 171 per cent more than the county average of £367,191.
The Tiffin Girls’ School in Kingston upon Thames has added £192,011 to prices there, while Dr Challoner’s High School, also in Buckinghamshire, seems to have created a £168,308 premium.
Andrew Mason of Lloyds says: “Schools with the best exam performance are proving to be an increasingly strong draw for home-movers, as we’ve seen house prices rise sharply in locations close to such schools.
“Our analysis shows that since 2011 average house prices in areas with the best state schools have increased by £76,000, compared to a national increase of £42,145.
“And seven of the areas covered in this survey have seen house prices rise by over £100,000 in the last five years.
“The popularity of areas close to high performing schools may mean that homes remain unaffordable for buyers on average earnings.”
85% of homeowners are willing to consider using an online estate agent, according to research by netanagent.com
With the increased competition in the marketplace from online agents, the survey reveals that a staggering 96% of homeowners would compare estate agents’ fees and services online if they could, to help decide which agent to use when selling a property.
Despite this trend, there is still a clear appreciation for the services offered by traditional agents, with reasons to not use an online agent including a desire to ‘speak to people face to face when dealing with big decisions’ and for ‘local people to sell my house in the local area’.
The survey findings also reveal the challenge that estate agents face when convincing UK homeowners of their value. Only 18% of homeowners view estate agents as ‘helpful’ and 20% view them as ‘knowledgeable’, with nearly a fifth (35%) thinking estate agents are ‘pushy’ and 30% perceiving them as ‘poor value for money’.
When choosing an agent, fee is the most important deciding factor (56%), with personal recommendation a close second and local knowledge and responsiveness also ranking highly. Crucially, however, findings show that homeowners expect a lot for their money with a quarter (25%) expecting to pay as little as 0.5 – 1.0% fee to cover all estate agency services, in comparison to the national average of 1.1%.
As part of the fee, consumers expect services such as photography (52%) and the listing of their property on property portals such as Rightmove (49%) to be covered, with 10% even expecting the running of open days, 6% video marketing services and 10% virtual tours to all be included as standard.
Interestingly, despite wanting to pay a low fee, 38% of consumers expect estate agents to provide support and guidance from valuation to completion as part of their service.
Book a Free Valuation and see how much your property is worth.
“The pick up in price growth is somewhat at odds with signs that housing market activity has slowed in recent months. New buyer enquiries have softened as a result of the introduction of additional stamp duty on second homes in April and the uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum. The number of mortgages approved for house purchase fell to an 18-month low in July” explains Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist.
“However, the decline in demand appears to have been matched by weakness on the supply side of the market. Surveyors report that instructions to sell have also declined and the stock of properties on the market remains close to thirty-year lows. This helps to explain why the pace of house price growth has remained broadly stable” says Gardner.
He warns that business surveys suggest that the manufacturing, services and construction sectors all slowed sharply in July, and, if sustained, this is likely to have a negative impact on employment and household budgets.
“Most forecasters, including the Bank of England, expect the economy to show little growth over the remainder of the year. The Monetary Policy Committee’s decision to lower interest rates from 0.5 per cent to a new low of 0.25 per cent will provide an immediate benefit to many mortgage borrowers, though for most the boost will be fairly modest” he cautions.
For some families, this saving will only be around £15 per month.
The latest Nationwide index puts the average price of a home in the UK at £206,145. 247 Property Agent/Surrey
Ashley Centre Epsom On Saturday 27th of August From 9am
247 Property Agent are glad to be sponsoring Epsom Medical Equipment Funds. An Epsom based charity doing a fantastic job of raising funds for essential medical equipment at Epsom General hospital. 247 Property Agent are proud to donate a gift certificate to the value of £1050 for their full sales service. We also have donated a first team signed ‘Harlequins game ball’, come along to Ashley Centre Epsom on Saturday 27th of August from 9am to show your support for EMEF and purchase your raffle ticket with the chance of winning one of the above, along with plenty of others fantastic prizes.
Since 1979, With your help, we have raised over £4 million
Raising money for your local hospital
Our Charity depends entirely on the support of local people. Sometimes businesses kindly donate several thousand pounds, the rest has to be raised one pound at a time. We are grateful for all support. Below are a few ways you can get involved.
Donating to our appeals. Every penny is appreciated you can donate via Givey orJust Text Giving (see below) or sending a cheque made payable to ‘Epsom Medical Equipment Fund’ to EMEF, 32 Tealing Drive, Ewell, Surrey KT190JS along with a completed gift aid form (click here)..
Support our events. We like to put the fun into fundraising with dinner dances, barn dances and a variety of other events. Your support is vital. Just by coming along or buying a raffle ticket you will be bringing us a little closer to our appeal targets.
Visit us. Pop in to our shop at Epsom General Hospital where we sell cards, gifts and refreshments. We are open Tuesday 1pm-5pm, Thursday 1pm-5pm and Saturday 2pm-5pm. You can find us on the ground floor Wells wing near the lifts.
Raise funds just by searching the web via ‘everyclick’.
Just Text Giving
Just text EMEF32 to 70070 and you’ll receive a text from Vodaphone JustTextGiving asking you to specify how much you’d like to donate 1,2,3,4,5 or 10 pounds. Reply with EMEF32 followed by the amount in full pounds eg EMEF32 £10.
The donation will then be added to your monthly mobile phone bill or deducted from your pay as you go account and sent straight to us.
Support us by shopping online
Visit ‘give as you live’ by clicking the logo below and register. Whenever you shop online with selected companies we’ll receive a percentage of your spend. It costs you nothing and benefits us greatly.
Nationwide customers nominated EMEF to feature in their Community Match programme in branches across Sussex & Surrey. We’re delighted to announce that we were the winning charity.
How Do Sellers Avoid It!?
For those not sure what gazundering is, it’s a term used to describe the action of a buyer who lowers their offer on a previously agreed sale price, just prior to the contract being signed. Why – you might ask? Well of course some buyers do it purposefully to take advantage of a seller in a desperate situation but in some cases it isn’t through the buyer’s choice. They could be reacting to an event in the chain, or findings in the survey.
Gazundering is an absolute nightmare for sellers (no surprise there) because the seller is put on the spot, they must either accept the lower figure, or reject it and start the entire sales process all over again. Not a happy dilemma.
Putting the seller in such a difficult position can then trigger a chain reaction. If the seller is pressured to accept a lower offer on their property, they may be forced into reducing their offer on a potential acquisition.
In England and Wales, there are no binding agreements on sale price until the contract stage therefore when house values are falling – gazundering starts to come into fashion. However on the opposite end of the scale when house values are rising, we see gazumping – when a seller takes a late offer from another buyer which is higher than the originally accepted figure.
It’s a rotten situation for the seller to be put in, so here’s what we advise you to do to reduce your chances of being gazundered:
Listen to your valuer
If your property is priced realistically and on the market for the right price – you have a better chance of receiving an offer quickly. The less time it takes you to get an offer, the less desperate you will be to sell at any price. Some buyers will check to see how long your property has been on the market for and if there have been any previous price reductions to determine whether they try to negotiate a lower deal so be aware of this.
IF possible, opt for a chain free buyer
The quicker that buyer can move, the more valuable the offer. A buyer who already has a mortgage offer in place with no ties to another property may be worth lowering your price for.
Be honest about any defects
The more transparent and up front you are about defects in your property, the less likely they are to come back to haunt you in a survey. If they are declared and factored into the agreed price, the buyer cannot use them against you further down the line.
Consider shortening the chain
It might be a sound option for you to sell your home and rent for a period of time to shorten the chain. This means you will not be forced into accepting lower offers as your position is not a weak one.
The Bank of England has, as expected, cut its base rate to 0.25 per cent after a record seven years at its previous historic low of 0.5 per cent.
Today’s cut may be an important psychological boost to markets and manufacturers but it is uncertain what its impact will be on house sales.
Firstly, it is not clear whether high street mortgage lenders will follow suit and cut their interest rates for borrowers – most are under no compulsion to do so. Secondly, the number of buyers with tracker mortgages that to some extent mirror the movement of the BoE base rate is far smaller than before, as increasing volumes of people have arranged fixed-rate deals ahead of what many expected to be an interest rate rise, rather than a cut.
“Today’s rate reduction will have little impact on the mortgage market. Banks already have very tight margins and may want to focus on savers who are struggling to earn a decent return, rather than cutting rates further for borrowers” cautions Adrian Anderson, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris.
Even so, agents have welcomed today’s decision.
Estate agents from around the country are reporting only limited damage to business or prices caused by the Brexit result of the EU referendum two weeks ago.
A survey of 132 agents and clients by property software firm DezRez – conducted a week ago when the impact of the referendum was arguably more stark than today – shows that 53 per cent had seen no effect from the Brexit result, and five per cent had actually seen an increase in activity.
Some 52 per cent expected some eventual impact in the form of some vendors or buyers pulling out of deals – although only a third felt this would mean that overall there would be less stock on the market as a while.
The Thomas Morris agency, operating across Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, claims a a surge in offers since the vote. Last Thursday, June 30, it saysthere were seven offers on properties accepted, around a 30 per cent increase on any given day at the same time in the previous month.
On average, offers across their seven branches are currently within five of the asking price with some offers-over.
“This is still very early days, and things will change over the coming weeks and months. However, where people need to move they will move and so far values haven’t dropped” claims Simon Bradbury, Thomas Morris director.
James Clarke of Plymouth’s Lang Town and Country agency is quoted in local media as saying: “I can only see the market slowing down if interest rates increase. But articles I have been reading report a further cut to interest rates is on the horizon and they are already at an all-time low. I can’t see a slow down for demand of property to buy. I believe it will stay relatively stable.”
At Tunbridge Wells in Kent, Heather Cernis of Jackson-Stops & Staff says both buyers and sellers have been pragmatic over the past two weeks.
“All transactions are progressing and on course. Post-Brexit, we have had a steady flow of new instructions and requests for market appraisals” she says.
ShareResidential property prices in the UK increased marginally in June, despite greater uncertainty in the run-up to the EU referendum, the latest figures show.
Nationwide’s monthly house price index revealed that house prices rose by 5.1% in June compared with the corresponding month last year, which marks an improvement on the 4.7% year-on-year growth recorded in May.
Month-on-month prices rose slightly by 0.2%, the same pace as in May but higher than the 0% consensus estimate.
“It has become difficult to gauge the underlying pace of demand in recent months, due to the surge in house purchase activity in March ahead of the introduction of stamp duty on second homes on 1 April,” said Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist.
“It will therefore be difficult to assess how much of the likely fall back in transactions in the quarters ahead is because buyers brought forward purchases to avoid additional Stamp Duty liabilities, and how much is due to increased economic uncertainty following the referendum result. Gauging the likely impact on house prices will be even more difficult.”
Many housing market analysts, including economists and estate agents, are rather pessimistic about the outlook, warning that the market could very well slump in the coming months following the outcome of last week’s vote. But any downturn in the market could present investors with some enticing discounts.
“Brexit may create opportunities,” said Ian Thomas, co-founder and director of LendInvest, the online property investment company. “It could result in the housing market cooling and resetting in areas where house price growth has locked out first-time buyers and others that want to purchase property.”
But while the vote to leave the European Union has come as a shock to many, the fundamentals of the UK housing market will not change abruptly, according to Thomas.He added: “People still need homes to live in, whether we are in the EU or not, and the fact is that demand for housing massively outstrips supply.”
Selling Your Property Just Got Cheaper, Fast and Easier
New research appears to confirm what many agents have thought for a long time – many prospective buyers take only five minutes during a viewing before deciding to put in an offer and try to purchase the property.
Research involving a survey of 1,000 buyers conducted for the developer Harron Homes found that some 43.1 per cent decide whether a house is or isn’t for them within the first five minutes of a viewing.
The research also lists what turns buyers on – or off – to a property at three different stages – looking online, seeing the property in person from outside, and then viewing the inside.
In terms of online surfing the research says:
– the biggest turn-off is if a listing does not have any pictures or has only low quality photos;
– 46.2 per cent said it was a problem if there was no floor plan online;
– 43.2 per cent said they wanted to see images of every room.
At external viewing stage:
– the research indicates realising upon arrival that there is no parking is a major issue for just over half of respondents;
– sharing of a driveway or garden is another deterrent for over 30 per cent;
– old-fashioned exterior walls such as pebbledash are also a turn off for over a fifth of would-be buyers.
The interior viewing:
– over 50 per cent reported that seeing or smelling damp is the most off-putting problem at this stage;
– the smell of pets can be similarly off-putting
– outdated interior features such as artex ceilings are unappealing;
– noise, a lack of storage, clutter and outdated fittings are also a turn-off to many.
Other complaints about problems during viewings include being pursued too closely around the house, seeing unprepared rooms or gardens which have not been tidied, or anything that could be described as dirty.