Tag Archive: Agency

Residential Sales: 40% increase in sales despite national decline

The Residential Agency team in George F. White Alnwick, have experienced an increase of 40% in year-on-year agreed residential sales despite there being a decline on a national scale for a 10th successive month (May 2019: Residential Market Survey, RICS).

A regional breakdown shows that property transaction volumes have picked up in the North of England and Wales.

Residential Sales

Why the increase in residential sales?

Discussing the increase in sales in Northern England, Gemma Miller, Residential Sales Manager at George F. White in Alnwick, said: “We have seen a dramatic increase in the number of residential sales year on year. Much of the buyer interest has been from people involved in North East business, investing within the region, which is encouraging.

There has been a huge influx of investment in the North East from major house builders such as Taylor Wimpey and Bellway and this has been recognised by national retailers looking to move into an area that is becoming more and more popular for young families. If we take Marks and Spencer as an example; despite looking to close 100 stores by 2022, they are going ahead with their move into the market town of Alnwick, perhaps partly due to the residential development and perhaps due to the plans to dual to A1. When a high profile retailer moves into an area, others tend to follow.”

In a competitive market, the team have focused on providing a tailored service to be centred around offering a quality service to the buyer and seller and introducing them in accordance to their demands, meaning they are often able to sell prior to marketing.

 

Online agents

Gemma continued: “We have recently seen an influx of enquiries from people who have tried selling their properties online, only looking to return to the traditional high street estate agents. This is particularly true to those selling more expensive homes. We understand home owners have been persuaded over the last few years by the online estate agents with a promise to sell homes quickly, and at a fraction of the cost of their High Street rivals. But, as hundreds of people put their homes on the market this summer, some internet agents are struggling, and their share of the market has stalled. E-Moov went into administration in December 2019 followed by House Network in 2019.

Often online agents operate from nationwide call centres so in reality have limited local knowledge and often don’t know the specifics of the local market. Traditional Estate Agents, like George F. White, are dealing with more properties and more buyers and we have a firmer grip on the buyer demand levels and what buyers have very recently offered on (and paid) for similar property.”

With more buyers lined up, George F. White are always looking for more quality properties and have recently recruited to ensure they continue to meet client needs. If you would like to discuss the sale of your property or are looking to purchase in Northumberland, please contact our Alnwick agency team on 01665 603581 or visit their website www.georgefwhite.co.uk.

Spring Property Market: why wait?

Victoria Linsley explains why you shouldn’t wait for Spring to sell and why our advice is that now is the time to launch your property to the market.

We’re hoping that there’s light at the end of the wintery tunnel and that spring is within reach. Flowers are breaking through, the grass us turning and we live in hope of brighter weather. However, this year’s no different from other years… again, we ask sellers holding out for the magic of Easter/spring; why wait to compete against a flood of new property in the market?

spring

Our general advice is that now is as good a time as any to sell your property. However, we still hear the same comments from cautious vendors. They feel the best time of year to market their property is the spring.

What’re are keen to stress is that buyers don’t wait until the spring before starting their search. Generally, buyers will also be selling, and will tend to move for reasons other than because they fancy a change. The most common reasons we see for house moves, in the present climate, is to be nearer to family, relocation due to work or up/downsizing because the property no longer meets their requirements. These factors are present at all times of the year, which tells us that there’s no particular merit in waiting for good weather (if indeed it ever arrives!?) especially when that’s when you will have the highest levels of competition.

There’s a certain amount of caution in the market, given the political situation, however, whilst funding is still readily available, buyers will still move and we’re experiencing a lot of activity day-to-day in terms of enquiries, viewings and offers.

That said, we do acknowledge how important it is to wait for the right time for you. If you rush your property to the market without preparing, it may not be presented in the best way and when the point comes to agree on, or complete, a sale you may have a change of heart, delaying or damaging the marketing process.

We’re amazed by the amount of scaremongering in the media when it comes to property prices and state of the market! This often stems from reports on the London housing market; something quite different from that of which we are accustomed to. Even though there’s a slight decrease in viewing numbers, the number of offers being received is still comparative to this time last year and there’re a number of people enquiring on a daily basis who can not find what they are looking for due to a lack of properties being offered for sale.

We’re always happy to chat over ideas and give general advice if you are thinking about selling or letting your property, please feel free to contact our friendly and professional team at George F. White, Harmire Enterprise Park, Barnard Castle on 01833 690 390.

Autumn: the perfect time to prepare your farm for a spring market launch

Duncan Clarke, Associate, explains why autumn is the perfect time to prepare your farm for a spring market launch.

The recent publication of the Agriculture Bill has, perhaps, given us some idea of the future of the industry post BREXIT. Whilst many column inches have already been written about the implications of the bill, should it become law, much can change between now and the end of March 2019.

Some farmers and landowners will undoubtedly see the opportunities which BREXIT will present, however, I am almost certain that there will be a squeeze on farm incomes going forward and whilst there are a myriad factors which influence land values, and the direct connection between the value of an acre of land and its earning capacity has long since been largely severed; for some this may be the trigger to put the farm on the market.

Traditionally spring is when farms are launched onto the market; potential vendors looking to do so should be making preparations now and indeed over the winter months, to ensure a smooth launch next year.

Farms need to stand out to attract potential buyers in what can often be a crowded spring market; if farms are not properly presented they can easily be overlooked.  So, what can, and indeed should, vendors be doing now to ensure the best possible chances of success in the spring?

The winter months tend to be quieter on the farm so any spare time should be used to undertake repairs and improvements to property, including redecoration of houses etc. Time should also be taken on having a good tidy up so that, come spring, the farm looks at its best and is in a ‘move into’ condition.

Thought should also be given now as to whether there are any development opportunities that can be exploited to add value to the farm. Permitted Development Rights were extended in 2014 with the introduction of Class Q which means that, since then, it has been somewhat easier to secure the conversion of redundant farm buildings to a residential use. As part of this process the landowner should ensure that they have all the evidence they need to meet the various planning requirements and thus, avoid any uncertainty as to the eligibility of the building during the conveyancing process itself.

The winter months are also a good time to make sure that all paperwork is in order and to prepare sales particulars and marketing literature. Clear, sunny winter days can provide a great backdrop against photographs, videos and promotional material. Many professional photographers now use drones to take wider angle shots of the farm and if these are all taken in the right conditions over winter, they will really make the farm stand out in spring.

Alongside making sure the marketing literature is all in place, potential vendors will need to make sure that any residential tenancies, cropping licences, short term grazing arrangements etc. are brought to an end or at least properly documented so that the farm can be sold with the certainty of vacant possession or, if this is not possible so that vendors know exactly on what basis they will be taking on existing occupiers. Thought will also need to be given as to how existing employees will be looked after.

For more information and advice on launching your farm to the market, please contact Duncan Clarke on 07834 321429 or alternatively, by emailing duncanclarke@georgefwhite.co.uk.

George F. White Agency: A New Beginning

This year, we made the decision to introduce a complete property management service across all of the George F. White offices. Sheryl Sowden, Head of Residential Agency, and Donna Cheney, Head of Lettings, explain the reasoning behind the decision and the benefits to our clients.

Agency

Historically, George F. White’s agency team have offered both residential sales and residential lettings services, however, for the past four years, GFW Letting, a dedicated property management branch of the group, ran residential lettings in Northumberland and Newcastle. The GFW Letting business model has been a phenomenal success therefore; we took the decision to introduce a centralised lettings and property management service to the George F. White brand in order to complete our all-inclusive offering, meaning that we now have dedicated lettings and property management teams in our Wolsingham, Barnard Castle and Bedale offices.

Not only does the introduction of an expert lettings and property management team in these offices benefit our overall service offering, it presents attractive and innovative opportunities to our clients. The prospect of our residential agency and residential lettings team working side by side opens many doors, particularly in regards to knowledge sharing and best practice. Inevitably, we strive to ensure that our clients get the best from their investment, whether that be when they are buying, selling or letting a property.

Sheryl Sowden said: “A prime example of how the two markets go hand in hand, in particular for clients, is to look at reluctant landlords. This is perhaps somebody that has inherited a property that they want to sell but the market won’t accommodate it for various reasons. We have the facility to advise and offer an alternative option within the same branch, with the same trusted advisors. As vacant properties no longer receive any council tax discounts the owner is liable for those charges, and the longer the property is empty those costs actually increase. In addition to this there is the cost of heating the property to ensure that there is no deterioration of condition, meaning that property owners are losing money unnecessarily. In this case we would look into introducing a tenant in order to take the financial weight off the client’s shoulders in the short or long term.”

“If a client ideally wants to market their property for sale whilst it is tenanted, so long as there is good communication between the management team, tenant and sales team this process can also work very successfully, but transparency and a good relationship are critical. This is also facilitated extremely well if the process is managed by one company working closely together”.

Thanks to both our residential agency and lettings teams being housed under the same roof, our clients are dealing with the same people, but the individual that has the most relevant expertise, they receive the same level of service from beginning to end. Buying, selling or letting a property is an extremely significant financial and emotional investment, therefore, professionalism, transparency and trust from all parties is key.

Donna Cheney said: “Now that we have a Head of Lettings and a Head of Residential Agency, we’ve found that it has enhanced our communication and our understanding of how the sectors are increasingly overlapping. A progressive understanding of each area has allowed us to identify our business objectives as well creating a diverse, attractive and innovative service offering for our clients.  We are extremely positive about the future opportunities that this integration and cooperation affords us and our clients.”

For more information, contact your local team or find out more about what we can offer here.

 

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