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The West Sussex Property Blog

Buy to let is back

According to Susan Emmet from the Times - Buy-to-let is back...There is nothing like a housing market crash to test a landlord's mettle.
 

House price update

According to property website Rightmove, the average asking price for houses in England and Wales increased sharply in the four weeks to October 10
 

Welcome to GL & Co new blog. We are continually exploring new ways to improve our services to our customers and to the public at large.

Surely the web is the way forward to further improve our communication skills and we have a number of other ideas that will also be at the forefront of information technology.

We shall write on the blog on a regular basis to keep every reader abreast of what is going on in the property market in West Sussex.

So for now I shall just briefly comment on my view of the current property market in Storrington,Horsham and Pulborough where our offices are located.

We have seen a dramatic change in the way houses are valued and are selling and it is still going to take sometime for sellers to realise that values have reduced, However they will, sure as day is day, if they are serious about selling they will have to realise that times have changed and that to sell, you have to be on the market at the correct price.

If sellers put their head in the sand they will not do anything quickly. Sure as eggs is eggs values will go up but not for a least 12 months and some pundits say longer. We all know that whatever price to sell at  if you buy in the same market you will get the same discount.

 

 

 

More Expansion in Lettings

We believe one of the keys to our success, and something that makes us different from many companies, is the continuity of familiar faces within the letting department. 
 

Striving for excellence,accepting only complete success

We are not people that rest on our laurels and my desire is to make sure everyone in the company is doing their best for the customers and that selling homes in West Sussex will never cease.
 

I know it's bad out there...

But you must remember, this recession WILL end.

Chances are excellent we're more than halfway through. You have to go back to the early 1930s (the Great Depression) to find a recession that lasted longer than 16 months.
Since this recession started in late 2007, it will undoubtedly be the longest since the Great Depression. But, I believe the recession has already hit bottom and will end before the end of this year.

Stock prices typically bottom out in the middle of recessions. This is because stock prices "look ahead." They "see" recovery before recovery actually arrives.

Consumers don't look ahead like this... They are interested in their present situation, which is not good. So while stock prices can bottom in the middle of recessions, consumer confidence typically bottoms at the end of recessions. People don't see things getting less bad... It's a "darkest-before-the-dawn" type thing.

If you look at the history of previous recessions you can see that the stock market follows consumer confidence. I only repeat what I read and there definitely seems a paten forming.

If the November stock-market bottom holds, and the record low in consumer confidence holds, we may be closer to the end of this recession than just about anyone thinks. It's too early to know for sure, but these factors suggest the recession may have bottomed, and things are already getting "less bad."

I believe and hope that's true. If I'm right, you should make a pile of money investing in both stocks and property in 2009.




 

We have a saying in our company about being above and below the line. Being above the line means that you take responsibility for your actions being below the line means you blame others and deny everything

I am going to be below the line,ready, I have not written on this blog for about a month because the market has been so busy. My team has been out valuing taking on new houses and doing many viewings we have been selling lots of houses and seeing them through to a completion. Its like the old days of early 2007 but with one exception the values are not as high. Those vendors that are taking sensible advise on the value of their homes are getting on with their lives and moving sometimes to the house of their dreams.

Values are not going to move up for at least the next 12 months even though the areas in this part of West Sussex such as Horsham, Storrington and Pulborough are pretty resilient they have all been effected by the economic downturn. Of course there are always those unique homes that have something a little special that do achieve incredible values, this could be a house with land in an exceptional location for example.

I am no economist, far from it, I only came away from Bearwood College, Wokingham with a lowly number of o'levels. However I do read a lot and my feeling is that the banks will not start lending significantly for some time, they have to correct there own balance sheets before they start lending to us.

I do think that Gordon Brown and Tony Blair have made a huge amount of errors in guiding this country through the good times but,on the other hand a Captain of a ship thinks things are fine until he hits the rocks, the key is to learn from this. I do think some of the actions taken to correct and shorten this recession has been very successful. I have no patients with those people that say' what about the debt we have built up for our grandchildren'. No doubt when it is relevant to them we will have been through two more recessions done battle with climate change and been producing revenue from jobs that have not even been thought of yet.

The labour party has an  obsession with wanting to appeal to the rich they have divided Britain between the rich and the poor more than ever. I do hope that which ever party gets in next time and there will undoubtedly be a change in the near future learns from our current experiences and plans for the future.

 

An article in the paper today about a resurgence in share prices. A bull market could be returning. The benchmark apparently is the FTSE100 index rose by 1.3pc capping its biggest monthly increase since 2003.  It seems that disappointing news is just being ignored and the markets only want to hear good news. Is it that simple, one wonders if things were not so bad in 2008, after all, perhaps it was just the press that was driving the market! now who said that surely that would not be the case!! Sorry if I am a bit cynical but last year there was still a lot of people with money able to buy houses and invest in the stock market but just decided it was to risky, Why? because the press was driving down the market.

All I can say is, do not let the press turn it into a bull market, otherwise we will be back where we started. 

 

Independent family run estate agents

Don't put your house on with them they are only a small family company!!   This is the comment that was made by another corporate agent to a potential client who put their house on the market with us this weekend. We are a small family firm with 800 offices!
 

We seem to be having more and more buyers registering saying that they can  not find a house to buy, 'what?' I hear you say, ' we have been trying to sell for ages' 

I know, there are an awful lot of houses that have been on the market, in some cases for over a year and only now are they getting interest, but that is because the prices have come down and the buyers are being very wary of overpaying for property.

The properties that are coming to the market for the first time, as long as they are priced correctly are selling quickly.

The World around us still goes on with more corrupt bankers being exposed and people losing there money.

If I was them I would put all my money into property!

 

 

It is a constant debate within the estate agency industry the value of newspaper advertising. Gone are the days that you would put your new instructions in the paper and get immediate phone calls. The Internet has taken over as the most dominant source of inquiries. In reality newspaper circulation has dropped and the amount of revenue papers used to achieve from there advertisers has dropped which means inevitably the quality of there product will drop to. We all agree it is essential as a local source of information, but serious buyers will be searching on the Internet. 

So do not judge your agent by the amount of times he puts your property in the paper, judge him on the advise and willingness to do a good job for you. Internet, office, boards and the experience the estate agent has is some of the most important things to look for but most of all it is service, service, service. If buyers like the service then they will want to buy through that agent. Our customer survey shows this is what buyers and sellers are looking for.

 

I know, I'm bound to say that! However it is so so true. We are selling really excellent houses at prices that just seem such good value. I can only say that the market activity has picked up since the new year and although we have a long way to go before we get to previous levels of inquiries, if last Saturday's viewing level is anything to go by, we are on our way.

My advise is "If you see something you like, get on and buy it, because it probably won't be there in six months' time"

We have agreed sales on three properties recently to investors, they can only get about 3% interest on capital in the banks and they can achieve 6% on the property they have bought, plus the hope of capital growth in 2 to 3 years time.

I understand from our preferred mortgage brokers (M&M mortgage management) that various deals are around in the mortgage market from 3.99% if you have a reasonable deposit, with rates like these and lower house prices, I suggest people seize the moment. It makes moving house rather attractive.

I understand the difficulty people have with selling there house for less than they thought it was worth and many have spent money on refurbishment etc, but everyone is in the same boat. ' what you lose on the swings, you will gain on the roundabouts'.

If you are reading this and wondering what to do (and it seems quite a lot of people are) contact any of our offices for the best advise, We understand how important it is to know the price that you can achieve in the current market. One agent I heard off has been recommending to clients to put there houses on the market at 25% more than they are worth so they can be knocked down in negotiation,so the buyers think they are getting a bargain, Does he think the buying public were born yesterday?

 

 

 

 

 

Latest interest rate news and great opportunities offered in the current property market.

Interest rates have now been cut to 1.5 per cent.  The last time they were as low as this was 1694 when the Bank of England was established to manage mounting debts.  Nothing changes.

In England at that time William III was on the throne - it was the beginning of the William and Mary period.  Peter the Great was the Russian Czar.  Handel and Bach were young music prodigies, and Isaac Newton was greatly influencing scientific thought.  Following the Pilgrim Fathers, British and Dutch settlers were continuing to colonise North America, where two years before 19 women were hung in the Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts.

If history repeats itself it could be 2324 before interest rates are as low again.  This rather suggests that now is as good a time as any to take advantage of these rates and enter the property market.  With prices back to 2003 levels - when there was huge activity in the market - this makes even more sense.

When prices are high the media delight in charting the plight of key public sector workers in nursing, the police, the fire brigade and other essential services who are unable to climb on the housing ladder close to their work.  Well, now is the chance to end that.  Sadly many people are being placed into negative equity by the price downturn - with all the attendant problems this brings.  But for the many hundreds of thousands of people waiting for the opportunity to move out of rented property or their parents' homes this could be the perfect moment.

Yet a large hurdle remains - securing a mortgage.  Mortgages are available, but deposit demands from the lenders remain high.  Wouldn't it be sensible for the government and the lenders to recognise the opportunity this price correction brings, and to start helping first time buyers now through easing mortgage demands or a Stamp Duty moratorium, or preferably both?  This would create the best opportunity to kick-start the housing market and, through the knock-on effect, a significant portion of the service and retail economy.

 

GL & Co celebrate Christmas

I think some estate agents have forgotten that we are a customer services industry! Why did so many agents close over the Christmas period when they should have been open?
 

It constantly frustrates me that other estate agents insist on tying their clients into long sometimes 12,16 or even 20 week sole agency contracts.

Every industry that offers a service to the public should stand or fall on the service provided. When will they realise that a happy customer is contented to build on their relationship with the service provider, regular contact and sound advise will maintain client loyalty.

I recently had a very bad experience with an electricity supplier (e-on) who had said that I had signed a contract to supply one of our offices and that they gave me 21 days to change supplier 2 months before the end of the 12 month contract, I admittedly overlooked this correspondence but had contacted them 6 weeks before the contract expired. After a letter of complaint they rang me to offer a discount on my electricity supply (very nice but not what I wanted) I just wanted service and not to be bullied into staying with such a company.  (I have diarised for next year to cancel my contract)

Maybe some of the companies that do this will eventually wake up and smell the coffee. The customer will vote with his feet.