2013 Sees Increase in Market Activity, According to Relocation Agent Network | 20th February 2013
The UK property market appears to have had a good start to the year, with nearly three quarters of estate agents from Relocation Agent Network reporting an improvement in market activity compared to the same time in 2012.
A recent survey conducted by estate agency organisation, Relocation Agent Network has found that 72% of its members, who responded to the survey, have seen an increase in buyer enquiries and sales agreed in January 2013, when compared to the same time last year. Almost two thirds of respondents reported up to a 15% annual increase, with an additional quarter of agents seeing up to a 30% increase in market activity.
When asked why they thought there had been an improvement in January 2013, compared to 2012, the majority of respondents (68%) indicated that people had more confidence in the market. A ‘more accessible mortgage market’ was the second highest reason (25%) attributed to the improvement in market conditions.
Jason Guard, from Whitehorn & Guard states, “The reported improvement in the number of buyer enquiries and sales agreed is fantastic news for those thinking of entering the market this year. As we approach the spring months – traditionally a popular time to move home – we anticipate that more people will begin to enter the market.
“So if you’re looking to buy or sell in 2013, as a Relocation Agent Network member, we go that extra mile to ensure you receive a personal service backed by exceptional local knowledge. Moving out of the area? We can put you in touch with a fellow Network estate agent in the place you’re moving to, one that can offer you local expertise and first-class customer service. Contact us today on 01489 893946.”
About Relocation Agent Network. Relocation Agent Network is a national network of specially selected estate agents. All members are handpicked after thorough checks identify them as the best estate agent to represent Relocation Agent Network in their area. The Network provides coverage throughout England, Scotland and Wales. Relocation Agent Network is a division of Cartus, the premier provider of global relocation services, with over 153,000 customers moved worldwide every year. In the UK, Cartus uses Network members to buy and sell homes for these relocating families. As well as relocating families moving with Cartus, Relocation Agent Network helps house movers in other parts of the country by referring buyers and sellers from one area to another.
Contact: For further information, please contact Jason Guard at Whitehorn & Guard on 01489 893946.
Relocation Agent Network Raises £5,000 for Children’s Charity | 1st February 2013
The Network launch, which took place on Wednesday 30 January 2013, saw member estate agents across England, Scotland and Wales, collectively help to raise £5,000 for the deserved cause. The charity grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening medical conditions.
Richard Tucker, Managing Director of Relocation Agent Network comments on the launch day, “We are delighted that our launch day was used to benefit such a well deserved cause such as Make-A-Wish Foundation. The day marked the Network’s rebrand and is part of a new initiative to promote our organisation as one made up of relocation specialists. As a division of Cartus, the world’s premier provider of global relocation services, Relocation Agent Network is uniquely positioned to provide access to a global network of agents that together, relocate over 153,000 customers every year.”
In addition to having access to a whole new channel of buyer through Cartus, Network members work together to provide a unique referral service to their customers. This enables customers who are moving out of the area to contact members in the location that they are relocating to, for information about local neighbourhoods, nearby amenities and even school catchment areas. It costs the customer nothing, saving them time, effort and money in looking for a new home, in an unfamiliar location.
Jason Guard, from Whitehorn & Guard states, “The Whitehorn & Guard team really got involved in the day’s fundraising events and we are proud to have helped raise £5,000 for Make-A-Wish Foundation. The day also gave us the opportunity to let our customer know about our unique Relocation Agent Network membership, which means – in the Network’s opinion – we are the best estate agency in Bishops Waltham. Whether you are looking to buy, sell or rent, as a Relocation Agent Network member, we go that extra mile to ensure that you receive a personal service backed by exceptional local knowledge. Even if you’re moving out of the area, our Network membership means that we can put you in touch with a fellow member in the location that you’re moving to. Contact us today to find out more on 01489 893946”.
Relocation Agent Network Raises Money for Make-A-Wish Foundation | 23rd January 2013
As part of the Network's launch, takingplace on Wednesday 30th January, members UK-wide will collectively raise a fantastic £5,000 for children's charity, Make-A-Wish Foundation. The charit grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening medical conditions. To hit our £5,000 target, members have just one day to encourage at least 10,000 people to visit the new Relocation Agent Network website, www.relocation-agent-network.co.uk - SO GET CLICKING!
Relocation Agent Network is a membership organisation of around 600 independant estate agents and our launch highlights the scope of services that members like us can offer our customers. It's not just about selling homes, it's about the 'added value' that we can offer you. But with so many estate agents on the high street, why pick a Relocation Agent Network member?
1. By invitation only. All Network members have been invited to join after they have met strict criteria including quality of service, local knowledge, board counts, market share and overall professionalism. They only pick one agent per area, which means - in Relocation Agent Network's opinion - we are Bishops Waltham's leading estate agency in terms of customer service.
2. The world's leading relocation company picked us, why wouldn't you? As a division of Cartus, the world's premier provider of global relocation services, Relocation Agent Network members help to find properties for those Cartus customers moving into the locl area. So we can offer our sellers an additional channel of buyer, that no other agent can.
3. The Relocation Agent Network Referral Network. If you're relcating, we can refer you to one of our fellow members in the area you're moving to. For example, you come into the office to sell your property and mention that you're moving to Newcastle. We can contact our member there, who can help you find a new home and provide local area information too.
Its not GOOD or BAD news. It's just THE news | 11th January 2013
Currently, the UK’s house prices are lower than at their absolute peak in 2007 and many commentators see this as bad news.
However, there are two competing parties in every property transaction. When a house sells today, 50% of the people in the transaction (the sellers) could see the lower prices as bad news. However, the other 50% (the buyers) probably see this as great news!
The media paints the still far-from-robust global economy as terrible news for the property market. But although the current economic circumstances have been challenging, they have also brought us low interest rates.
There is then an argument that there is a flip side to every coin – we will see the eventual resurgence in the world economy as good news for house prices. But when that happens, let’s just remember that rising mortgage rates will be bad news for buyers.
There will be challenges in every housing market – but those challenges also bring opportunities. It would be better (especially for the media) to spend less time trying to categorise the news and more time highlighting the real opportunities each market presents.
The market outlook - nationally | 9th June 2012
The latest asking prices report from property listing website Rightmove says the average price of new properties coming to the market failed to rise from April to May - the first time this has happened in a traditionally strong property market month since the survey began 11 years ago.
It says baby boomers downsizing to release equity are now driving the market, making up the largest single chunk of those with a motivation to sell, at 40 per cent.
Some may say that is hardly surprising considering how well many have done from the property boom that has occurred since the Queen came to the throne. Prices are up more than a hundredfold over that sixty years, says agent Hamptons International, with most of the boost coming in two distinct booms - the 1980s and late 1990s to 2007 - as shown in the Nationwide statistics-derived chart at the top of the page.
The report of stalling asking prices follows a downbeat report from Halifax which said property prices dived 2.4 per cent in April. The more important figure in that report, away from volatile monthly prices was that the average house price now stands at £159,883 - the same level as in August 2004.
Nationwide's April house price index reported that property values last month saw a 0.2 per cent fall - the fourth month out of five that house prices have fallen.
And it warned that house prices, which on average were also 0.9 per cent down on April last year, were set to stagnate or fall throughout 2012, as households' confidence lagged behind any possible economic recovery.
Expert views: What next for house prices? | 8th June 2012
• Rightmove says asking prices will rise 2 per cent in 2012
• Howard Archer, chief UK economist at analysts IHS Global Insight, suggests prices will be 10 per cent lower than their mid 2010 levels by the end of 2011
• RICS forecasts a 3 per cent fall in house prices in 2012, but says property will not dip by more than 5 per cent
• Nationwide predict prices to be flat in 2012
• Halifax predicts a 2 per cent decline to 2 per cent rise in 2012
• Hometrack forecasts a 3 per cent decline in 2012
The headwinds facing the market
The big potential stumbling blocks for the property market.
• Interest-only mortgage crackdown
• Lenders face a mortgage crunch
• Austerity measures and the Eurozone crisis
Lenders have made it much tougher to take out cheap interest-only loans, which had helped prop up the property market. This is a reduction in credit and will exert downward pressure on prices.
The second problem is that lenders are still cash-strapped and the Eurozone debt crisis is weighing heavily on the banking sector - it may have contributed to a dramatic fall in swap rate money market costs and the fixed rate mortgages that these heavily influence, but if things get worse banks will find their balance sheets hammered.
Government cuts will also start to filter through soon, as the UK tries to balance the books. That will mean public sector job losses, higher taxes and a dip in confidence.
The cost of moving is also sky-high. Those buying family homes in areas where a relatively modest property of this kind costs more than £250,000 face a stamp duty bill of at least £7,500, add estate agent and solicitors' fees and moving can set a normal family back £15,000 or more, without even having to find the extra cash for a 25% deposit on a more expensive home.
Buyers vs sellers: the great stand-off | 7th June 2012
Home sellers must either have a desireable property to sell in an in-demand area or be willing to lower their expectations, if they want to get a sold sign up outside their house.
But the real mark of this housing slump is not the statistics based on mortgage approval figures (Halifax and Nationwide) or even sold prices (Land Registry and others), it is what's happening to the homes that aren't selling.
With buyers seriously limited, properties that don't tick all the right boxes are sitting on the shelves unless sellers are willing to cut the price, and with low rates keeping forced sellers to a minimum many are just sitting unsold.
House price forecasts are a mug's game, that's something I've learnt over many years of being cajoled into making them.
Nothing highlights that more that how the property market defied gravity in 2011, with a catalogue of bad news failing to drag prices down substantially.
However, the headline figures do not tell the full story, as they only measure properties that sell, or mortgages that are approved for buyers on them - they cannot measure what it would take in terms of price falls for all the properties sat on estate agents shelves to be shifted.
This is likely to continue in for the foreseeable future, as while household finances are getting worse it would take a fairly substantial downturn in them to see large numbers having to sell or else. If interest rates stay low and keep the forced sellers from the estate agents’ doors, it is unlikely that home sellers will be deterred from their hit and hope pricing strategy. The figures for unsold properties show they might be wise to though.
But what about my forecast for 2012? London and the South East will continue to outperform, although some popular family areas have seen prices driven back up to beyond most people's affordability even with super-low interest rates. Northern areas and the Midlands will suffer, as while property is far more affordable here, potential buyers are much more worried about their jobs and struggle to raise big deposits.
Overall, anything could happen - prices could even rise slightly - but I suspect not, so I'll go for a two to five per cent fall.