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Archive for the ‘market news’ Category

Competitor Set To Launch Against Rightmove And Zoopla

UK estate agent’s in their masses have joined forces in rebellion to the ever increasing costs of advertising on Rightmove and Zoopla, with a plan to create a new online platform to advertise their stock.

Over 500 agents have signed up to what is being called Agent’s Mutual, and some of Britain’s biggest agents have declared an interest in the website. The battle for the UK property portal market has always only had 2 players, Rightmove and Zoopla, but with ever increasing costs from the two, it is no wonder estate agents who are already on tight profit margins are standing up against the giants.

Some estate agents have seen rises of 50% in costs for advertising over the past two years, and industry specialists are claiming that now is the time for an uprising.

Together the group have put together £6M in an attempt to create and brand the new service, as well as promote it to the general public.

Douglas & Gordon executive director Ed Mead said: “Agents’ Mutual will be a search engine purely designed for searching for property.

“No ads and the knowledge of thousands of agents to get the very best experience for the consumer.

“Actually using the existing duopoly’s sites is not good, and all of data they use as their own research is ours.”

Zoopla currently operates its own site and powers other domains using property searches, such as national and regional newspapers.

Mr Mead said the new co-operative will benefit from its on-the-ground knowledge.

“We wish to control it, which is not unreasonable, and use it to produce coherent and consistent data,” he said.

Do you think there is room for another property portal in the UK? Do you think £6M is enough to tackle the huge advertising budgets of Rightmove and Zoopla? Leave your comments below!

Sell House Your Soon! Market Is ‘Volatile’ States Halifax?

Latest research from Halifax, Britain’s biggest mortgage lender, has shown that house prices are predicted to grow at a rate of £13,500 this year alone, meaning that the average UK property will be valued at £187,000.

With property prices rising by £10,000 on average last year, this year is expected to see property price increase even higher, and like that of 2007, Halifax are expecting a further property boom in the UK.


However, it’s not all good news from the lender, Halifax also expressed a concern that the market is currently ‘volatile’, and they also found with independent research that 51 per cent of people asked believe that 2004 is the best time to sell a property, as opposed to just 39 per cent believing now is not a good time to sell.

Our belief is that now is a great time to sell your house, and we are paying more cash for property than ever before. Our offers are outweighing all cash buying companies in the market, and whats more, our service is completely free. Find out how much we will pay for your home now for a cash price. Just enter your postcode in our system!

Buyer confidence is back in the market place, and it can be seen with the amount of property that is being sold. The huge concern from most experts is that we are in a property cycle, and most homes are going to be out of reach for first time buyers if the price increase continues. This is especially apparent in the city centers, and in London in particular.

Is NOW The Best Time To Sell Your Property?

We are already 9 days into January, and already industry experts are looking at how much house prices will increase over the month, however, we need to also realise that prices can’t continue to grow and at some point we will start to see a decline.

Some industry leaders are predicting a ‘housing bubble’ created by the governments controversial Help To Buy scheme, which would lead to a market disaster if it came about.

Nationwide have conducted a study to show that house prices have grown almost double the rate they did last year fuelling the argument that a housing bubble is imminent.


One thing that we often get asked by our customers is whether now is a good time to think about selling their property. Our opinion is that there has never been a better time. If you think about it, because the market is currently at it’s peak, if you sell now you are going to avoid any threat of a bubble and secure a great price for your home.

Selling Your House For Cash Doesn’t A Mean 70% Discount Anymore

When most people hear ‘quick house sale company’ they instantly assume that the company is going to want to take 30-40% of the equity in your property in order to get a quick cash sale. However, this is no longer the case.

In fact, we pay 83-90% of market value every time, and yes that is for cash, and yes, IT IS IN YOUR BANK in 7-10 days time.

If you had your property valued by a genuine cash buying company in the past 6 months and they made you an offer on your home which at the time you though was unacceptable, now could be the time to get a second opinion based on the current economic climate.

Remember, the price of property is currently much higher than 12 months ago, so if you thought about selling for cash then, your offer now could be as much as 20 per cent higher now.

The easiest thing to do is get a free valuation on our website, to see what we would likely pay for your home. You are under no obligation to sell, and our service is completely free every step of the way.

New Year Time To Sell?

We are now in to 2014, and although 2013 ended on a high with all time property prices rising above expections, the outlook expected this year is not as good, with many property expects expecting a ‘housing bubble’ any time soon.

So what is a ‘bubble’ and what does it mean to the average seller? Basically speaking, a when house prices rise too quickly down to ‘speculation’. The media has been extensively covering the housing situation, especially with the governments introduction of Help To Buy.

The worse case scenario is that once all of the hype and speculation dies down, the property prices will also die with it or stagnate.

If you are selling your property it could mean that you will need to take a considerable discount in order to sell your home. Let’s look at an example:-

Mr and Mrs Smiths property in Colchester valued at £150,000 in December 2012 just before we started to see the housing bubble start. By the end of 2013, the value of their property had increased to £190,000 purely down to demand for the area, and a lack of new build homes.

If there was a housing bubble now, the value of their property would probably sit in the region of £100,000 to £125,000 – as the negative media and doom dwellers would take it below the original price in 2012.

If you are selling a property and you are concerned there is going to be a housing bubble, it is essential that you get the best price for your home, and sell quickly before anything does happen. Of course this is all purely speculation, but a number of property experts have predicted it from statistics, so if you were considering selling anyway, now is the time to do so.

First Property Price Fall In 8 Months

According to land registry figures, property prices in the UK have had their first drop in value since we seen the start to a steady rise almost 8 months ago.

The fall in prices by just 0.2 per cent, comes as no shock to industry experts, as the festive season closes in on us, and the market slows down.


The land registry also pointed out that house price inflation rates were still increasing, and have gone up from 2.7 per cent to 3.1 per cent.

It has been claimed that the drop may be to do with the governments controversial scheme, Help To Buy, which is making the headlines at the moment. Some home buyers may have been waiting to see details of the scheme before they committed to a purchase.

The land registry information provides statistics from cash sales as well as mortgaged purchases.

Why Selling To May Now Be An Option…

A number of homeowners who have been contemplating selling their house may have been put off selling for cash, due to the offer they would receive. However, if they received an offer 6 months ago, that offer would now be reflected against a new valuation on their property.

This means that the offer will now be higher than what it previously was, and therefore may now be closer to what the seller was looking for.


UK Property Professionals Predict Further House Price Rises For 2014.

UK Property Professionals Predict Further House Price Rises For 2014. We only have one month to go before we hit the New Year, but what will 2014 bring to the table as far as house prices are concerned? Industry experts are predicting we will see a continued growth in the market.

Reported in the Telegraph today property prices have been estimated to have risen by 3.5 to 6%, depending on which statistics you look at. With the figures now out, it appears that the property professionals are in agreement that we will see similar figures next year, hopefully with more stock. One of the most cautious predictors has always been Strutt and Parker, who have this year stated “price growth in 2014 will be very sensitive to prevailing political press and expectations”.

The rest have mixed reviews on how next years prices will go, with the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) estimating that prices will grow by 5 per cent, whereas Hamptons is expecting an even larger growth at 6 per cent. Savills surveyors came in even higher at 6.5%.

Will This Help The Average Buy To Let Investor?

You need to first remember that these are just forecasts, and therefore there is no guarantee that they will pan out as expected.

Having said that, if they are close to being accurate, it is definitely positive news for buy to let investors, and current investors. Property prices have fell dramatically since 2007, in some cases by up to 25% – so current landlords may see an increase in the value of their current portfolio. Forecasts have also shown that prices should grow by approximately 20-30% over the next 5 years, dependent upon the area the property is located in.

Another thing to consider is that interest rates are expected to increase from 2015 onwards, so together with the increasing property value forecasts, landlords can make a decision as to whether they want to exit before the interest rate increase, or potentially end up paying a higher mortgage and ‘play the long game’, and hold on for extra capital growth returns.

Uncertainty in the Housing Market

If you search the internet for terms relating to ‘uncertainty in the housing market’, you’ll see many results dating from the last days of 2012. This was when there was indeed plenty of uncertainty about where the housing market would go next.

So how does the market look now we are a third of the way into 2013? The good news is that things are looking brighter than they have done in the past. There are many facts, figures and news stories reporting on a rather brighter future than was the case some four months ago. Indeed, some have stuck their necks out and claimed the housing market will experience a revival this year. It remains to be seen whether this comes to pass of course, but it will be interesting to watch closely to see what happens next.

Figures from Ernst and Young have pointed to the number of home movers breaking through the one million barrier. This is a significant upward trend and if the experts at Ernst and Young are correct in their assessment, this will mean the market is at its healthiest since before the economic crisis first got underway several years ago.

Some experts have pointed at the new Help to Buy scheme created by the government as the driving force behind the figures. In reality, an increase in house prices and the fact that mortgages are becoming more accessible will also be likely to have an effect.

In practice then, the uncertainty that surrounded the housing market in recent months has receded, if not disappeared altogether. Of course, if we are to become supremely confident about the housing market, these hesitant trends will need to continue for far longer than a few short months. As we have seen with the economy, it is perfectly possible to have a few months of good news followed by another few steps backward.

However, according to information released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders, January and February this year saw the biggest number of first time buyers entering the market since 2008. This fact alone is highly encouraging, and will no doubt persuade other potential buyers that they too can finally get on the housing ladder. This, combined with the new Help to Buy scheme, should help get the housing market firmly back on its feet.

Now wouldn’t that be a delightful piece of news to report on?

House Prices Over The Last 10 Years

Unless you have been living completely independently of all news sources over the last few years, you will know that housing prices in the UK have taken a real beating. Things have been starting to look up recently, but there is a long way to go yet before they return to the heady heights we experienced in the years before the recession rolled in.

However, there are some statistics that point to better times ahead. Plenty of sources in recent times have revealed slight increases in house prices. While these have varied markedly in different areas – with London and the South East looking particularly promising – the overall trend is still a positive one.


How far have we come?

If you were to look back to house prices in the UK ranging from around 2002 onwards, you would see a gradual and steady rise in prices up until around 2007. We then experienced a major dip in prices that lasted until around 2009. This was the worst part of the recession that led to the average house price falling by some considerable amount across the country.

However, since 2009 or thereabouts, prices have started to recover, albeit in a cautious way. They were still way below the peak that occurred just prior to the start of the recession, but at least they were heading in the right direction.

Another steady rise occurred until the beginning of 2010, when prices then took another dip. Fortunately this dip was not as severe as the one at the beginning of the recession. However, the prices then started to head back in the right direction again.


How long could it be before we achieve the heights seen prior to the recession?

By all accounts it will be some time yet – several years in fact – before we can hope to achieve those heights again. The housing market has seen several improvements in recent months, but 2013 still looks set to be challenging for anyone who wants to sell their home and get a reasonable price for it.

Clearly the trick is to find the right buyer. You may not get the same price you would have got some seven or eight years ago, but there is still an opportunity to make a quick sale and get a reasonable price for your home too. Things are looking better now than they did a few years ago.

Mortgage Drops Mean Less Buyers

The number of mortgages taken out and approved has dropped drastically in the past few months of 2012. The amount of approved applications peaked at 2,757 in February, that being the highest figure since 2007. Since then, it has got  lower each month and steadily declining. This has obviously taken its tole on the property market, with less buyers houses are taking far longer to sell.

The government has said that it has in the past done little to help the property market, especially first time buyers trying to secure a mortgage to buy a new home.

Louise Holmes at Moneyfacts said: “The main reasons for the fluctuation in the number of higher loan-to-value (LTV) products will be due to the stamp duty holiday coming to an end and the introduction of the government’s NewBuy scheme.”

The government has introduced NewBuy, a scheme that is intended to help first time buyers to purchase property with special mortgages at around 95% LTV. The scheme is intended to help 100,000 new buyers in England and Wales to buy a new build home.

However some believe that the government is not doing enough to keep the property market moving.

Homeowners are taking up to 6 months to sell property, which is a long time considering you will have to pay 6 month of mortgage payments and 6 months of household bills.

Property Prices In The UK – 20% Drop In 2012?

If you read the news, and follow the media you will see there are mixed messages going around about whether property prices are going up or down.

Recently and article was published in The Economist that stated UK houses and housing in Europe in general was still too high, and that essentially it was destined for fall further.

Although nobody can say for sure what is going to happen with the UK economy, some things are for certain; our national debt isn’t going away in a hurry, our banks are not lending as well as they could be, our jobs are dwindling, and our unemployment is soaring.

This all leads to speculation that a second property crash is imminent. We can at this stage only speculate.

If you are thinking about selling your house, or if you currently have your house on the market, i’m sure you are aware that it is taking estate agents a long time to sell property. This is down to the problem of a lack of buyers in the market.

If we do have a further financial catastrophe here in the UK, there will be even less buyers.

This means your chances of selling a property become very difficult!

Why not get a property valuation from us, and see how much your house is worth right now. Remember, there is no obligation to sell, and our advice is confidential and totally free.