Moving home? The year ahead and what to do early in 2015

The New Year is here and as always there are plenty of predictions. Trying to second guess the market is a dangerous game. Who expected the collapse of the banks in 2008 which sent shivers through the offices of almost every Estate Agent in the land? Even though agents knew deep...


An "alternative" Christmas Carol

Scrooge had been trying to sell his house all year - but to no effect. He was fed up with cold winters and longed to move to Spain where he had found a flat at a knockdown price being sold by a desperate developer. Now it was Christmas again and there was still no sign of a buyer...


Stamp duty rates and thresholds changes at long last!

How many times have I mentioned stamp duty on this page and at last the Chancellor has listened. Stamp duty on the purchase of property has been slashed for homes valued up to £937,500. This means that property in the lower and medium price ranges is greatly reduced and...


If you are going to sell, get market ready now

Some interesting results from a recent survey suggest that the Chancellor should listen to growing concern from the public as well as estate agents.  Over one third of people say they would like the government to change the price brackets for stamp duty bands, while almost...


Renting v. Buying

A recent report states that buyers with mortgages pay £316 more on average per month compared to those renting comparable properties- but within five years owners recoup their initial buying costs and become better off, according to one of the national property portals...


High level of demand, but lack of supply.

The number of people actively looking for property in September reached the highest level since 2004, the latest Housing Market Report from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) shows.  The NAEA report for September found that member agents reported an average of...


Hauntings – Should sellers disclose?

Halloween raised the ghostly topic of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations. Under these, should an agent disclose whether a house is haunted. Of course, an agent may well take the view that they do not believe in ghosts.  However, according to a UK Gallup...


More predictions and EU comparisons

Following the recession, broadly speaking prices in Oxfordshire started rising in January 2013 and have continued to increase since then. Next year the forecast is for further price rises, but there are also warnings of a slow down so once again the lack of a crystal ball is...


38% say mansion tax unfair- recent survey

Bringing in a mansion tax on all homes worth £2m or more to raise money for the NHS has been labeled a “stunt’. The British Property Federation was among the many critics of the move described as purely political. Other critics have said that the tax will...


Sellers must be truthful too!

Vendors who carry out their own viewings should be put on their guard so they do not mislead potential purchasers. If they do, they could face action by Trading Standards, or private litigation.  So could an agent be culpable if the owner of the property were to lie or omit...


What matters more, future predictions or past performance?

Slowdown? What slowdown? Against the trend of most recent market forecasts, one agent is suggesting that growth in the mainstream UK market will see up to 32 per cent price surges by the end of 2018.  Recent comment from within the profession says the average UK house price...


More first time buyers in spite of price rises, or not?

Recent research suggests that there were 28,600 first-time buyer mortgages in June – 7% more than in May and 19% more than in June 2013.  It means that in total, almost half of residential mortgage lending – excluding remortgages and buy to let was to first time...


Strong mobile signal essential for young buyers

A reliable mobile phone signal is the number one priority for young home buyers, ahead of worries about crime levels, transport links and schools according to new research.  Just under half of 18-35 year olds said having a good mobile signal was their most important...


UK agent's commission a real bargain by comparison !

Recent research into commission charged by Estate Agents suggests that British agents are amongst the best value anywhere in the world.  Six months ago “Estate Agency Today” looked at fees in nine countries in addition to the UK; now they have updated those nine...


Not too much red tape and media over reaction please.

We are midway through the property year and while the market seems to have steadied, once again property is big news. The headlines in our press and often  lead items on television and radio news are about the housing market, what it's doing and what the future holds. ...


Getting your fingers burnt --French style

Trust the French to add a touch of panache and je ne sais quoi to the drab business of buying property at auction. You would have thought the only essential piece of equipment was a good sturdy gavel, its bang audible at the back of the room. But the French are far more romantic...


Time is Money-- Think Ahead

The true cost of moving home should always be counted in more than monetary terms. There is the cost of time and the emotional toll as well. Time is one of the key components to a successful sale. But nowadays transactions seem to be taking longer than ever. There is no...


Downsizing---Choice or Necessity?

Up to 2.3 million homeowners aged 55 and over are banking on raising an average of £85,300 each by downsizing their homes according to research conducted by Prudential. The research found that 38 per cent of over 55 homeowners expect to sell their houses at some point...


Lights, camera, action

Once again the television cameras have been peeking into the working lives of estate agents.  The latest BBC 2 fly-on-the-wall series called Under Offer became required watching for many. So how did the estate agents in the programme perform? Many documentary and reality TV...


Intrusive interviews or common sense precautions?

We believe that buyers should be sensible, able to afford their mortgage payments and take into account possible interest rate rises, but as with many new dictats and legislative changes, there are consequences.  The new MMR (Mortgage Market Review) will take time and the...


MMR – Lenders urged not to over react

Mortgage Market Review or MMR is here and it remains to be seen how it affects the property market, particularly values and timing. Brokers, lenders and consumers will be noticing changes in mortgage applications, and the ongoing administration of mortgage accounts, as lenders...


A radical proposal to to make Stamp Duty fairer- it could work!

There has been yet another new proposal from within the estate agency profession to change the way stamp duty is charged which is fairer to the consumer and will help to get the current log jam of housing supply unblocked.  Under the radical proposal, each seller will be...


Waiting for the perfect house may not be the best move

The big challenge in this property market is the lack of time available to make a decision to buy. The fewer properties there are on the market, the more pressure there is on buyers to make a choice quickly. Figures show that in London alone there are multiple buyers for every...


West Oxfordshire mirrors the best in National property trend

Buyers outnumber sellers, so we need your house to sell now! A shortage of homes coming onto the nation's housing market is seriously hampering growth and pushing prices higher in many parts of the country, says the RICS January Residential Market Survey. During January, the...


Estate Agent - Friend or Foe?

2014 looks like it might be a year for the seller. Demand has outstripped supply and prices are rising.  Estate agents often get the blame for pushing up prices.  But it is buyers who set the pace.  Whichever way you cut it a property is still only worth what...