As we enter a new year, thoughts often turn to new starts and fresh beginnings. For many, buying or selling a home will be high up on their list of New Year’s resolutions.
But, if you’re planning on selling a home in the year ahead, what do you need to know?
Below, using our experience of operating in the busy, lively south-east London housing market, we take a closer look…
Now is a good time to sell
For a long while now, the post-Christmas boom in property market activity has been something to hang your hat on – reliable and guaranteed. Interest and hesitant buying plans formed over the festive period are now enacted upon, leading to a very busy period for the property market in the first three months of the year.
The property portals typically enjoy record traffic in the time between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, with people using the extra free time at their disposal to browse for properties or tentatively put their home-buying plans into action.
Figures for this Christmas suggest that Rightmove experienced record visitor numbers on Boxing Day, some 25,147,701 pages viewed according to a tweet by the property firm.
What’s more, the Daily Mail claimed that more than two million people trawled through multiple Rightmove listings on Boxing Day, while the paper also said there were 40 million online viewings of homes, compared to 38 million on the same day in 2017.
Put simply, the number of eyes on your property at this time of the year is likely to be much higher, which in turn will improve your chances of selling with relative ease. If you haven’t already listed your home, now is a good time to act to take advantage of the traditional surge in buyer interest at this time of the year.
Brexit certainty could bring market stability
The uncertainty caused by Brexit has undoubtedly had an impact on many parts of life, and property hasn’t been immune from that. A RICS report released just before Christmas suggested that many buyers and sellers were electing to sit tight until the position over Brexit became clearer, while there has been much talk about the dampening effect the political turmoil in Westminster has had on house prices, particularly at the higher end of the London market.
Although the property market has largely batted off political and economic issues in recent years – taking a business as usual approach even in the face of referendums, snap general elections and prolonged withdrawal negotiations – it is still one that thrives more when certainty and stability are the order of the day.
For now, it’s little surprise that some buyers and sellers are holding back, but greater clarity over the final withdrawal agreement would no doubt lead to a more confident, assured sector. The current situation is still highly unclear, with everything from a no deal Brexit to a second referendum still on the table, but hopefully we will know more once the meaningful vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal has taken place (scheduled for the week starting January 14).
On the upside from a seller’s point of view, the fundamentals of the market remain the same – with demand still hugely outstripping supply – which means that sellers are still in a good position when it comes to negotiating on asking prices, especially in London.
Prices should continue to rise
Despite the B-word hanging over all aspects of life, most property experts are predicting house price rises in 2019 – or at the very least no change.
That should particularly be the case in property hotspots such as Canada Water, a part of South East London which is being hailed as one to watch out for in the year to come thanks to substantial regeneration works in the pipeline.
Long in the shadow of near neighbour Canary Wharf, the former dockside area had been rather neglected until recently. Now, as well as being home to excellent transport links, easy access to the Thames, foodie hubs such as Hawker House and close proximity to London Bridge, Borough and Elephant & Castle, it is also becoming a commuter hotspot.
The Canada Water Masterplan, which we outlined in a previous blog, is driving the area’s increasing popularity, and its status as one of the Mayor of London’s Opportunity Areas is also helping to attract buyer interest.
This, of course, can be used to your advantage if you are selling a home in the local area. Ensure that you make use of the exciting redevelopment it is undergoing when trying to sell your home. The great transport links on offer (not just Jubilee Line, but London Overground services too) should also play a key role in your sales pitch to prospective buyers.
It’s not just Canada Water, either – the other areas we operate in (Bermondsey, Surrey Quays and Rotherhithe) also have plenty going for them and plenty to attract those looking for London living slightly away from the hustle and bustle of the capital’s busiest areas.
How much could your property be worth this year?
Here at Living in London, we provide instant online valuations to give you an idea of what your home is currently worth.
In 2019, like any other year, it’s important that you set your asking price at the right level to avoid putting off would-be buyers or selling yourself short.
It’s also vital that you work closely with a reputable local estate agent to ensure you avoid overvaluing, which could prohibit your chances of securing a sale.
If you would like to discuss your options in greater detail, you can contact Living in London on 020 7231 0002.
If you’re considering listing your house on the market with a low-cost, upfront fee online estate agent, you may want to think again.
As an independent agency operating in South East London, we know there are a number of advantages to using a traditional high street firm over an online or upfront fee one.
Now, though, this has been backed up further by research from The Advisory – which offers free, independent and expert advice to house sellers.
Its findings revealed that high street estate agents achieve an average price of 5% more than online-only agents in around 75% of sales. They also achieve more viewings and offers than their online counterparts.
Why is this?
Online agents are heavily reliant on portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla to find buyers. While portals are an excellent way of generating interest in properties, they are less good at actually getting results.
The research found that, while Rightmove generates approximately 52% of viewings, it produces only 36% of offers and 27% of the best buyers.
By contrast, high street agents generate 48% of viewings, 64% of offers and – in nearly three-quarters of cases – a 5% higher sale price.
That would translate to a loss of £12,500 on a sale of a £250,000 home, according to The Advisory, if an online-only agency was used rather than a traditional one.
Of course, any good traditional agent will also advertise heavily on the major portals, which means sellers won’t lose out in this sense by opting for a high street firm.
Local knowledge and experience
As the research above states, opting to use an online-only agent could lead to fewer viewings and lower than expected offers. By using a local estate agent with branches in areas of high footfall you can increase your chances of getting viewings, attracting serious buyers and receiving offers that properly reflect the true value of your property.
Here at Living in London, we operate two branches - one is inside Canada Water Tube station and one is located at Marine Wharf, a lively new dockside development in Surrey Quays. This not only means we can build good relationships with local buyers, it also means we are fully aware of local trends which could help to get your home sold more quickly.
As we pointed out in previous blog, there are a number of things buyers of property in South East London will be looking out for, and the areas we cover offer these in abundance. Good transport links, a lively social scene, garden space, parking and fast broadband speeds are all likely to feature as must-haves, with good local schools, amenities and green space also likely to be key considerations.
You should employ a multi-pronged marketing strategy – including traditional and online methods – to improve your chances of getting your home sold. It’s also important to remember that every home is different, which is why we offer a tailored approach to our sellers to ensure you get the most from your sale.
Picking the right agent is a crucial part of what is likely to be one of your biggest financial transactions. You need someone you can trust, someone who will go above and beyond to ensure the sale goes through without any hiccups. Partnering with a highly trained team, which offers the best possible customer service, is therefore crucial.
Setting the right asking price
To improve your chances of selling quickly, you need to make sure that your initial asking price is set at the right level. For this to be possible, it’s crucial that you work closely with an experienced estate agent with excellent local knowledge to ensure your home isn’t priced incorrectly. Too high and you risk deterring buyers; too low and you run the risk of selling yourself short.
For more information about getting your home sold in South East London, you can contact Living in London on 020 7231 0002.
You'll also probably be eager to know how much your home could be worth in the current market, which is where our expert valuations can help.
The days are getting shorter, the nights are drawing in, the leaves are falling off the trees and the temperatures are starting to dip a bit – all of which means we’re leaving summer behind and entering autumn.
Which, as luck would have it, is arguably the best season in which to sell a home as the traditional post-summer boom in housing activity coincides with a desire from buyers to be in their new home before Christmas. It is typically a very busy period – as both buyers and sellers put their home moving plans into action – and here we take a closer look at why that is.
The holidays are over, the kids are back at school, and people want to arrange moves before the festivities begin. This all means activity ramps up in September, October and November. While summer is generally a quieter period for the property industry, this summer was particularly quiet thanks to the excellent weather, World Cup fever and ongoing uncertainty over Brexit negotiations.
The uncertainty over Brexit is still there – and may cause some people to think twice – but other variables are now in favour of stronger market activity.
Given the desire to be in their new home by Christmas, buyers may also be more eager to push through sales in a fast manner, which will be music to the ears of sellers who dread frustrating hold-ups or delays.
As a seller, you can improve your chances of selling by trying to hold viewings in the daytime (when you can shine the best light on your home), clearing your gutters, drains and driveway of leaves, keeping your home warm and toasty during viewings if the weather is cold outside, and decluttering your property so it doesn’t feel too personal or lived in.
Here at Living in London, we operate in one of the capital’s most exciting and up-and-coming areas. In Canada Water, for example, there is what is known as the Canada Water Masterplan, which aims to create a new urban centre for London in SE16.
The project, devised and led by property development and investment firm British Land, puts forward plans for the 53-acre regeneration of Canada Water. After four years of planning and consultation, the plans were finally submitted to Southwark Council in May.
The green light is expected to be given at some point this autumn. If the plans are approved, work could begin on the first detailed plots in spring 2019 (with a target completion date of 2022). The whole Masterplan, in turn, could be completed and fully functioning by 2033.
It would deliver up to 3,000 homes, in addition to retail, leisure, work, entertainment and community space, with the first three buildings set to be constructed on Surrey Quays shopping centre’s current overflow car parks between Deal Porters Way and Canada Water Dock, plus the empty site at Roberts Close.
The first phase would generate 270 homes as well as plans for 285,000 sq ft of workspace, a leisure centre, shops and places to eat and drink. Proposals for affordable social rented housing have also been included.
As well as bringing visitors, tenants and buyers to the area, existing residents of Canada Water will be given a major boost by the project as it becomes a nicer place to live, work and commute from. At present, it could be argued that Canada Water is mostly a commuter hub – a good base for people working elsewhere in the city. However, new leisure, work, entertainment and food/drinks spaces could help to change all that.
Those looking to sell should also be boosted by the plans, with greater media coverage of the area possibly leading to higher levels of interest from potential buyers.
In nearby Rotherhithe, meanwhile, there has been an update on the proposed Rotherhithe Bridge - a pedestrian and cycle bridge which would connect south east London to the docklands peninsular, making ‘sustainable transport a life changing option for thousands of commuters’.
The low lying bridge, downstream from Tower Bridge, will need to be designed so it can open to allow tall boats to pass.
Now, in response to the recent public consultation on the planned bridge, the team behind the initial proposals - reForm Architects and Elliot Wood Engineers – have relocated their design to its original 2013 northern position. The new location, along with a 20% reduction in the scale and 5m reduction in the height of the bridge, would bring ‘tangible public benefits and cost savings to the scheme’.
The update on their official website added: “We once again publicly offer our innovative bascule design for independent scrutiny as part of the ongoing process which TfL confirm will need to demonstrate that the best design and cost outcome has been achieved.”
The bridge, which has the support of the Mayor and TfL, would be the first bridge built in central London to the east of Tower Bridge. But it has proved controversial, with a high-profile and heavily scrutinised battle over the design of the Rotherhithe-to-Canary Wharf crossing.
Consultancy giant Atkins was appointed by TfL in March to provide engineering and architectural support to the project, but reForm Architects is no longer being considered for the design support contract after another design consultancy, Arcadis, allegedly advised against the bascule-type bridge design. It’s still unclear who will actually be responsible for the eventual design of the bridge, but a planning application could be made in 2019 and Sadiq Khan said in the summer of 2017 that he’d like to start construction as soon as possible.
Autumn, then, has so far been busy in terms of developments to the areas we operate in, but as we outlined above it’s also a good time to sell a home – with demand likely to be high as plenty of buyers enter the market seeking a home before the turkey needs carving.
Do you know how much your property is worth?
The market in 2018 has been an interesting one so far, but how has the performance of London's property sector affected the price of your home and how much you could be selling it for? If you would like an 'instant valuation' to get a better idea of what your property is worth for sales or rental, please click here. Or if you would prefer to discuss your options in more depth, please feel free to contact Living in London on 020 7231 0002.
Living in London has been busy painting the town pink in the lead up to its 15th Anniversary, and it’s finally here! Happy Birthday to us; proud to be celebrating 15 years in SE16!
2016 was a very busy year for us; we opened a new branch at Marine Wharf and won several awards, including ‘Best Estate Agent in SE16’ for the second year running in the allAgents Customer Experience Awards and ‘Best Independent Letting Agent in London’ in the Real Estate & Property Awards.
Part of a company-wide growth plan, expanding to Marine Wharf allowed us to take on more staff and currently acts as a customer service ‘hub’ for our clients, housing our property management, accounting and marketing teams.
“2016 was a year of growth and streamlining for Living in London,” says Ben Miller, Director at Living in London. “Our clients have come to expect a certain level of service which we plan to continue delivering in our 15th year, as well as improving internal processes and boosting our marketing efforts.”
Taking on a new Marketing Manager and strategy, we’ve successfully boosted our online presence through social media and email marketing; delivering useful content to clients, including property insights, tips and area news, and running regular giveaways and competitions.
With an aim to become more involved in the community for our 15th Anniversary, we recently raised money for Save the Children UK and ran a Christmas giveaway, providing exclusive local offers to our clients. Continuing to work closely with local businesses, we hope to deliver a loyalty card for our clients this year, to give them access to exclusive deals and offers in the area all year round.
“We’ve developed strong relationships in SE16 over the last 15 years and now it’s time to give something back to our clients,” says Adam Miller, Director at Living in London. “We’re excited to be continuing and improving on the work we started last year. We want to go a step further and be able to offer our clients regular local offers and simultaneously support businesses in SE16.”
Living in London is also offering customers a fantastic reward for recommendations. If you’ve dealt with Living in London and experienced fantastic service, recommend us to your landlord, friends, family, neighbour, doctor, dentist... anyone! The more the merrier.
For each and every one, we'll give you £500 vouchers of your choice if they sell their property through us, or if they let with us, we'll send you £250 in vouchers!
Simply click here and fill in the form: http://living-london.net/recommendus
Look out for updates on the Living in London loyalty card and join our mailing list to be the first to receive tips, offers and giveaways.