Buyer Search Changes In 2020

It is fair to say 2020 was a year like no other, and this was reflected in the housing market.

The end of the year was a strong time for the property market, but there was also a period earlier in the year when the market was placed on hold. So, there were a lot of ups and downs.

There was also a lot of fresh challenges, which changed the way people evaluate what is important to them. The lockdown periods saw many people spend a lot more time at home, and this has resulted in a shift in what prospective house buyers deem important in a property.

What matters to you in a home?

Information provided by Good Move offers insight into what buyers were looking for, and how this differs from previous years.

The searches which experienced the highest growth compared to the previous year are as follows:

  • Apartment with balcony (147%)
  • Apartment with hot tub (139%)
  • House with tennis court (127%)
  • House with swimming pool (109%)
  • House with driveway (107%)

The rise in searches for a balcony shows how important fresh air and privacy are for people!

Functional searches matter in the new normal

Other increases worth paying attention to are functional searches. There was a 106% increase in searches for a driveway, a 101% increase with respect to conservatories and there was a 77% increase in searches for a double garage.

Where were people searching for homes?

There was a lot made of people leaving London, and we have experienced an uplift in demand for homes in and around Petersfield.

The following list shows some of the most notable uplifts in property searches:

  • A 73% increase in searches for houses for sale in Buckinghamshire
  • There was a 72% rise in searches for houses for sale in Berkshire
  • West Yorkshire experienced a 69% increase in house searches
  • There was a 61% rise in searches for homes in Hertfordshire
  • Surrey experienced a 59% rise in searches for houses for sale

Nima Ghasri, Director at Good Move, comments: “Against all odds, this year has positively impacted the UK housing market and completely transformed the way buyers and sellers look at properties. More and more people are moving away from flats and apartments and into homes with outdoor space, and we’ve also seen many people looking to move away from cities into more rural areas.”

Nima Ghasri also said; “As we approach the New Year, we wanted to look back on the year in property search and reveal what potential buyers were actually looking for this year. It’s interesting to see that they have been searching for more luxurious features such as a swimming pool and tennis court, no doubt due to the increase of time spent at home and leisure facilities closing due to the pandemic. It’s also fascinating to see the areas where people are searching for properties the most, with South-East and Northern England the two hotspots. As we move into 2021, we look forward to seeing how the property market adapts to buyer’s needs.”

At Williams of Petersfield, we aim to support the Petersfield community as much as we can, and we know this is an extremely trying time. A lot of people are looking for support and guidance, and if you have any property or housing related questions, we are more than happy to assist you, so contact us today.

Technology Is Vital For Property Market

It is crucial we all follow guidance and advice in dealing with the Coronavirus situation. There is information provided by the Government for the housing market, and rest assured, the team at Williams of Petersfield are following this guidance and making sure we provide all our clients with the best standard of service. Continue reading “Technology Is Vital For Property Market”

Is Confidence Back In The Property Market?

Confidence can make a massive difference in the property market, and it is easy to see why so many people want to feel more optimistic about the market this year. Information provided by NAEA Propertymark isn’t going to dampen enthusiasm, and it is easy to see why many people feel 2020 could be the year when things improve with buying and selling homes.

A lot of the optimism stems from the organisation stating the number of prospective buyers, and the number of agreed sales, increased in December 2019, compared to December 2018.

The year on year sales agreed per member branch stood at five in December 2017 and 2018, but in December 2019, the number have increased to six agreed sales per branch. This may not seem like much, but any step forward is to be celebrated, and there are many reasons why December is a slower month in the market.

Of course, the General Election of 2019, and the convincing margin of victory for the Conservative Party means December 2019 wasn’t a standard month or a typical December.

Sales to first-time buyers increased

The presence of first-time buyers is crucial, because this is the largest group of buyers in the property market. The number of sales made to first-time buyers in December 2019 increased marginally from November 2019. The figures moved from 28% to 29%. However, the year-on-year figures showed a notable increase of 5%. The December 2018 figures stood at 24%.

There was a fall in house hunters registering with estate agents

One area where there was a slight hit in the market was the number of house hunters registered per branch. In November 2019, this stood at 332, but in December of 2019, this had fallen to 313. This is the lowest figure since July 2019, when there were 305 house-hunters per branch. However, there was an increase in the year-on-year figures, which stood at 304 potential buyers per branch in December 2018.

More homes were supplied to the market

In November 2019, there were 39 homes supplied to the market per branch, and by December 2019, this increase to 41. This is the highest figure since August 2019, when there were 44 houses per branch on the market. There was a slight dip in the year-on-year figures, moving from 42 in December 2018.

Mark Hayward is the Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark and he said; “After a period of suppressed market activity due to Brexit and political uncertainty, the clear outcome of the General Election in December has injected some much-needed confidence into the market.”

Mark continued by saying; “Despite it typically being a quieter time of the year seasonally, our figures have shown positive trends with both demand and the number of sales being high in comparison to previous years, as both buyers and sellers no longer hold off on their plans. This is an encouraging close to the year and we hope to see more of this stability in 2020.”

If you plan on making a move in or around Petersfield this year, contact Williams of Petersfield, and we will be happy to help.

Calls For Stamp Duty To Be Changed To Aid Downsizers

There are many opinions on what can be done to improve the UK property market and a growing amount of attention is falling on the significance of the elderly in the market. The UK has an ageing population, and as well as the economy and the healthcare sector, the fact that people are living for longer creates pressures in the property market.

It transpires that many people over the age of 65 would be keen to downsize from their current property to a smaller property but are struggling to find suitable or affordable property. One suggestion that has been floated is that stamp duty could be removed for elderly people downsizing into a smaller property.

In recent years, stamp duty has been amended to impact on landlords and investors buying additional property and for first-time buyers looking to step on to the property ladder. It is therefore not out of the question to consider that stamp duty changes may be applied to elderly people.

There needs to be movement in the market

If elderly people can downsize their property, paying a more affordable fee to buy a suitable property, there could be a greater amount of property on the market for people looking for a bigger home. In turn, if people can move up in the property market, the home that they leave behind can be used to welcome first-time buyers or downsizers. This would stimulate movement and spending in the property market, hopefully benefitting the market and allowing more people to buy the property that best suits their needs.

A recent study by an equity release adviser suggests that 63% of estate agents believe that the removal of stamp duty for property buyers making their final purchase would be a sensible move. The same study found that 32% of property owners classed as elderly state that stamp duty is a barrier to their movement.

Other solutions must be introduced to aid market movement

However, it is important to be aware that while close to one-third of relevant respondents suggested that the current stamp duty charge for elderly movers is a barrier, it isn’t the only barrier to movement. It may be that the removal of stamp duty for elderly homeowners moving creates some movement in the market but not as much as would be hoped for.

Petersfield landlords

Given the number of challenges in the property market, it would be wrong to assume that one new feature or solution would solve every problem in the market. However, there is a need for a range of solutions to be introduced to the market and there is no denying that adjusting stamp duty could lead to a more positive outcome in the market if other solutions are unveiled alongside this decision.

No matter what your position in the property market is, if you are looking for support and guidance with your next move, contact Williams of Petersfield. We are pleased to say we have helped many local clients move home and we look forward to assisting you.

Accompanied Viewings Are A Step To Selling Successfully

When it comes to selling your home, it makes sense to work as hard and as smart as you can to ensure that people see your house, appreciate what it has to give and then make an offer. There are many different parts of the property selling process and all of them are important because if there is a weak link in your chain, this is likely to be where a potential sale collapses. This is why you need to consider aspects like accompanied viewings as seriously as staging your home.

While all of the parts are important, it is fair to say that the viewing process is crucial. This is when the interested buyer comes to your home and you need to make sure that you create a positive first impression. There is also a need to provide as much information and to be as welcoming as possible. You can see why many property owners want to play a part in the process but you will find that accompanied viewings are a step to selling successfully. This is the case for a number of reasons and when you call on Williams of Petersfield, you can be confident that we will provide you with the assistance you need to enhance your chances of selling your home.

Viewers are more honest when appraising the home with an estate agent

We are not saying that potential buyers will tell lies to the homeowner but there are clearly different levels of the truth that can come out. The vast majority of people are not going to be brutally harsh to a homeowners face, and this means you may miss out on informative feedback. Even if the first viewer doesn’t want to buy the home, they may have insight into issues that they don’t like or which they do appreciate, which can help you to meet the needs of the next buyer.

A potential buyer is more likely to be honest about these aspects to the estate agent than the owner, so if you want great insight, make sure an estate agent is present for the viewing process.

A fresh pair of eyes is always helpful

When it comes to honesty or seeing the property with fresh eyes, the estate agent may be able to provide a viewpoint that the property owner is unable to offer. When you have lived in a home for a number of years or it is created to your style, you may not see potential issues or problems.

This is where having an external person makes a difference because they will be able to make decisions or share opinions that ensure the property is set up in a different, and hopefully, more enticing manner.

You are likely to be busy

Selling a home can be a stressful time and it can be difficult to juggle the needs of your normal life with the demands of selling a home. If you are also looking to buy a home at the same time, you may not have enough time to do everything and this is where getting a helping hand can make a big difference.

When you call on Williams of Petersfield, we offer a helping hand that ensures the important steps are all taken care of, regardless of how busy you are.

accompanied viewings

Accompanied viewings help set the property up

As a local, skilled and experienced estate agent, we know what people are looking for. This means we will help you to present and stage your property with the right buyer in mind. Staging a home goes beyond cleaning, decluttering and decorating; it actually means presenting the home with the most likely buyer in mind, which will make your home more attractive to the property.

We are sales people

Given that we sell homes for a living, we are more than happy to talk to potential buyers, to show them the benefits of the home and to connect with them. We know that homeowners have a great level of insight to offer about their property but it can be difficult for some people to talk about their home. Selling your home can be an emotional time, it can be a nervous time considering the amount of money involved and it can also be a challenging time as not everyone is comfortable when it comes to public speaking or talking with others. This is why we are more than happy to take responsibility for the viewing process.

We believe all of these reasons are big factors in why accompanied viewings are important and if you want the best standard of support and assistance, call on Williams of Petersfield.