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The Art of Home Staging: Why It Truly Counts in Selling Your Property

In the competitive real estate market, first impressions matter, and staging a property is not just a luxury but a strategic necessity. Home staging, the process of preparing a residence for sale by showcasing its best features, has evolved into a crucial aspect of the selling process. In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons why staging a property counts and how it can significantly impact your chances of a successful sale.

1. Enhances Visual Appeal

One of the primary reasons to stage a property is to enhance its visual appeal. Staging allows you to highlight the property’s strengths and create a visually appealing environment that potential buyers can envision themselves living in. From furniture arrangement to decor choices, staging transforms spaces, making them more attractive and inviting.

2. Facilitates Emotional Connection

Buyers often make decisions based on emotions. Staging helps create an emotional connection between the potential buyer and the property. By presenting a well-staged home, you are not just selling a house; you are selling a lifestyle. Thoughtfully arranged furniture and decor can evoke positive emotions, making it easier for buyers to imagine themselves living in the space.

3. Showcases Functionality

Proper staging allows you to showcase the functionality of each room. By arranging furniture in a way that highlights the purpose of each space, potential buyers can easily understand the flow and potential uses of different areas in the home. This clarity can be a deciding factor for buyers who are trying to envision how they would utilize the available space.

4. Sets the Right Tone

Staging helps set the right tone for the property. Whether you’re aiming for a cozy family home, a modern urban apartment, or a luxurious estate, staging enables you to convey a consistent theme throughout the property. This cohesive presentation creates a memorable experience for potential buyers and sets the property apart in their minds.

5. Maximizes Perceived Value

A well-staged property can create a sense of luxury and quality, maximizing the perceived value in the eyes of potential buyers. Thoughtful decor choices and attention to detail can make a property feel more upscale, potentially justifying a higher asking price. Investing in staging can yield returns by influencing buyers to perceive the property as a premium offering.

6. Accelerates the Selling Process

Staged homes tend to sell faster than their non-staged counterparts. The enhanced visual appeal, emotional connection, and perceived value contribute to a more attractive listing. A quicker sale not only reduces the time and effort invested in marketing but also avoids the potential challenges associated with a property lingering on the market.

7. Attracts Online Attention

In today’s digital age, the first encounter many potential buyers have with a property is through online listings. Staged homes photograph well, capturing the attention of online browsers. High-quality images of a beautifully staged property can generate more interest, clicks, and inquiries, ultimately leading to more showings and a higher likelihood of a successful sale.

In conclusion, staging a property is not just a superficial aspect of the selling process; it is a strategic investment that can significantly impact the success of your real estate transaction. From creating an emotional connection to accelerating the selling process, the benefits of staging are multifaceted. So, if you’re considering selling your property, remember that staging isn’t just about making it look good; it’s about making it irresistible to potential buyers.

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Unlocking the Secrets of the Sale Property Market Across Different Price Ranges

As a Sale estate agent, I have witnessed first-hand how the Sale property market operates and the various factors that influence property sales.

One intriguing aspect is the difference in saleability across different price ranges.

In this article, we will delve into the dynamics of selling properties in relation to their price ranges and explore the factors contributing to varying sale rates.

Price Range and Saleability

Sale properties are often categorised into distinct price ranges, such as entry-level, mid-range, and upper-quartile luxury.

Each segment attracts different buyers with varying purchasing power, preferences, and investment goals.

These factors play a crucial role in determining the saleability of properties within each price range.

Entry-Level Sale Properties: Quick Turnaround (up to £300,000)

Entry-level properties, typically affordable homes suitable for Sale first-time buyers or Sale buy-to-let landlords, tend to have a relatively high saleability rate. The demand for these Sale properties is often robust, driven by increasing population, rising interest in homeownership, and government incentives for first-time buyers. Moreover, entry-level properties usually attract Sale buy-to-let landlords, as they tend to offer yields and returns, leading to a quicker sale process.

Mid-Range Sale Properties: Normally a Balanced Market (£300,000 to £525,000)

Mid-range properties occupy a middle ground, appealing to a broader range of buyers with more financial flexibility. Market conditions, location, and property features generally influence the saleability of these properties. In a balanced market, where demand and supply are relatively equal, mid-range properties tend to sell at a moderate pace. Factors such as property condition, amenities, proximity to schools, transportation, and amenities play a vital role in attracting potential buyers.

Upper Quartile Sale Luxury Properties: Normally a Longer Selling Time (£525,000+)

Top-end luxury Sale properties, characterised by their exclusivity, unique features, and high price tags (in the top 25% price-wise – hence the phrase Upper Quartile), often require a longer selling time than other price ranges. The pool of prospective buyers for luxury properties is smaller, requiring individuals with significant financial resources. The selling process involves careful marketing strategies, targeted advertising, and connections with affluent buyers. Patience is critical when dealing with luxury properties, as it may take months to find the right buyer who appreciates the property’s exceptional qualities and is willing to meet the asking price.

So, let us look at the saleability of Sale property by price band.

The following can be seen …

  • Entry-Level Sale Properties – this market is doing rather well, especially the £100k to £150k range.
  • Mid-Range Sale Properties – as expected, things have been a little more challenging in this price range as it is more affected by the current higher mortgage rates, with the best range being £400k to £500k.
  • Upper Quartile Sale Luxury Properties – The higher-end properties, compared to last year, are still holding their own (although let us not forget the actual numbers of houses are lower). Things are tougher in the £1m to £2m range.

However, there are other factors influencing saleability than just the price band.

Property Market Conditions in Sale

The overall state of the Sale property market greatly influences the saleability of properties across all price ranges. In last week’s article, I discussed whether Sale was in the buyers’, sellers’ or balanced market. During a sellers’ market, where demand outweighs supply, all properties sell quickly regardless of their price range. In contrast, in a buyers’ market, where supply exceeds demand, properties may take longer to sell, especially in higher price ranges.

For example, nationally, any property up to £200,000, which is considered the lower quartile of properties (i.e. the bottom 25% of properties by value), have had a saleability rate of 75.3% in 2023, yet last year it was 90.9%.

Looking at the top end of the market nationally, last year, 51.9% of properties over £1m marketed throughout the year had a sale agreed on them. For 2023, it’s been 35.1%.

Location Location Location (in Sale)

The location of a property plays a crucial role in its saleability. Desirable neighbourhoods and housing estates/developments in Sale with excellent amenities, proximity to outstanding primary schools, transportation, and shops often attract more buyers, regardless of the price range. Buyers are willing to pay a premium for properties situated in prime locations.

Property Condition and Features

The condition and features of a Sale property significantly impact its saleability. Well-maintained ten out of ten properties with attractive features, modern amenities, and updated bathrooms and kitchens are more likely to attract potential buyers across all price ranges. Would it also surprise you that properties that need absolute gutting (i.e. one or two out of ten properties) also attract many buyers as they often wish to put their mark on it? Interestingly, properties requiring some moderate renovations or lacking desirable features (i.e. those in the mid-range of four to six out of ten) may experience slower sales or necessitate price adjustments.

Targeted Marketing and Pricing

Effective marketing strategies tailored to each price range can enhance the saleability of properties. Accurate pricing is crucial to attract potential buyers and generate interest. Overpricing will deter buyers, while underpricing may lead to missed opportunities for maximising your returns. A skilled Sale estate agent like ourselves can provide valuable insights into pricing strategies and develop marketing campaigns to target specific buyer segments.

Final Thoughts on the Saleability of Sale Property

Understanding the dynamics of selling properties across different price ranges is essential for buyers and sellers in the Sale property market. Whether you are contemplating a move or planning to stay put until late this year or even 2024, it is worth assessing the saleability of your home in Sale.

As the Sale property market continues to evolve, it is always beneficial to stay informed about the value of your Sale property.

Therefore, I encourage all Sale homeowners to contact our estate agency to comprehensively evaluate their home’s saleability. Our team is ready to provide expert guidance and assist you in making informed decisions about your property.

Don’t hesitate to give us a call today!

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Is Sale a Buyers’ or Sellers’ Property Market?

A Comprehensive Guide for Sale Homeowners

In the ever-changing world of Sale property, the terms ‘buyers’ market’ and ‘sellers’ market’ are phrases bandied about.

These property market conditions can significantly impact your ability to buy or sell a Sale property, regardless of which side of the fence you find yourself on.

As a Sale estate agent, I will provide you with a detailed analysis of the Sale property market to find out if we are in a buyers’ or sellers’ market and offer valuable tips to navigate through them successfully.

Additionally, I will shed light on a lesser-known market condition called a ‘balanced market’. So, let’s delve into the nuances of these markets and equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions on buying and selling in Sale.

What is a Sale Buyers’ Market?

A ‘buyers’ market’ occurs when the number of Sale homes available for sale exceeds the number of potential buyers. In this scenario, buyers hold the advantage, as they have more choices and can take their time to make decisions. They may even negotiate with sellers to secure more favourable prices. This is an ideal market for Sale buyers as attractive deals are plentiful, while sellers face the challenge of standing out in a sea of properties for sale.

What is a Sale Sellers’ Market?

Conversely, a sellers’ market arises when there is a higher demand for homes than available inventory. This creates a power shift in favour of sellers, who can benefit from increased competition among buyers. In a seller’s market, Sale properties tend to sell quickly and sellers often receive multiple offers, driving up property prices. This market can be challenging for Sale buyers, as they may face bidding wars and have limited negotiating power.

Introducing a Balanced Market.

Apart from the buyers’ and sellers’ markets, a balanced property market exists where the number of people looking to sell property matches the number of potential buyers. In a balanced market, equilibrium is achieved, leading to stable prices and a reasonable timeframe for property sales. This market condition offers a fair playing field for both buyers and sellers, creating a more harmonious real estate environment.

Understanding the Dynamics: Supply and Demand of Sale Property.

At the core of these property market conditions lies the principle of supply and demand.

Sale home buyers have the upper hand when the supply of Sale homes surpasses the demand. Conversely, when demand outpaces supply, Sale house sellers hold the advantage. Recognising which property market you are in is crucial for making informed decisions, regardless of whether you are a buyer or a seller.

What Kind of Property Market is Sale in?

The best way anyone can judge the market is to analyse the percentage of properties marked as “Sold STC” (Sold Subject to Contract) and “Under Offer” in relation to the total stock of properties on the market.

E.g. if there are 500 properties on the market (both available and sold stc/under offer) and 200 are sold stc/under offer … 200 as a percentage of 500 is 40%.

Everyone can do this by searching the property portals (e.g. Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket) by searching for Sale and calculating it by asking for the results with sold stc/under offer and without sold stc/under offer.

The designated property market states are as follows:

  • 0% to 20%: Extreme Buyers’ Market
  • 21% to 29%: Buyers’ Market
  • 30% to 40%: Balanced Market
  • 41% to 49%: Sellers’ Market
  • 50% to 59%: Hot Sellers’ Market
  • 60%+: Extreme Sellers’ Market

This methodology is widely used by many professional property traders, corporate asset managers and developer part exchange providers to quickly assess the temperature of any local market. It offers a reliable and efficient measurement of market heat, enabling informed individuals to select the right strategies and stay ahead of the market to achieve superior results.

The statistics have been sourced from website ‘The Advisory’, which have calculated the market state stats for many years. I wanted to share them back to the summer of 2018, so you can see for yourself.

What are the Statistics for Sale for the Last 5 Years?

 Jun-18Jun-19Jun-20Jun-21Jun-22Dec-22Mar-23May-23Jun-23
M3362%56%50%79%82%68%63%68%67%

You can quite clearly see Sale went into an extreme sellers’ market during 2021 and 2022 and is still at levels higher than pre pandemic.

Now of course this could all change, so let me explain both extremes for either market.

Tips for Sale Home Sellers in a Buyers’ Market

Selling a Sale property in a buyers’ market can be daunting, but you can improve your chances of success with the right approach. Here are some valuable tips for Sale home sellers:

  1. Be realistic with your asking price: If the Sale property market becomes a buyers’ market, home sellers will need to understand the challenging market conditions and set a competitive price from the beginning. Overpricing will deter potential Sale buyers from even viewing and lead to your home being on the market for months. People will start to think there will be something wrong with your home and dismiss it even more.
  2. Present your Sale home at its best: In a competitive buyers’ market, making your property stand out is vital. Consider staging your home and completing any necessary repairs to make it more appealing to home buyers.
  3. Maximise your exposure: Effective marketing is crucial, particularly in a buyers’ market. Collaborate closely with a reputable local Sale agent with extensive area knowledge and a strong marketing team to ensure maximum visibility for your property. Gone are the days of just putting the property on Rightmove and hoping.
  4. Be prepared to negotiate on more than the pound notes: Price is not the only factor in negotiations. Buyers may also be open to discussing terms and conditions like what you are leaving regarding fixtures and fittings, so be flexible and willing to find common ground.

Tips for Buyers in a Sale Seller’s Market

If you find yourself navigating a sellers’ market as a Sale buyer, these tips will help you improve your chances of securing the right property:

  1. Define your necessities: Clearly understand your property needs and prioritise them. Be prepared to compromise on certain aspects to increase your chances of finding a suitable property.
  2. Be friendly: Build a positive rapport and relationship with the home sellers on the viewing. This can really work in your favour. First impressions can make a difference.
  3. Act quickly: In a seller’s market, hesitation can lead to missed opportunities. If you come across a Sale property that meets your criteria, schedule a viewing promptly and be prepared to make an offer if it resonates with you.
  4. Make fair offers: While everyone wants a great deal, offering a reasonable price shows respect to sellers and increases the likelihood of your offer being considered. Silly low offers are often dismissed in competitive markets and can sometimes offend.
  5. Practice patience: Although speed is essential, exercising patience is equally vital. Rushing into a decision can result in regret. The right property will come along, so balancing acting swiftly and making informed choices is critical.

Understanding the dynamics of buyers’ and sellers’ markets is essential for both buyers and sellers in the Sale property market.

By grasping the nuances of each market condition and applying the appropriate strategies, you can maximise your chances of achieving your Sale property goals. Whether you find yourself in a buyer’s market, seller’s market, or a balanced market, adapting your approach and working closely with an experienced local agent will significantly enhance your chances of success in the ever-changing world of real estate.

But let me leave you with this one last thought. Regardless of whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market, it’s important to recognise the interconnected nature of these market conditions.

A significant statistic to consider is that 81% of sellers are also buyers.

This means that as you gain an advantage as a seller in a hot market, you may face challenges when transitioning to the buyer’s side.

Conversely, in a buyers’ market where you have the upper hand as a buyer, you might encounter difficulties when selling your own property.

It’s crucial to understand this dynamic and plan accordingly, as the dynamics of the Sale property market are often a delicate balance between gaining and losing, and this holds true for both buyers and sellers.

These are my thoughts, do share yours in the comments or by reply.

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3,256 Trafford Properties Remain Empty

Leaving 6,735 People on the Council House Waiting List

There aren’t enough homes in Sale.

The answer is clearly to build more property in Sale (and Trafford as a whole) – but that, unfortunately for those badly seeking to buy or rent a home in Sale, takes a lot of time and massive amounts of money. So, what other solutions are there?

Talking to a Sale client of mine recently, the subject of the housing crisis was mentioned. They suggested that all the empty properties in Sale could be the solution to this problem. On the face of it, it seems so obvious. Now quite interestingly, I had recently done some research on this topic, which I want to share with you (as I did with them).

The most recent set of figures from 2022 state there are 3,256 empty homes in the Trafford Council area.

So it begs the question, why not put these homes back into the housing system and help ease the Sale housing crisis?

Whilst they stand empty, 6,735 Trafford families are on the Council House Waiting List for council houses.

Nationally, the picture is very similar with 1,206,376 families on Council house waiting lists with 676,304 homes empty.

Surely, we can all agree that property left empty for many years isn’t morally right?

… yet a different story emerges when you look deeper into the numbers.

Every October on one specific day, each local authority must report every property that is empty, even if it’s only been so for a week.

So many of these Trafford properties are either awaiting new homeowners or, in the case of rental properties, new tenants. Also most certainly, some properties are being refurbished and renovated, some are deceased estates, while other properties have homeowners that have moved out and are in the process of being sold (e.g. a part exchange property).

Of those 3,256 Trafford homes lying empty, only 1,071 properties were empty for more than six months.

The fact is that the number of genuinely long-term empty properties is only a tiny drop in the ocean of the 96,269 properties in the area covered by Trafford Council and, even if every one of those empty homes were filled with tenants tomorrow, it would only meet a small fraction of Sale’s housing needs.

So, what does this mean for all the homeowners and landlords of Sale?

This scarcity of available homes contributes to the maintenance of high rents, which presents a favourable situation for Sale landlords who are investing in buy-to-let properties.

Simultaneously, it also serves to keep Sale house prices at a relatively elevated level.

The implications of this situation are particularly evident in the context of Sale’s rental market, where the demand for properties is exceptionally high.

Due to the challenges faced by young individuals in affording homeownership and the financial constraints limiting the construction of new council houses by local authorities, the growth of the rental market becomes an undeniable reality.

Consequently, landlords predominantly focus their investments on the lower end of the housing market, such as starter homes, further fortifying property prices.

This cyclical pattern sustains the entire market as sellers, propelled by the increasing demand, progress up the property ladder, thereby enabling others to purchase homes and continuing the process in a chain-like manner.

These are indeed interesting times in the Sale property market!

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Evolving Sale Property Preferences: A Shift in Types of Sale Properties Purchased Over the Last Two Years

The Sale property landscape is constantly evolving, shaped by societal, economic and cultural factors.

The type of properties people have bought in the last few years since Lockdown One has undergone some notable changes, reflecting shifting preferences and lifestyle choices.

This article explores the transformations in property purchasing trends over the last two years compared to the long-term, almost three-decade average, with a focus on Sale detached houses, semi-detached houses, terraced houses and apartments.

Sale Detached Houses: A Shift Towards Modernity

Detached houses, long considered the epitome of homeownership, have witnessed a transformation in Sale buyer preferences. They still hold significant appeal, particularly for Sale families seeking privacy and ample space, the demand for Sale detached properties in the last couple of years has decreased, when compared to the previous average of the last three decades. This shift started before lockdown and can be attributed to several factors, including changing demographics, the way people live, varying land costs and evolving lifestyles that prioritise convenience and urban living.

Between 1995 and 2020, 3,365 detached homes sold in the Sale area, representing 16.0% of all the property sales in those 26 years.

In the last two years (2021 & 2022), 269 detached homes sold in the Sale area, representing 12.2% of all the property sales in those 2 years, a proportional drop of 23.4%.

Sale Semi-Detached Houses: Balancing Space and Affordability

Sale semi-detached houses have maintained a relatively stable position in the property market over the past three decades, striking a balance between the space offered by detached houses and the affordability of terraced houses. While their popularity has seen minor fluctuations, their appeal to both Sale families and young professionals looking for more spacious living arrangements remains consistent.

In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in demand for well-presented mature Sale extended semi-detached houses as homeowners increasingly seek larger properties that accommodate work-from-home setups and additional living spaces for multi-generational living. This trend suggests a growing emphasis on both comfort and adaptability within the modern Sale home.

Between 1995 and 2020, 9,907 semi-detached homes sold in the Sale area, representing 47.0% of all the property sales in those 26 years.

In the last two years (2021 & 2022), 930 semi-detached homes sold in the Sale area, representing 42.3% of all the property sales in those 2 years, a proportional drop of 10.1%.

Sale Terraced Houses: Embracing Urban Living

Sale terraced houses have witnessed a resurgence in popularity with many new home builders utilising the modern ‘town house’ in a three-storey format. These houses in modern suburban areas provide a contemporary take on this traditional property type, attracting younger Sale buyers looking for a low-maintenance lifestyle without sacrificing space (as they are built over three floors).

Then we have the Victorian terraced home which offers a blend of affordability, convenience and a sense of community tracing its history back over 100+ years. Young professionals, couples and small families are attracted to the charm and character of these properties, the generous square footage and close to the town centre location, often means the need for a car is reduced.

Between 1995 and 2020, 4,368 terraced homes sold in the Sale area, representing 20.7% of all the property sales in those 26 years.

In the last two years (2021 & 2022), 554 terraced homes sold in the Sale area, representing 25.2% of all the property sales in those 2 years, a proportional increase of 21.5%.

Sale Apartments: The Rise of Vertical Living

Perhaps the most significant transformation in property type preferences over the past three decades can be observed in the increased popularity of apartments in the UK. Rapidly rising land costs and a growing desire for low-maintenance living have propelled the demand for apartment living to new heights.

Apartments offer a range of benefits, including affordability, security, access to amenities and a lock-and-leave lifestyle. Millennials and young professionals are drawn to the convenience and vibrant urban environments that apartments often provide. Additionally, the growing focus on sustainable living and reduced carbon footprints has further fuelled the demand for high-density housing options. Also, the issue of cladding which has become a great worry is hopefully on its way to being sorted.

Between 1995 and 2020, 3,429 apartments sold in the Sale area, representing 16.3% of all the property sales in those 26 years.

In the last two years (2021 & 2022), 447 apartments sold in the Sale area, representing 20.3% of all the property sales in those 2 years, a proportional increase of 24.8%.

This is particularly interesting when we compare the Sale stats to the national picture. Detached houses have seen an increase in demand from 34% of sales a decade ago to 39% last year, semi-detached houses have maintained their appeal and increased from 26% to 28% in the last decade. Terraced houses have witnessed a drop from 26% a decade ago to 21% last year and finally apartments have slightly increased from 11% to 12%.

The property preferences in Sale have experienced notable shifts over the past two years compared to the long-term average of the last three decades. As Sale’s property landscape continues to evolve, it is crucial to analyse these shifting preferences to understand the needs and desires of potential Sale homeowners (and tenants).

Of course, detached houses remain a peak of home ownership, yet as the Sale market is adapting to cater to changing demographics, urbanisation and evolving lifestyles, this might start to change in the coming decade.

By recognising and responding to these trends, homeowners, buy-to-let landlords and planners and developers can ensure that Sale’s property market continues to thrive and meet the demands of the future.

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Sale House Prices Have Risen by 5.63% Since Christmas

Since Christmas, Sale first-time buyers and savvy Sale buy-to-let landlords have been more active than expected in the Sale property market.

Rents in the Sale area have soared in the last two years, with the average Sale rent increasing to £1,118 a month, an increase of 21.9%.

Because of these growing Sale rents, it has made homeownership more cost-effective for younger Sale buyers and more lucrative for Sale landlords.

On the back of this, house prices are rising in Sale.

But how can I say house prices are rising when the Land Registry and other indices from the banks state they are falling?

The Land Registry figures published this month will be from sales completed (i.e. keys and monies handed over in February 2023). Yet, as everyone knows, it takes on average, 19 weeks from agreeing on a sale to a completed sale in the UK, so those Land Registry house price figures are from house sales agreed upon in September or October 2022.

If only there were a more up-to-date way of calculating what is happening to house prices.

Well, there is!

By measuring what houses sell for at the sale agreed date by their square footage.

The measure of £/sq. ft is not a particular great way to judge the value of an individual property. However, when looking at a national and regional level, its accuracy is excellent (98% accurate on a national level and around 95% accurate on a regional level).

The average price per square foot at sale agreed matches the Land Registry and Nationwide House Price Index to a very high tolerance/accuracy level, albeit 7 or 8 months before the Land Registry/Nationwide publish their data.

So by tracking the regional £/sq. ft figures for the North West, it will give us an excellent idea of what is happening to Sale house prices now.

The top of the property market was in June 2022 when the average £/sq. ft achieved for all house sales agreed in the North West was £244.75/sq. ft.

By December 2022, this had dropped to £232.76/sq. ft, a drop of 5.15% (for the North West homes sold stc in December ’22).

By this April, the average £/sq. ft achieved for all house sales agreed in the North West had risen by 5.63% to £246.65/sq. ft.

Let’s put it another way.

House prices in the North West area (including Sale) are 5.63% higher than at Christmas.

Just for interest, these are the £/sq.ft figures split down by property type:

  • Detached North West homes – £325.50/sq. ft
  • Semi-Detached North West homes – £262.23/sq. ft
  • Town Houses/Terraced North West homes – £201.51/sq. ft
  • Apartments/Flats North West – £223.84/sq. ft

Before I move on to what the future holds, as a good comparison, currently Sale houses are selling for an average of £361/sq. ft.

There are several issues which could upset the ‘apple cart’.

One is the recent Bank of England base rate rise.

The recent decision by the Bank of England (BoE) to raise the Base Rate by 0.25% has only led to a negligible increase of 0.04% in average rates for two-year and five-year mortgages.

This rise in BoE interest rates is primarily attributed to their forecast that inflation will not decrease as quickly as initially anticipated.

Consequently, the underlying costs of lenders’ fixed-rate deals, known as swap rates, have risen slightly, resulting in an adjustment of lenders’ mortgage rates, but not that much.

To provide some perspective, current average mortgage rates (late May) are like those observed at the beginning of April, with some rate fluctuations in those seven weeks.

I also have concerns about the cost of living persisting among many Sale households, which may continue to impact sentiment and activity in the property market.

Additionally, the gradual impact of higher interest rates on those existing homeowners should not be underestimated. There are millions of homeowners whose existing sub 1% to 1.5% interest fixed mortgages are set to end in the coming three years.

Some of those Sale homeowners would rather sell up and trade down market to reduce their mortgage outgoings than cut their household budgets regarding entertainment, holidays, etc.

However, as I have explained before in my Sale Property Blog, my message to those homeowners is to speak with a qualified mortgage arranger. You will be amazed how extending the term of your mortgage will reduce your monthly payments, enabling you to stay in your existing Sale home. Of course, you must weigh the pros and cons by talking to a qualified mortgage arranger.  

Yet, if lots of Sale homes get put on the market in the coming year or so (i.e. what happened in 2008), then we will have too much supply and probably not enough demand – meaning Sale house prices will drop again.

The consistent rise in Sale house prices over the past few years can be primarily attributed to a shortage of supply of properties to buy. The opposite will be the case if we get an excess supply of many homes on the market.

So that is what could go wrong in the Sale property market; what about the potential good news?

Contrary to expectations back in late 2022, I stated a few weeks ago, Sale first-time buyers in 2023 have been more active in the housing market despite prevailing uncertainty.

I attribute this trend to the rising rental costs, which have made homeownership in Sale comparatively more cost-effective.

This, in turn, has attracted new Sale landlords into the market to invest. I am aware some highly geared (i.e. they have high percentage mortgages on their buy-to-let properties) Sale landlords have been battered with the section 24 taxation changes from a few years ago.

Yet, there are lots of new landlords coming into the buy-to-let market. They had their fingers burned on crypto and the stock market and are now looking for another investment vehicle for their savings.

The simple fact is the UK doesn’t build enough homes to satisfy the demand, meaning in the medium to long term, rents and house prices go up.

Buy-to-let is an excellent hedge against inflation (do ask me for my article from late last year about that).

The British housing market, which experienced a surge during the pandemic due to the demand for more space, has yet to experience the anticipated decline that some commentators predicted last year. The resilience of the UK economy, the strength of the labour market and the expected decrease in inflation throughout the remainder of the year are all factors that only add strength to the Sale property market.

Tell me your thoughts on the matter – I would love to know them.

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6 Expensive mistakes every first-time buyer should avoid

Embarking on the journey of buying your first home can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be filled with costly mistakes.

With proper planning and a few precautions, you can avoid the common pitfalls that many first-time buyers encounter.

Here are six mistakes to watch out for and how to steer clear of them:

  1. Neglecting to obtain an agreement in principle

    Before you dive headfirst into house hunting, take a moment to assess your mortgage options. Obtain an ‘agreement in principle’ from a mortgage provider, also known as a ‘decision-in-principle’ Or ‘mortgage promise’. This certificate showcases the amount you’re likely to borrow, offering a realistic idea of your budget. Not securing one could lead to disappointment if you find a dream property but can’t secure the necessary loan. If you need any help and were wondering how to navigate the mortgage process effectively? Our team of experts can guide you and help secure an agreement in principle.

    2. Underestimating the time it takes to get a mortgage

    Be aware that there isn’t a fixed timeframe for mortgage approval. While most applications are processed within 18 to 40 days, delays can occur. Start your mortgage application as early as possible to avoid rushing into an offer on a home.

    3. Choosing the wrong solicitor

    The difference between a good and bad solicitor could be the difference between you moving into your home in 14 weeks instead of 23 weeks. Ask us and we will tell you who is the best solicitors.

    4. Failing to research the area of you are looking in

    Before you start viewing, define your priorities for the area you wish to live in. Consider factors such as transportation links, green spaces, primary schools, and amenities. Understanding your needs will streamline the selection process. If possible, spend time in unfamiliar areas you’re interested in to get a sense of the atmosphere and assess transportation links.

    5. Purchasing a ‘non-standard’ property

    Certain property types may complicate obtaining a mortgage. Lenders may hesitate to approve loans for flats above shops, areas of high-density renting, or commercial premises due to potential issues like noise, smells, and security concerns beyond the owners’ control. New-build homes may also have stricter lending criteria. If you’re considering a non-standard property, gather as much information as possible and seek expert mortgage advice to strengthen your application. If you are unsure about the eligibility of a specific property? Our team can provide valuable insights and help you navigate the complexities of mortgage approval.

    6. Not asking enough questions during property viewings

    While it’s tempting to make an offer on the first seemingly perfect home, rushing in blindly can result in costly renovations and long-term expenses. Prepare a list of questions to ask during viewings. Test windows, doors, lights, and water pressure, and don’t be afraid to look beyond furniture for any hidden defects. Inquire about the sellers, their tenure at the property, and their motivation for moving. Knowing how long a property has been on the market can also be advantageous, as sellers might be more open to accepting lower offers for a quick sale. If you need guidance on what questions to ask during property viewings? Our experienced estate agents are here to help and provide the necessary support.

    Remember, buying your first home doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

    Avoid these common mistakes and reach out to us if you have any concerns.

    We’re here to assist you throughout the process, ensuring a smooth and successful journey into homeownership.

    Contact us today on 0161 3273 161 to receive expert advice tailored to your unique situation.

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    6-Step Guide to Selling Your Home

    As a trusted estate agent with years of experience in the property market, we understand that selling your home can be a daunting task. That’s why we’ve put together a simple, 6-step guide to help you navigate the process with ease.

    Step 1: Determine Your Home’s Value

    Setting the right price for your property is crucial to a successful sale.

    Many homeowners start by using online valuation tools on the portals, which can provide a fair indication of the current market value of your home based on recent sales in the area.

    However, these tools are computer-generated valuations and cannot consider such things as your décor, any improvements you have made, or which side of the street you are on (for example one side of your street might have North facing gardens with no views and the other South facing with open views).

    We recommend inviting two or three high street estate agents to provide a more accurate valuation. Be sure to ask each local estate agent how they arrived at their valuation, and don’t be swayed by an agent who promises an unrealistically high price.

    Step 2: Choose the Right Estate Agent

    When choosing an estate agent, it’s important to consider your needs and preferences. If you’re short on time and prefer a more hands-off approach, a traditional high street agency may be the best choice. They will take care of marketing your home and screen viewings (to reduce time wasters) on your behalf. However, if you’re comfortable doing some of the work yourself, an online estate agent may be a more affordable option. However, keep in mind that online agents often require payment regardless of whether your property sells or not.

    Step 3: Get Your Home Market-Ready

    Before putting your home on the market, it’s important to ensure that it’s in the best possible condition. This means decluttering, depersonalising, and making any necessary repairs or improvements. If you need any guidance on that, do pick up the phone.

    Step 4: Market Your Property

    Marketing is key to attracting potential buyers for your home, so it’s important to make sure your property is visible across all relevant channels. Your agent should take care of this for you, but it’s worth asking them about their marketing strategy to ensure it aligns with your expectations.

    Step 5: Conduct Viewings

    Once your property is on the market, you’ll need to conduct viewings for potential buyers. Either the estate agent will take care of this on your behalf, or you can do them yourself. Make sure to prepare your home for viewing and be ready to answer any questions potential buyers may have.

    Step 6: Negotiate the Sale

    Once you’ve received an offer on your property, it’s time to negotiate the sale. Your agent will handle this on your behalf, but it’s important to be clear about your expectations and preferences. Remember, the goal is to achieve a fair price for your property that satisfies both you and the buyer.

    If you’re thinking of selling your home, why not take advantage of our free valuation service?

    Our expert team can provide you with an accurate assessment of your property’s value and guide you through the selling process from start to finish. Contact us today to book your no-obligation valuation and take the first step towards a successful house move.

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    Overcoming Bad Credit to Secure a Mortgage in Sale

    As a Sale estate agent, I know that obtaining a mortgage can be a daunting process, especially if you have a bad credit history.

    However, I’m here to tell you that securing a mortgage is not impossible, even if your credit score is less than perfect.

    Bad credit mortgages are becoming increasingly available, as lenders recognise that not everyone has a perfect credit rating.

    This means that even if you have had financial difficulties in the past, there may still be options available to you.

    One option is to seek the help of a specialist mortgage broker, who can advise you on the best lenders and products for your individual circumstances. They may also be able to help you to improve your credit rating, by offering guidance on how to pay off debts, for example.

    Another option is to consider a guarantor mortgage, where a family member or friend agrees to guarantee your mortgage payments. This can help to reassure lenders that you are a reliable borrower, even if your credit history is less than perfect.

    It’s worth noting that bad credit mortgages may come with higher interest rates and fees, as lenders consider you to be a higher-risk borrower. However, if you can make your payments on time and demonstrate that you are a responsible borrower, you may be able to re-mortgage in the future at a more competitive rate.

    If you are struggling to obtain a mortgage due to bad credit, it’s important to seek advice from a reputable source.

    Don’t be disheartened by your credit history – with the right guidance, you may still be able to achieve your dream of homeownership in Sale.

    At Swithenbank Estate Agents we understand that everyone’s situation is different, and we’re here to help you navigate the complex world of mortgages. Get in touch with us today to find out more about how we can help you overcome bad credit and secure your dream home in Sale.

    James

    PS The law says I must put this disclaimer on any post when I talk about mortgages. I do apologise – yet the law is the law!

    Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your Mortgage. The content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors our agency works with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. This is of course not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All the advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs. Phew!

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    7 Top Tips for Buy-To-Let in Sale

    If you’re considering investing in buy-to-let property in Sale, it’s important to understand the Sale property market and know what to look for in a potential investment.

    Here are some top tips to help you get started on your buy-to-let journey in Sale.

    One. Research the Sale Market

    Before investing in buy-to-let property in Sale, it’s crucial to research the property market. Look at the rental demand, average rental prices, and property prices in the area. You should also consider the location of the property and whether it is in a desirable area for renters. A lot of this information is published in my Sale property blog posts.

    Two. Choose the Sale Right Property

    When choosing a property to invest in, think about the type of tenant you want to attract. For example, if you’re targeting young professionals, look for properties that are close to transport links and local amenities. If you’re targeting families, look for properties with multiple bedrooms, close to good schools, and a garden.

    Three. Calculate Your Costs

    When investing in buy-to-let property in Sale, it’s important to calculate all your costs. This includes the purchase price, stamp duty, legal fees, and any renovation costs. You should also factor in ongoing costs such as mortgage payments, tax, insurance, and maintenance costs.

    Four. Consider Your Financing Options

    There are several financing options available for buy-to-let investors in Sale. You can use a traditional mortgage, a specialist buy-to-let mortgage, or even cash if you have the funds available. It’s important to research each option and choose the one that best suits your financial situation.

    Five. Choose a Good Sale Letting Agent

    A good letting agent can make all the difference when it comes to managing your buy-to-let investment in Sale. They can help you find tenants, manage the property, and deal with any issues that may arise. It’s important to choose a reputable letting agent with experience in the local market.

    Six. Stay on Top of Regulations

    As a buy-to-let investor in Sale, you need to be aware of the 170+ laws and regulations that apply to your property. This includes the safety regulations for gas and electrical appliances, as well as the legal requirements for tenancy agreements and deposits. It’s important to stay on top of these regulations to avoid any legal issues.

    Seven. Expect the Unexpected

    It’s important to be prepared for the unexpected when investing in buy-to-let property in Sale. This could include unexpected repairs or difficult tenants. It’s vital to have a contingency plan in place and to set aside some funds for unexpected expenses.

    Investing in buy-to-let property in Sale can be a great way to generate passive income and build long-term wealth. However, it’s important to research the local Sale market, choose the right property, and stay on top of regulations to ensure a successful investment.

    If you would like the weekly articles on the Sale property market to be sent to you via email, do send me your email address, otherwise follow me on social media.

    PS Let me know in the comments if you have an 8th tip for other Sale landlords.