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07Apr

What a difference a month can make!
 
Our March Market Comment was very positive and full of the joys of spring. Indeed, the Halifax subsequently reported that house prices were 2.1% higher at the end of March than they had been at the end of December 2019. The “Boris Bounce” was very much in evidence, but who’d have thought that Boris would now be fighting for his life in intensive care, along with thousands of others, due to the pandemic. We wish everyone affected a speedy and full recovery.
 
As for the property market, this has, for the time being, due to government recommendations, been put on hold. The government has strongly discouraged moving and mortgage lenders are tightening their belts too. It would be natural to see, due to the lockdown, in the next three months, an expectation of a fall of at least 60% - 70% in the number of housing transactions. However, those buyers and sellers already in a “sale agreed” status should be ready willing and able to continue and be ahead of the field when restrictions start to be lifted.
 
The moving-related knock-on effects of the lockdown are widespread: estate agents can’t physically appraise (although at WGTPP we do offer an online tool and telephone/desktop appraisal service for the interim period), Domestic Energy Inspectors can’t inspect, valuers can’t value, surveyors can’t survey, so most buyers can’t buy. Even if they could, banks’ ability to process mortgage applications with reduced staffing levels is significantly reduced and underwriters’ attitude to risk is becoming more cautious daily.
 
As soon as we are back to some semblance of normality, subject to any damage done to the economy at large, the indications are that it will be “business as usual”.
 
Interest rates are likely to remain extremely low and any inflationary pressures caused by massive government borrowing could even be good for the property market as investors flock to bricks and mortar.
 
However, investors dependent on short-term/holiday lets are likely to be cautious due to travel reluctance and ongoing movement restrictions. This could be a good thing as it could release a significant number of rental properties back onto the permanent housing market, partially easing what has become known as the housing crisis.
 
Certainly, Britain has proven throughout history to be a supremely resilient nation. Forecasts suggest that we are about to enter a time of huge macro-economic growth and only time will tell whether the virus will be seen simply as a micro-economic blip in an otherwise healthy post-Brexit economy.
 
During this time we are very much open for business – if only for an advisory chat on the phone or via email contact. Please feel free to call us on
Bangor 01248355333
Llangefni 01248 751000
Holyhead 01407760500
Caernarfon 01286677775 or
Property Management / Lettings 01248753939
 
We’d be happy to share the local market update with you and or discuss the local property market to get you ready to move when the time is right.
 
For more, visit our online office www.tppuk.com

02Apr

The onus on landlords to provide energy efficient accommodation has once again stepped up a gear, now that part three of the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 has come fully into effect. 

It is now (since 1st April 2020) illegal for landlords to continue to let a property, or grant a new tenancy (including an extension or renewal), where the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is below band E - the minimum level of energy efficiency for private rented properties.

This regulation has applied since April 2018 but until now has not applied to existing tenancies. 

Implementation is of course another matter during these difficult times. Indeed, the Scottish government has already decided to postpone implementation for the time being. This is not necessarily a relaxation of intention to police the regulation, but more a requirement to redirect resources and support for vulnerable people during the Covid-19 crisis.  

However, at this time there is no suggestion that the regulation will be relaxed outside Scotland and landlords are strongly advised that if they have not already taken steps to comply (notice having first been issued in 2014) then they should do so as a matter of urgency. 

Of course, during lockdown, access to property can be an issue, and it is yet to be seen how local enforcement agencies will respond. Fortunately, for the majority of our landlords, this is a non-issue as their standards are, in most case, higher than the minimum EPC requirement in any event! We seem to attract the good guys! 

We make it our business to keep fully abreast of the increasingly complex field of PRS regulation, so if you’d like any help or advice about your legal obligations as a landlord, then please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01248 724040. It would be our pleasure to assist.

16Mar

SALES SURGE PUSHES NEW-TO-MARKET PRICES TO RECORD HIGH

Latest report our from Rightmove today suggests the market is moving.

At Williams & Goodwin we concur that February was a good month of property sales being agreed, which has continued into March. Here is a summary of the report and link to full report:

• Average new seller asking prices hit record high of £312,625, pushing annual price growth to 3.5%
• Record prices fuelled by strong buyer demand and lack of supply compared to the same period a year ago:
• Number of sales agreed up by 17.8%, to the highest at this time of year since 2016
• Properties selling an average of 6% faster nationally, and 18% more quickly in London
• Disparity between supply and demand as new seller numbers rise by just 1.2%
• Rightmove recorded five busiest days ever in February
• Hard to predict how post-election boost will be affected by unknown impact of coronavirus

05Mar

Williams & Goodwin The Property People Ltd

MAKES SHORTLIST IN BIGGEST AWARDS FOR
PROPERTY PROFESSIONAL IN THE UK

 

Williams & Goodwin The Property People Ltd have been recognised for delivering outstanding customer service to its clients, making the shortlist of The ESTAS - the biggest award scheme in the UK residential property industry.

The ESTAS, sponsored by Zoopla - the UK’s most comprehensive property destination, honours the best agents, conveyancers and mortgage advisors in the UK. The awards are powered by The ESTAS’ online customer review platform, which enables property professionals to demonstrate the customer service standards they deliver for their clients. ESTAS reviews can only be completed at the end of the transaction and a strict verification process ensures reviews are genuine.  This year’s shortlist has been calculated following the evaluation of 47,000 client reviews.

Estate & letting agents have been shortlisted in 20 regions around the UK.  The regional and national winners will be announced at the 17th annual ESTAS ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on 15th May.  The awards will be presented by TV property expert Phil Spencer in front of 1,000 of the UK’s top property professionals.

Spencer said: “The ESTAS encapsulates what your typical agent is trying to do, which is to provide an honest, transparent service for their clients, and are based on real feedback, from real clients experiencing real service from agents.

Good customer service is imperative within the estate agency industry, and there is a renewed opportunity for high street agents to show the general public that service does really matter. Traditional agents do an incredible job for their clients in a process that is littered with potential pitfalls and the ESTAS celebrates those who go above and beyond.”

Commenting on The ESTAS, Charlie Bryant, CEO at Zoopla - the Headline Partner of this year’s awards, said: “Zoopla shares the core principles of excellence in customer service with many agents in the UK, and we are unwavering in the delivery of our customer-centric approach. Customer service is a real measure of quality, and can bolster every business’s performance, regardless of its size, scale or location. It also offers room for ingenuity - customer service is not a one-size fits all model. To celebrate our 10th anniversary of sponsoring The ESTAS we are delighted to present the Zoopla Xcellence Award which highlights those agents that have performed consistently over the last 10 years, I wish every shortlisted agent the very best of luck at the awards in May.”

Simon Brown, founder of The ESTAS says “At ESTAS we’re creating a community for best practice property professionals who all share a passion for delivering great service and a belief that service really does matter.”

Greg Horsman, of Williams & Goodwin said “We are very proud to be shortlisted. We take our levels of customer service very seriously because we know clients have a choice. We will always try to offer the best service we can.  Hopefully we can go one step further and win at the awards in May".

03Mar

Building on the increase in January activity we reported last month, the local market has been just as frenetic during February with intense buyer activity continuing to play “catch-up” following years of mild depression.

According to the National Association of Estate Agents, there has been a 25% year-on-year rise in the number of active buyers, with sales volumes up 33% on last month, yet the supply of available housing has not risen to meet this demand, at just 3%. Essentially, “old stock” has eventually sold but is not being replaced fast enough by new sellers.

In terms of house prices, Nationwide says that house price growth hit an 18-month high in February with the average house price now standing at £216,092. The Land Registry reports this as being £234,742

Although the Land Registry handled 3% fewer sales registration in January (89,874), these stats can be deceiving, as there can be a lag of several months between a sale being agreed and it being registered following completion. Average prices can also be misleading as the most expensive reported residential sale was £23.5m in Barnet against an £18,000 property in Burnley!

There are, however, two curved balls that may yet prevent an all-out boom occurring; the terrible flooding in parts of the country and the threat of a Coronavirus pandemic moderating both transaction volumes and house prices. Although unfortunate for those affected, this would not be disastrous in a market where house prices are already regarded by some as overinflated. Of course, prices in flood hit areas may fall, with prices in neighbouring locations rising as buyers choose drier alternatives.

This is a vibrant and exciting market where opportunities abound for serious buyers, sellers, investors and landlords who are keen to strike while the iron’s hot. Why not call us on Llangefni 01248751000 or Bangor 01248355333 or Holyhead 01407760500 or Caernarfon 01286677775 to discuss how we could help you – you might be pleasantly surprised! 

©Copyright 2020 Williams & Goodwin The Property People Ltd.

Who We Are

Williams & Goodwin The Property People are members of the Guild of Property Professionals, National Association of Estate Agents, Association of Residential Lettings Agents, National Association of Valuers and Auctioneers and are Chartered Valuation Surveyors we are members of a National Network of approximately 800 independently owned and operated Estate Agents.

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Holyhead - 01407 760 500
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