May Ponderings

The World of Estate Agency

The sun really does make a difference when you are trying to sell a house, indeed the general weather has a huge impact and what a mixed bag we have had over the last few weeks. After the Easter break, Spring felt it was on its way and we were able to launch a number of new properties to the market, which have been attracting a good level of interest. There is still a general shortage of property available on the wider market but, fortunately, we seem to be bucking the trend. In this selective market buyers need to keep in closer contact with selling agents, to avoid disappointment and must not simply rely on the internet. More and more properties are being sold ‘off-line’ and this is a trend Which is likely to grow whilst the number of available properties remains low.


Prices remain stable locally and last November’s interest rate rise had been expected for a long time and therefore had little impact. With recent economic figures still showing a delicate economy, it seems that significant rate rises are unlikely and, as before, modest rate rises should be absorbed without causing too much of a ripple. We are therefore looking forward to an active Spring and Summer market which, unlike the last few years, will hopefully have no interruptions from General Elections or Referendums.


The rental market remains strong with a continued level of demand from tenants for 2, 3 and 4 bedroom properties. It has become more difficult for tenants to find a property, as a number of landlords have withdrawn from the market for various reasons. There have been normal disposals by landlords cashing in their pension investment and then there are those who have been affected by the changes in tax relief that the Government has introduced. This has been compounded by fewer ‘Buy to Let’ investors entering the market, again in part because of the tax changes but also the additional Stamp Duty levied, adding a sizeable cost to any purchase.


From the 1st April the new MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards) came in to force, which means that landlords are no longer able to offer for rent a property that does not meet the minimum standard, which is level E (efficiency ratings run from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). This applies to new tenancies, but from April 2020 existing tenanted properties will also have to meet this minimum requirement. It is therefore imperative that landlords ensure that they check their property’s energy rating and take steps to bring it up to standard. The current ‘Windrush’ affair is also having an impact on how landlords deal with the ‘Right to Rent’ legislation and a new guidance document has been published this week setting out the procedures for dealing with prospective tenants with long term residency in the UK but without full legal citizenship. The Government has also just introduced the Tenant Fees Bill in to Parliament, which will restrict the size of tenancy deposits and fees charged to tenants. We manage a large portfolio of residential properties on behalf of clients and are happy to discuss any of these matters further.


To seek advice on any residential property related matter, whether selling, buying, letting or for a free market appraisal, call any of our Estate Agency team on 01832 732188, who will be more than happy to help.


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