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HonestEA -

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About HonestEA -

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    Veteran time served estate agent with close to 20 years experience with large corporate agency

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  1. Unfortunately I am no longer in a position to provide updates from the front line as I have decided to hang up my estate agency boots after more than 20 years and move on to something more challenging. The large corporate EA that I work for has decided that I am suitable canditate to train to be a CML Registered Valuer and therefore have offered to sponsor me through the AssocRICS qualification process which I could never have realistically funded through my own means. At least my 20+ years local knowledge of pricing properties in the Kent market will not go completely to waste. In due c
  2. Small Update: Well things are changing for us as a result of Help to buy 2. Up to the week when the announcement that the start date for HTB2 was to be brought forward , we were ticking along just fine. Not as many sellers as we would have liked , but enough fresh buyers registering to enable us to sell anything we listed fairly quickly. Then , the monday after the announcement and ever since , basically tumbleweed time. December conditions in mid October. Not good. Buying enquiries down 70%. At the same time , selling enquiries up 25% with the diary starting to pack out with valuation
  3. It would be ironic if 6 years pent up demand to sell hit the market in Q1 2014 in response to HTB. No way enough credit worthy buyers in the market to soak up that sort of surge in supply. Many South East towns are now at peak or peak + 5%. Loads of frustrated 1st time sellers out there, I have seen enough of them over the last 6 years. If they all come to the party at once things will get interesting indeed,
  4. The next 6 months may well be the most interesting in the UK housing market since 2008 in my opinion. I have not posted this year since the market has been broadly unchanged for ages. Basically the story has been one of gently increasing prices with buyers competing for anything of quality in a good areas underpinned by low transactional volume. This year in particular the paucity of choice for potential buyers has been more dominant than overwelming demand. Essentially buyer numbers in my SE location are up a modest 5% Year on Year but the number of sellers is down over 20%. As this
  5. This market is indeed a minefield of contradictory signals. I haven't posted much in a while since nothing much has changed. The market stagnating with 50% less buyers than the historical norm being confronted with around 50% less sellers , both conspiring to trade a handful of houses at near historically high prices! This has been the story in a nutshell of the last 18 months at least. However I do think that this Autumn will see some meaningful downward momentum being achieved for some of the reasons that I will outline below. Prices in general continue to gently drift downward but with
  6. I agree that any tax based upon the "value" of a property runs into all sorts of difficulties regarding establishing what the said value is in any point in time other than of course actually traded properties when the vast majority of residential property is not traded in any given year or time period. Surely better is to tax per square metre with regard to residential properties as this is far less subjective once measuring criteria is established. Once measured , always logged with the landregistry , doesn't change unless extended or altered when the planning authorities can update the
  7. I deal with the North Kent commuter line market but not within the M25. Lower quartile by price asking price is mainly sub 125K stuff. 2 bed flats in the nicer parts that sold at peak for 180K or 2 bed victorian Terraces on the less affluent parts , both selling in the same range to the same market which is mainly affluent middle class types buying their first BTL to top up their pensions with very modest LTVs or pure cash.
  8. I reckon he must have spent over at least £1000 with aborted legal fees on top of that.
  9. Had a purchaser withdraw from a transaction today citing the uncertainty over the financial markets as the sole reason. Nothing wrong with the property , searches or survey, even had a BTL mortgage offer. Just got cold feet and wanted to stay liquid. This is the first one I have experienced this cycle where a buyer at an advanced stage has withdrawn from a transaction solely for this reason and has articulated his thinking . Affluent middle class buyer (late fifties) looking to top up his pension was just about to buy a 2 bed apartment as a First Time Buy to Let with a 30% LTV. I hav
  10. Nothing really to add than what was discussed in my recent in depth thread in anecdotals which is still relevant to this discussion. See thread Surprisingly Busier Times at the EA Office Indeed
  11. The national housing market has always been made up of a collection of diverse local markets which can vary significantly over a small geographical area. It is why most good EAs do not pay too much attention to the national trends but are acutely aware of the real world pricing and actual sold comparables in their patch. Take 2 areas in Kent that I know reasonably well , Maidstone and the Medway Towns. These towns are 10 miles apart and approx 35 miles from Central London , similar population but econoomically could not be more different. Maidstone is the county town and is an adminis
  12. The estate agent's duty of care is to achieve the best offer attainable from the best buyer available in the current market for their client. That is it. The EA business is not complicated. That is not the same as steadfastly defending ridiculous asking prices, pretending our area is different because of X,Y, Z stupid reason although the 2 are often confused by agents with less than 15 years experience due to the abnormal length and height of the last cycle which lasted nearly a generation. You have to remember that many agents (even those with 15 years experience and running their own fir
  13. Remember Repossessions are excluded from these figures which will under represent the actual falls in prices IMHO. 15% of my completed sales have been repos this year offered in anecdotal evidence.
  14. The country is skint. What needs to happen is the collective savings of the country need to go against the collective debts to materially improve the situation. No government would get away away with a law that blatently confiscates savings for the good of the Country , not even the placid English will allow that. So the game must be to force those with cash to bailout the banks by encouraging buy to let en masse. Every house sold by an indebted home owner with a 95% mortgage to a cash rich BTL investor with modest LTV helps to improve the Banks balance sheet. Encourage enough of it for
  15. I recently started a thread in annecdotals about how houseprices are being supported by Housing Benefit via the conduit of BTL. For those interested in the subject please have a look at the thread here What I would like is some more real world data from HPC members in the UK who know their local marketplaces to post some basic data. Find out the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) paid to housing benefit claimants for 2 bed houses in your area pcm. (Each Local Authority has a different rate depending upon local factors) Multply this figure x 12 to get the gross annual rental in £. Multiply
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