Joe Dewar, Branch Manager – Curchods, Esher
What’s happening in the property market whilst the country enters this period of relative uncertainty?
Well, 2016 was a year of inaction on the whole. The government introduced a higher rate of stamp duty for investors, they have confirmed plans to reduce the tax relief for investors owning buy-to-let properties – all in a quest to boost the first time buyer and lower end of the market – and the country has voted to leave the European Union, putting in to question our short and medium term future economically and politically.
It’s fair to say that this doesn’t exactly make great reading for the typical property owner in Esher!
High property values receiving no help from the government, a question mark over the long-term future of London as the economic hub of Europe, investors being penalised both at the stage of acquisition and then during their ownership… This should spell trouble for Esher and its residents.
In all honesty, it doesn’t – don’t believe the hype!
Whilst 2016 saw the number of people considering moving reduce and a halt in what has become the customary annual growth in prices of 10%, the simple fact is that people want to live here.
The continual demand to live in this area down to the world class schooling, proximity to both London and the stunning countryside of Surrey, all the amenities you could dream of and a diverse array of styles of property means that we are well protected from total meltdown.
Even back in 2009 the area stood strong whilst other parts of the country were 20% down.
Over the last thirty years the country has seen house prices go up and down, but consistently deliver as a fantastic investment in the long term and in fact it is estimated that since 1995 there has been a 300% increase in values – an example of just how strong an investment property is in Surrey.
Even now, amongst all of the current negativity, there is still a five-year forecast of 17% growth in house prices in the South East. Few people are expecting to live in their next home for less than 5 years…
The expectation is that during the next 12-18 months we’re unlikely to see much movement in the market, up or down. If you have a desire or a motivation to move, there’s nothing to indicate there’s a better or worse time to do it than now.
What has changed is how to approach your move. With a slow down in the pace of the Elmbridge property market one needs to be savvy. After all, most people’s home is their most valuable asset in their whole life.
We’ve seen an adjustment in how to best approach the marketing specifically. Leading up to 2016 for years we’ve seen double-digit percentage growth in prices over the course of a 12-month period. In that light, if you were ambitious on your sale price and it didn’t work straight away, it didn’t take long for the market to catch up and your dream price to be realised.
It made the job of any estate agent rather easy in fact!
What’s changed now is that energy and expectation on prices to grow has diminished so it is absolutely vital to get the pricing of your property right at the beginning. With Rightmove being the key portal to the world for your property, the first four weeks of marketing are sometimes the most important – get it right first time round!
The market out there is good, but buyers need to sense good value to act.
At Curchods in Esher, we’ve developed a new ‘under the radar’ approach, which gives properties an opportunity to be marketed discreetly at a higher price to test the very best buyers in the marketplace – we’ve been having some great success to date whereby we’ve secured some great prices and also gained some invaluable feedback for our clients. Give us a call for further info.
The motivated sellers out there are becoming more realistic and it is easy to notice when a property is marketed above its rightful value.
You’ll see other, better properties at the same price or less. What I would suggest is that you don’t let that rule it out for you. Question the agent, question the motives of the seller, and find out if they’re ‘trying a high price’ or if the expectations are not quite aligned with where they should be. Will they consider an offer? Is it a matter of time?
As the pace has slowed in the market, not every house sells in the first 28 days. It doesn’t mean it’s overpriced but if you see something online that you like, and it’s too much money, call the agent! There are sellers out there willing to transact but fear the dreaded ‘reduced’ tag on Rightmove.
Be brave! Don’t be so cautious on ‘the right price’ that you miss out on your dream home that you’re going to live in for 10 years for the sake of £5,000.
The market has energy in it and we’ve already seen buyers in 2017 with a cautious approach lose what was probably the right home for them for the wrong reasons.
Overall, the Elmbridge property market is holding out pretty well considering the huge changes taking place in the United Kingdom. We can talk about this for hours but we won’t do it here.
If you’re thinking of selling and you are wondering what on earth is going on, give Curchods in Esher a call and we would love to give you some honest and professional advice about your next steps.
Good luck out there!
Have you joined our Esher Community Group on Facebook?
Help The High Street – Emma Smith Benetton Esher
Esher – Some Notes of Historical Interest