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Rightmove says buyers and sellers are sticking with their plans to move

The vast majority of buyers and sellers with sales already agreed or those hoping to move when lockdown ends are intending to continue with their plans, according to data out from Rightmove over the weekend.

Most of the properties that were on the market for sale before lockdown have stayed on the market, with total available stock for sale down just 2.2%.

A survey conducted on a live webinar by Rightmove this week asked people if their plans before lockdown had now changed.

Four in ten(40%) buyers and sellers said they were going ahead as planned and over half (54%) said they had postponed their plans for now but were planning to continue after the lockdown ends.

This determination coincides with early signs that more home-hunters are researching and searching now in an effort to move home once the government signals it is safe to do so.

Visits to Rightmove initially dropped by 40% at the start of lockdown, and have been recovering slowly over the past few weeks.

Last week they were up over 20% when compared with the first few days of lockdown.

Rightmove’s Commercial Director and Housing Market Analyst Miles Shipside comments:

“The resolve of buyers and sellers to carry on with their sale is clear, whether it’s those who are going through the conveyancing process already or those who currently have their home on the market or want to buy when lockdown ends.

“The longer people are spending in their homes the more they may be considering not just a new home but also a new location, and are starting to research and search for their next move, leading to this slow but steady recovery in activity.

“It’s very early days for the market and will still take some months for the industry to find its feet but these signs are encouraging.”

There are signs of a shift in the percentage of people considering a move from the city they currently live in, with agents also reporting increased interest in smaller towns.

This time last year, 42% of Londoners enquiring about a property were looking to move outside of the capital, and this has risen to over half (51%) this April.

There is a similar trend in Edinburgh where 60% of residents are looking to move outside, up from 53% in April 2019.

In Birmingham, half of those living there are enquiring inside the city and half outside the city, up from 45% looking outside the city last year.

There are similar shifts in other cities including Liverpool, Sheffield, Glasgow and Bristol.

Shipside says:

”It’s not unusual for there to be a large proportion of would-be buyers considering a move out of a city if they’re looking for a more affordable place to buy for the first time or to trade up but get more for their money, but there’s been a notable shift during lockdown of more contemplating out-of-city moves.

“It remains to be seen how people’s commutes may change when lockdown is over.

“Some people may already be thinking of moving further out from their current place of work if they can perhaps work from home a few days a week, which opens up a number of new areas they had never considered before.”

Righmove has also published some views of local agents:

Reece Giles, branch manager at Douglas Allen Estate Agents in Brentwood, said:

“We’ve definitely seen an uplift in people looking to move out of the more built-up areas from nearby London boroughs. Interest has kind of gone through the roof, really.

“The proof will be in the pudding, but from what we are seeing right now, it seems that people are genuine about wanting to escape the inner city because that’s not the life they want anymore.

“I think the market overall is still very resilient. Buyers and sellers who have their heart set on moving still want to move”

Helen Burley, sales manager at Fine & Country in Woldingham, said:

“We’ve definitely seen a trend of people moving from the city to live in our village. The people that we’ve been speaking with since lockdown who want to move from London absolutely can’t wait to move to the village.”

Mark Collins, owner of Collins Independent Estate Agents in Guildford, said:

“We’ve seen lots of interest in the sales side from people up in London. People are realising that they don’t need to be in the thick of it to be operational. People are naturally working from home more, because it’s been made possible. Our registrations are up and I definitely think the trend of people moving out of London will continue.”

Source: Property Industry Eye

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Rightmove: Sellers pause rather than cancel activity

Most sellers already on the market, and those with a sale already agreed, are continuing with their plans to move once it is deemed safe enough, Rightmove’s House Price Index has found.

Despite the lockdown total stock for sale has only fallen by 2.6% since the lockdown.

Rightmove said there weren’t enough properties coming to market to calculate seller asking prices, the number coming to market or new sales agreed.

Pre-lockdown sales were up 11% year-on-year up to 23 March, as the market has gone from having the best start since 2016 to new sales being almost impossible.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “Agents report that there is good co-operation, with both buyers and sellers keen to hold deals together.

“While some buyers may express concern over the possibility of short-term dips in house prices, many are taking the longer-term view and living up to their commitments to proceed.

“This is being helped by mortgage lenders extending the life of existing mortgage offers by three months, and new legal rules on flexible completion dates.”

In order for the market to make a strong return once the lockdown ends, Rightmove said there must be a continuation of mortgage lending on the same terms as before the lockdown, aided by government incentives.

Meanwhile there should be forbearance by lenders to limit forced sales until employment levels recover.

Finally the industry will need to find ways of allowing viewings safely, as social distancing measures may continue for some time.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “The latest Rightmove survey confirms what we have been seeing on the ground – our offices may be closed but the market is anything but quiet. Buyers and sellers are pausing, not cancelling sales, or listings, while continuing to access websites readying themselves for when lockdown restrictions are eased.

“But the market cannot re-start in isolation. We need surveyors to work with lenders, agents, and solicitors to ensure successful transitions as well as continuation of social distancing and safe visiting.”


Source: Property Wire

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Home-sellers in 2017 ‘gained nearly £92,500 typically on what they had paid’

The average house-vendor in 2017 sold their home for £92,466 more than they had originally paid for it, having lived in the property for nine years, analysis has found.

Nine in 10 (92.2%) people who sold their homes across England and Wales this year did so for more than they had paid for it, up from 90% in 2016. And nearly one in five (18%) sellers in 2017 doubled their money.

With the exception of London, sellers in every region saw bigger gains than in 2016.

Sellers in London still gained an average of £252,196 – over three times more than the average seller outside London at £76,367.

And around one in three Londoners who sold their home did so for at least twice what they had paid for it, according to the findings from estate agent Hamptons International.

Cash gains
London house sellers made average gains in 2017 that were more than three times the typical profit made outside the capital (Hamptons International/Land Registry/PA)

Despite a cooldown in the London property market in 2017,  sellers in Kensington and Chelsea gained more than anyone else in the country, an average of £940,494 – albeit less than the £1,060,875 average gain there in 2016.

The smallest average gain was in Burnley in Lancashire, at £19,639.

The report tracked repeat sales of properties using Land Registry figures to make the findings.

Sellers in the North East were found to be least likely to make a profit, with just under 79% doing so.

And in a change from last year, sellers in the South East are now more likely to sell their home for a profit than those in London, at 97.6% versus 97.4%.

Johnny Morris, head of research at Hamptons International, said: “House prices have grown considerably over the nine years the average seller has owned their home.

“Many sellers will have added value by renovating, extending or developing but the bulk of their gains come from price growth.

“The London housing market has been cooler than the rest of the country in 2017, but London sellers still make the largest gains, by a long way.

“This year the average London seller bought their home nearly nine years ago and has seen its value rise by more than quarter of a million pounds.

“Even with slowing price growth, most owners are still sitting on plenty of growth from previous years.”

Here are the average gains made by house-sellers in 2017, followed by the percentage of sellers who made a gain and the percentage of sellers who doubled their money, according to calculations from Hamptons International:

London, £252,196, 97.4%, 33%
South East, £127,134, 97.6%, 18%
East of England, £112,533, 97.3%, 19%
South West, £81,030, 94.3%, 16%
West Midlands, £55,489, 91.6%, 15%
East Midlands, £54,850, 93%, 16%
North West, £46,840, 86.2%, 17%
Yorkshire and the Humber, £44,330, 85.7%, 17%
Wales, £42,669, 86.2%, 18%
North East, £31,833, 78.7%, 15%

Here are the top 10 areas where sellers made the biggest average gains in 2017, with the gain and the percentage of sellers who doubled their money:

1. Kensington and Chelsea, London, £940,494, 45%
2. City Of Westminster, London, £635,614, 42%
3. Camden, London, £557,460, 39%
4. City Of London, London, £459,315, 49%
5. Hammersmith and Fulham, London, £425,857, 33%
6. Islington, London, £351,915, 32%
7. Richmond-upon-Thames, London, £337,885, 31%
8. Hackney, London, £310,138, 41%
9. Elmbridge, South East, £308,999, 24%
10. Wandsworth, London, £308,076, 29%

And here are the areas where sellers made the largest gains regionally, according to Hamptons International, with the average gain in 2017 and the percentage of sellers who doubled their money in a particular area:

London, Kensington and Chelsea, £940,494, 45%
South East, Elmbridge, £308,999, 24%
East of England, St Albans, £240,447, 26%
South West, Bath and North East Somerset, £140,718, 21%
East Midlands, South Northamptonshire, £96,429, 15%
West Midlands, Warwick, £107,265, 17%
North West, Trafford, £110,000, 19%
Yorkshire and the Humber, Harrogate, £96,764, 17%
North East, Northumberland, £43,815, 16%
Wales, Vale Of Glamorgan, £67,328, 18%

Source: Yahoo Finance UK