Sensible Pricing Still Key
Trading conditions largely returned to normal in September. This was after the lighter activity during the Olympic period, whereby demand dipped by 15 per cent from normal levels. There was also a strong up tick from prospective vendors looking to put properties on the market. As such, our stock of available properties is 10 per ent higher than it was at this time last year.
The market remains finely balanced. More choice has meant that purchasers are adopting a less urgent stanceand are viewing more before making a commitment. Often, this comes down to the perception of good value for a given price point. Where vendors are over-optimistic on price, property sales are proving to be more challenging and take longer. Our continued advice in this market has been for vendors to be realistic in order to achieve a sale.
Unpredictable Markets … Again
Against a backdrop of the all-time best month of activity for the Hamptons International
Lettings network in August, we had reason to be optimistic for September. It is traditionally the busiest month for the lettings calendar and with some anticipated extra activity from corporate occupiers it was shaping up to be a busy one.
So it is with some surprise that activity levels were lower than expected, particularly for larger properties. This put some downward pressure on achievable rents for houses, although demand for smaller properties and flats continued to underpin rents.
Stock levels in London are up 55 per cent from this time last year, providing prospective tenants with greater choice. However, this has increased the viewings per deal agreed ratio, now twelve to one from nine to one, resulting in a more competitive market for landlords. In country markets, activity levels also slowed, allowing tenants to be more sensitive to rents and terms.
As demand tends to taper off towards the year end, we strongly encourage landlords to price for the market in order to secure tenants. There are plenty of good ones out there, but they are increasingly price conscious.
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