Chartsedge Estate Agency has had a very exciting 2018. Since moving our head office to Totnes at the beginning of the Summer, we’ve seen a growth in business in the South Hams area almost immediately, with some great new instructions. We have also expanded the team with two valuable new members of staff: Caroline Godwin, a qualified surveyor, and Nicki Gray who also runs a successful Holiday Home Management Company, significantly bolstering the company’s experience and expertise.
Founder of Chartsedge, Miles Kevin comments: “Caroline is a long time resident of Totnes, who seems to know everyone in the town and has already been a real help in raising Chartsedges’ profile. A great sales person, she is passionate about giving great personal service to our clients.”
Nicki Gray joined the team to take over the day to day running of the office and has brought us all into line. She has vast experience in developing period property herself and with her holiday letting experience she can advise our holiday home clients, new and old, on how best to run their properties.
We cannot comment on the market without talking about the “B” word. The uncertainty Brexit is causing has made both buyers and sellers very cautious and unwilling to make decisions in the short term.
At the beginning of the year we had many buyers from London and the Home Counties viewing our properties in order to make the lifestyle change and with the opinion that ‘properties in our area sell overnight’. However once they had found a home in the South West they then struggled as their properties failed to sell, as the market demand and price had fallen considerably in these areas.
Consequently the budget that they thought they had to buy the house of their dreams had dropped significantly, and they had to rethink with many taking their own property off the market in order to wait and see what happens after Brexit before starting their search again. Nearly all have now decided to sell before they start searching for a home again in order to avoid the upset caused by falling in love with a house they cannot buy, as they have not sold their own. We get a lot of calls from people using the website Life After London where you can get great impartial advice from people who have already made the move from city to country.
The normal market, with people who need to move because of a change in their circumstances such as births, marriage, divorce, and death are the mainstay of the market at present. These buyers and sellers are focused and want to make the move so are not greedy on asking prices and sensible when making an offer.
The second home market has had a bad year, with the new Stamp Duty charges preventing people from being able to afford some properties. However we have seen a new kind of buyer with normal ‘buy to let’ properties that have been affected by further new legislation meaning they can no longer deduct interest payments from their mortgages against income earned for tax purposes. This does not apply to furnished holiday lets. These buyers are looking for investment only and the rental return is everything when they look for property, so bearing in mind that some of the properties we have sold this year are showing 7% net returns this makes them very attractive to buyers.
The most popular properties for these buyers are ones that are immaculate, already holiday let, and come with all the furniture, fixtures and fittings like the Old Reading Room in Cornwall. We have sold some lovely properties this year that fit this bill and the demand is still very strong for the best properties whatever their size.
Miles and his colleagues are feeling very positive as they believe many of the buyers and sellers that have been sitting on the fence will now decide over the Christmas break whether to move or not.
“Many of our clients and potential purchasers are already using the phrase ‘we are just going to get on with it’ in 2019, being fed up with waiting to see what is going to happen as they need to move forward,” he says.
“In the long term dropping the price of your house to effect a sale will enable you to negotiate strongly on your new house, as you are in a good position to move forward. This is the Holy Grail in this uncertain market. The market will not stay stagnant for long and with commentators predicting a 7.6% increase in prices over the next five years buyers should always think long term when they are buying a home.
“We perceive that buyers looking to have a lifestyle change and relocate to the South West will continue to increase next year. With knife crime on the up in major cities across the UK the South West is regarded as a safe and healthy place to bring up children, and so the demand for good family houses will rise and start to buoy up the market once more,” he says.
Everyone at Chartsedge wishes clients old and new a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and if you are in Totnes over the next couple of weeks don’t forget to visit the Totnes Christmas Market.
If you would like advice on marketing your property in 2019 please contact the team at Chartsedge for a no obligation chat.