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Encouraging signs in early autumn sales market

In our monthly newsletters, we have tried to give an accurate overview of both the property sales and lettings market in Hammersmith and during the first quarter of 2014, the story was the same in the sales market - an acute shortage of properties for sale and rapidly rising prices, this had also been the case in 2013 although the shortage was not so acute and the price rises not so dramatic. During June this year, the market began to change as buyers became nervous that the price rises could not be sustained and in fact, some of the sales negotiated in April and May fell through as buyers became worried that the market was overpriced and certainly the number of sales negotiated during June, July and August was considerably down. Despite the publicity given to the slowing down in the market, many vendors dug their heels in, refusing reasonable offers, believing the market had not changed and that they could expect multiple bids resulting in offers over the asking price; many now regret that decision and are accepting offers of similar figures they refused in July and August. As agents, we see market changes well before anyone else, most surveys/reports you see through the media are based on ‘completed sales’ or in the case of the Halifax and Nationwide ‘mortgage offers made’. In early September, we were encouraged to see more potential buyers registering (a sure sign the market was beginning to improve), this increased activity has slowly fed through and led to a higher number of viewings and in the last week a definite increase in serious offers made, so we are sure we will see sales levels increase in the coming weeks. However, we would advise vendors not to get too bullish as reasonable offers will be made but there will not be the desperation from buyers as seen in the first part of the year. However, from the buyers’ point of view, we do not anticipate a glut of properties on the market and as Hammersmith is such a popular area, this is never likely to happen, so choice will always be limited. In short, we expect a balanced market whereby buyers can negotiate a sensible price and sellers can expect to find a buyer in a reasonable time frame at a reasonable price but vendors should beware, if they put their property on the market at a higher price, it will sit there unsold and the longer a property is on the market it is more likely that offers will be lower. Sensible vendors will come on the market at a competitive price and expect offers reasonably close and this could still be as much as 20% higher than they would have achieved this time last year. Most properties are achieving this type of increase, but strangely there is the odd property that is not that much over where they were a year ago. As for the lettings market we have enjoyed considerable success over the past few months. July, August and September were all successful months for us either producing a record number of new lets or close to a record and as mentioned in last month’s newsletter, we require more properties to let, this is particularly so for one bedroom properties but we have a good level of enquiries for all types of property. We pride ourselves on our service to landlords, offering a comprehensive referencing service and regular inspections of managed properties. For more details on our lettings service, contact our lettings manager, James, or if you wish, please give me a call on 020 7371 4466 if you have any questions or queries regarding the property market. In other news, Hammersmith - being a major transport hub - particularly suffered over the summer with the closure of the Hogarth flyover and from restrictions including night time closures on Hammersmith Bridge and flyover. These road works would have been bad enough but out of the blue, Putney Bridge was closed resulting in even more traffic on Hammersmith Bridge, putting pressure on the Broadway and creating long delays. Although the work on the Hammersmith flyover continues into 2015, both the Hogarth flyover and Putney Bridge have reopened and the works on Hammersmith Bridge were completed so hopefully, the serious congestion seen over August and September will abate. September also brought welcome news for commuters travelling through the borough via Shepherds Bush and Kensington Olympia on the overground line with the introduction of longer trains which should hopefully result in more comfortable journeys for all concerned.

Hammersmith Bridge - microsite

As agents, we see market changes well before anyone else, most surveys/reports you see through the media are based on completed sales. In early September, we were encouraged to see more potential buyers registering (a sure sign the market was beginning to improve), this increased activity has slowly fed through and led to a higher number of viewings and a definite increase in serious offers made, so we are sure we will see sales levels increase in the coming weeks.

However, from the buyers’ point of view, we do not anticipate a glut of properties on the market and as Hammersmith is such a popular area, this is never likely to happen, so choice will always be limited. In short, we are in a more balanced market, whereby buyers can negotiate a sensible price and sellers can expect to find a buyer in a reasonable time frame at a reasonable price. However, if vendors put their property on the market at a higher price, it will sit there unsold and the longer a property is on the market it is more likely that offers will be lower. Sensible vendors will come on the market at a competitive price and expect offers reasonably close to, or at asking price.

As for the lettings market we have enjoyed considerable success over the past few months. July, August and September were all successful months for us either producing a record number of new lets or close to a record and as mentioned in last month’s newsletter, we require more properties to let, this is particularly so for one bedroom properties but we have a good level of enquiries for all types of property. We pride ourselves on our service to landlords, offering a comprehensive referencing service and regular inspections of managed properties. For more details on our lettings service, contact our lettings manager, James, or if you wish, please give me a call on 020 7371 4466 if you have any questions or queries regarding the property market.
 

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