THE WORD with Sam Sproston, Partner and Office Head, Knight Frank Wandsworth, sees some good signs in the market.
“Will winter EVER end?” is something that has been asked by many of you, I’m sure, over the last few weeks. The constant cold wind and rain, The Beast from the East followed by The Beast from the East 2! As I write this there are finally some signs of spring but I had to escape to Marrakesh for a week as I’d simply had enough!
It’s also a very busy time of year for us as we have the end to our financial year, staff appraisals, promotional reviews, business planning and operational review to deal with along with more valuations and more sales going through than probably any other time of year.
Easter provides a welcome break and then the first day back is greeted with “Happy New Year!” from our peers as our targets get reset to £0!
We had a good year last year but it was also difficult and slightly unpredictable. That said the market conditions we predicted became reality and so our clients were able to move with the market and adapt to better their chances of a sale. We also sold more houses than the previous year, so I was pleased. However, the newest trait was that deals simply took far longer to get through. Solicitors seemed less likely to offer flexibility on missing documents during the conveyance and some banks were taking an age to produce mortgage offers, only to find that when they arrived they had a basic spelling mistakes or incorrect prices. It was exasperating at times.
I would strongly advise looking for all your documents in advance of marketing your property and using a good mortgage broker to organise your mortgage. Don’t just walk into the bank! Remember: Time Kills Deals! The more you can do to ensure that everything is done as quickly as possible, the more likely you are to have a less stressful and more successful transaction.
Looking ahead we have the uncertainty of Brexit looming and we have no idea how that might affect buyer and vendor confidence but on the whole we expect the majority of people will continue, as they have always done, to base their life plans around their families, space, schools and lifestyle.
At present we have the largest under offer list we have had for several years and ranging from £500,000 up to £4,500,000. This represents (typically) the whole of the Wandsworth market and I believe this to be a good sign.