Death, debt and divorce buck the market trend

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THE WORD with Patrick Rampton, Company Director Rampton Baseley, approaches the ‘Silent Season’ with some optimism.

By the time you read this England will have sadly not made it past the semi-finals of the football World Cup, Trump will be having tea with the Queen and your property will have gone up 5% in value since. Oh and Boris will be faithfully towing Teresa’s Tory party line…NOT!

This is a funny time of year in the London property market. Made funnier still by Brexit looming ever closer, the enfeebled and shambolic Government, and all the nonsense going on in the wider world; there is widespread anxiety medicine, generalised unease, and trepidatious buyers abound.

The summer holidays are also fast approaching. The press call this the Silly Season, we call it the Silent Season. Fewer sales transactions happen in August than in December and to misquote Thoreau “the mass of agents live summers of quiet desperation”.

George Osborne’s stamp duty changes damaged most speculative moving, the referendum and the election put a bullet through its head and some might say Trump is now jumping up and down on its body. Chuck into the mix, an oversupply of stock, too, and an undersupply of quality, motivated buyers and you have a market drifting listlessly upon the millpond of mediocrity. Not to get too Ingmar Bergman about all this, but the market is as hard as I’ve known it since the Credit Crunch of 08-09.

However, all is not lost for that few, that happy few, that band of agents who are lucky enough to operate in family-based markets. People NEED to move round here.

When things get tough and markets wobble, people don’t (generally) stop coupling, breeding, divorcing or dying. As my first boss once told me “remember the Three Horsemen of The Market who always lurk in the background doing their silent work; Death, Debt and Divorce.

I just thank the good Lord that I don’t work over the river… because this is Nappy Valley, stoopid! And here we have location, location, location. That is, we live and work in a part of London where people have to move (as above, the Three Horsemen and their various accomplices).
So with all this nonsense going on, what you need to focus on is price, price, price, oh and agent, agent, agent! (Choose a good one, like us.) Long gone are the days of launching a property and planning the sealed bids for the following weekend. Now agents actually have to SELL, which seems to be troubling some of our competitors.
Once the buyers have picked off the best in class – south-facing garden, catchment (double if possible), spanked refurb, you really have to sell the rest.
However, fear not! All is not lost! It’s not like we’re trying to sell houses in the rust belt here. This is Nappy Valley.


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