May 2019: Nick Churton from Luscombe Maye’s London office looks at the increasing demand for West Country homes from buyers living outside the region.
Invest in the West
Those who feel the demand for second homes has waned because of the Brexit effect should think again. This may have been true a year ago but today is a different matter entirely.
What has happened? A number of factors have brought on this reversal. There is no doubt that the house buying and selling public have tired of Brexit. They have found something far more important to concentrate on – their own agendas.
No-one is getting any younger so perhaps it’s best to just get on with it and enjoy life. That is definitely the thinking of a steadily increasing number of buyers streaming to the West Country from all parts of the UK, and particularly from London and the South East. They are hardly throwing caution to the wind as property in the West Country provides a significant investment opportunity
Certainly the capital and Home Counties are seeing fast improving property markets. Those who thought they would wait in order to bag a bargain have now largely missed the boat as the market in London has begun to show clear signs of improvement. Consequently we are seeing more London buyers able to follow their dreams to the West Country.
With the region enjoying greater connectivity through improved rail services and flights from Exeter to the City of London and from Newquay to Heathrow, there has never been a better time to invest in the West.
May 2019: Theo Spink: On what being an estate agent really means.
Some people think our job is easy. They think that property just sells itself. That a buyer appears from nowhere, loves a house or flat and agrees to buy it – just like that. Some think the sale then speeds effortlessly to a satisfactory conclusion and without any other assistance. Let me tell you it doesn’t work like that – well not for most of the time anyway.
A ‘proper’ estate agent’s job is not to sell houses; rather it is to move people. Moving anything is often complicated, can be fraught with difficulty and have unforeseen consequences. Just think about moving twin six-year-olds singlehandedly from home to school every morning, or moving a central heating boiler, or moving 250,000 tons of crude oil half way round the world, or moving a herd of sheep from one hillside to another. It all takes planning, patience, knowhow, experience and resolve. It means expecting the unexpected, problem solving and, when other people are involved, the highest level of tact and diplomacy.
I don’t know about you, but if I wanted to move a herd of sheep I would hire a shepherd. And, in a way, that’s what estate agents are. We arrange for something with lots of moving parts – each with a mind of its own – to end up where it should be on the date it is supposed to be there. Estate agents shepherd people, contracts, surveys, mortgages, removals, withdrawals, gazundering, false starts, disappointments, the unforeseen and triumphs from one place to another. Sometimes it’s a smooth process. But all too often it isn’t. You may not think it’s worth paying for a shepherd at the beginning. But believe me, at the end, when it has been sheeting down with rain all day, the quad bike has broken down, a fox snatched a lamb and a large group of unreasonable ewes made a long break for freedom you will think a shepherd is worth every penny.
Why are we estate agents? We do it because we enjoy being shepherds. Some may think that selling houses is not much of a job, and in many ways they might be correct. But moving people and families on to the next stage of their lives and making it as seamless and stress-free as possible is a job we enjoy and think is well worth doing.
January 2019: Alex Cowe: Reflections, Predictions and Resolutions
New Year is a time to reflect and a time to make predictions and resolutions.
With this in mind, what can we learn from the 2018 housing market and what predictions can we make for 2019?
Looking back on the market in 2018 you can see a series of subplots that have played out alongside the political uncertainty which the Brexit negotiations have all had us dancing to. These have included continuing readjustment in the London housing market, with some evidence of the ripples spreading down into the south.
Yet despite all this, sale activity and prices at a national level are holding pretty steady compared to 2017, and nationally asking prices are now over 30% higher than they were back in 2010.
The underlying demand has been positive, though we are noticing buyers are choosier and are much more price savvy too.
It’s been good news too for First time buyers, who have benefitted from motivated sellers and more choice in a time of low interest rates and high employment.
So looking forwards to 2019, what predictions can we make?
It’s a tough one in this uncertain political climate. However what we can do is control the “controllables”, so as an estate agent we can start by helping vendors to set realistic expectations of what their property can achieve from the outset. Thereby helping them to attract the attention of those price savvy buyers. Don’t bank on the killer sale. Do aim for a great purchase. Be realistic
The skills of an established and professional estate and lettings agent will become more important and greatly appreciated by sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants, to help them navigate through this year. Don’t put your biggest asset in the hands of the inexperienced.
Whatever Brexit has in store for us, life carries on. However two things are for certain, people will continue to move and New-Year’s resolutions will be broken.
January 2019: Theo Spink: Relocation, Relocation, Relocation to Salcombe, Newton Ferrers and the South Hams.
Those of us who live in the South Hams know that, without doubt, we live in the most wonderful place – full of friendly people and beautiful scenery which provide us with a fantastic standard of living. Monetary incentive is always appealing, but at the end of the day this quality of life is incredibly special and cherished. So, it should come as no surprise that we are seeing more people and families wishing to come and live in South Devon, particularly in those seaside towns where traditionally holiday homes have perhaps been to the fore. Home owners who moved out of London 10/20 years ago are now finding that counties like Wiltshire and Gloucestershire are becoming ever increasingly busy and congested – and it appears that this is pushing their search towards Devon. Communications have also improved considerably, including faster internet speeds, and this has also encouraged the movement west.
The Salcombe office of Luscombe Maye noticed in 2018 that this demand is creeping up for those wishing to live in the stunning waterside location – and why wouldn’t it be? You can pretty much walk down to the waters edge from the majority of properties, there is an OFSTED rated ‘Good’ primary school in the town and an ‘Outstanding’ secondary school in nearby Kingsbridge. Local businesses are thriving and there is vibrant community of young entrepreneurs who are choosing to locate here and then, after hours, take full advantage of the amazing range of activities on offer for themselves and their families. In addition, the shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants are on the doorstep.
Homes sold in Salcombe in 2018 for permanent living included a couple from Wiltshire who bought a fabulous family house on Main Road with stunning views towards Dartmoor and a family who moved down from Winchester with their 3 young children to live on Beadon.
The other noticeable trend in this area is the increased interest in Malborough – situated just 2 miles inland from Salcombe. The village, like Salcombe, has a very comprehensive range of local amenities, including another OFSTED ‘Good’ primary school, church, post office, petrol station and supermarket and village hall. Buses run hourly between nearby Kingsbridge and Salcombe. Luscombe Maye observed a real lift in demand for this popular village in 2018 and there is no doubt it is a village to keep an eye on in the future as a brand-new development is planned on the southern edge of the village. To be built by a highly regarded local new homes developer and subject to final planning approval, Luscombe Maye is very excited to be working with this dynamic company who are committed to delivering outstanding new homes in our communities. They have already made a real mark just outside Totnes at the Great Court Farm development, currently being marketed by Luscombe Maye’s Totnes office and together, with Luscombe Maye, this locally based builder is really one to watch.
Read more about house prices for 2019 on the BBC website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46543252?app=news.business.story.46543252.page