Hunters Newsletter January 2014

Happy New Year from everyone at Hunters!

2014 looks set to be another good year for the property market and here at Hunters we are already geared up for a busy start with more new agents ready to open their doors.

We look back at the market in 2013 and share our insight and industry predictions for the year ahead. Also inside, discover why you should choose our expanding network of award winning agents to help you get moving.

Enjoy the read,
Hunters Marketing

What will happen to house prices in 2014?

We are not the first to proclaim that 2013 saw a significant turnaround in the housing market both in terms of house price increases as well as a renewed appetite from banks to lend to buyers.

Several factors contributed to this change; we would summarise it as follows:

Firstly, a soaring demand for London property, particularly from foreign buyers, where prices shot up by some 9.4% in the year to September. According to latest figures, the average property in the capital is now &434,000.

Secondly, measures by the Government to encourage lenders, boost mortgage volumes and help buyers with small deposits get onto the property ladder. The Funding for Lending Scheme provided banks with cheap state backed funding on approximately &80bn of loans and allowed lenders to pass the gains onto mortgage customers in the form of cheaper rates. It proved to have significant effect with the average two year fixed rate falling from around 3.75% in June last year to around 2.5% in September. The Help to Buy scheme was launched in two stages, designed to allow would be buyers with as little as a 5% deposits to buy either new or second hand homes of up to &600,000.

The scheme allows first time buyers to return to the market and this combined with record low interest rates and a shortage of properties on the market has caused a market rebound. We await figures on the take up rate and true effectiveness of Help to Buy phase two when it gets fully operational this month.

Finally, the feel good factor. Martin Robinson, Director at Hunters says, "This is simple. People are starting to feel more confident about the housing market. If you can secure the money to buy what you aspire to and you are confident that the price of that purchase is going to rise, not reduce, then you feel good about making the purchase".

Predictions for the housing market from a variety of sources including the Treasury, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the National Housing Federation and estate agents are unanimously declaring that house prices will rise during 2014 and over the coming years – albeit at different rates and speeds, from a modest 5.2% in 2014 (The Treasury) to a soaring 35% rise over the next seven years (National Housing Federation).

Hunters Managing Director, Kevin Hollinrake offered his views on the market that was in 2013 and the market to come in 2014, "2013 was a much better year for the housing market with sales transactions nationally up by around 15% and the lettings market continues to perform well despite the pickup in the sales market. In our view the market will continue to improve in 2014. The unexpected improvement in the market has led some commentators to speculate that we are on the verge of another housing bubble but that it not our view. Prices across the UK are lower than their 2007 equivalent in 86% of locations across the UK (source Hometrack) and Real UK House Prices are below trend (source Nationwide)."

You can follow Kevin's market comments on Twitter @kevinhollinrake or visit the News Hub on our website.

Source: The Telegraph

Landlords and Tenants - protect your assets!

Whether you’re a Landlord or a Tenant the best way to protect your property or deposit is to ensure a full inventory report and schedule of condition is carried out at the start of each and every tenancy.

A full inventory detailing all of the fixtures/fittings and furnishings within a property as well as the condition along with photographic evidence becomes the bench mark when the property is vacated.

Hunters inventories are most often carried out using up to date technology via an “app”.  This means that they are time stamped and dated to ensure accuracy with relevant prompts dependent upon each room or area of a property.  This level of detail and precision is best practice for all parties so that upon move-out the condition can be easily identified versus the condition upon move-in allowing any necessary deductions to be calculated fairly.

So, don’t leave it to chance, make sure your Agent carries out an inventory for you on each and every let.

If you require this service or want a copy of your inventory please contact your local office.

Our award winning agency continues to expand

Following our silver accolade at the Negotiator Awards in November, Hunters were further recognised as one of the major estate agencies at The Estate Agency of the Year Awards 2013 in association with The Sunday Times and The Times where we were shortlisted for 'Best Estate Agency Franchise'.

With over 100 franchised branches throughout the UK and many more to open during 2014, the network is showing no signs of slowing down in its continued expansion. Andy Bushell, Sales Director for Hunters says "We believe that our customers are best served by estate agents who own and run their own businesses, supported by a strong national brand. That way our customers are dealing directly with a local expert who has a vested interest in running a successful business. And this, of course, is based on excellent customer satisfaction".

Chapeltown in Sheffield and Stoke on Trent recently joined the Hunters network and locations coming soon include Consett, Canning Town, Bexley, Frodsham and Stalybridge.

Keep your eyes peeled for a Hunters branch opening near you!