1. How would you sum up the housing market?
Although the housing market remains buoyant, pricing a property correctly remains key to achieving a sale. Some tactics employed by agents is to over price a property just to secure a listing, to only reduce it a few weeks later, which often results in the seller achieving less than they would have done if they had gone with an experienced local agents valuation in the first place.
There has been a move towards using on-line estate agents which might at first glance appear to be better value, but could cost a seller more in the long run, especially in the overall price they achieve for their property, the cheapest agent to sell with will always be the agent that gets the seller the highest price.
Local estate agents are experienced in selling properties in their area, this means that they can give an accurate gauge of how much a property is worth and they also work on a no sale, no fee policy, which means they only get paid if the property sells. On-line agents also have thousands of properties on their books, where as a local agent has far fewer which means they will have more time to concentrate on selling each property. Web estate agents also offers very little help at the negotiating stage, so often a seller will feel obliged to take a lower price than they would have done if they had used an experienced agency’s negotiating team. Being able to negotiate once an offer is made is one of the most crucial stages of a property sale and could make all the difference to whether a property is sold or not at the best achievable price.
2. Do you predict that house prices will continue to rise throughout 2017?
Yes, we do believe prices will continue to grow but at more modest levels simply due to supply and demand, however, where there is an abundance of stock, for example at the moment there are lots of one bed flats for sale, you will see prices remain level, and if you need to sell to suit a timescale then a vendor might need to consider a reduced price.
3. Is it still worth investing in a buy to let since all of the recent tax changes?
We believe that investing in a buy to let property is still very worthwhile, particularly when you weigh it up against other investment alternatives. The recent changes, for example the levy on Stamp Duty for investment properties did have some effect on BTL investors but that affect was short lived and we are still selling to investor buyers.
4. Where are the best areas to invest in in Surrey and South West London? Are there any hot spots?
We feel that buying a property in either Morden or Mitcham could offer a good investment opportunity because both areas have great travel links into the Capital. Morden with its Northern Line underground station, the first stop on the line which ensures a seat all the way into London and Mitcham with its new Eastfields’ station, and the tram which links to either Croydon or Wimbledon offering a quick commute into the capital. Both of these places are also boarding onto really expensive areas, Streatham, Tooting and SW19, where it will cost much more money to buy the same sized property in a similar situation.