TBS in Prime Resi’s Top 50 Buying Agents Round-Up

TBS in second place on Prime Resi’s list of the 50 most influential, successful & connected prime residential property acquisition specialists in Britain, 2019

Founded in 2004, Knight Frank’s independent acquisition arm has maintained a dominant presence in the UK buying agency sector. Run by the seasoned line-up of Philip Eastwood, Jonathan Bramwell and Mark Lawson, clients know they are in safe hands and in pole position for when that dream property comes up.

Locations covered stretch across London, the Home and Southern Counties, to the Cotswolds and West Country, as well as farm and estate deals across the UK.  Despite brisk market head- winds, October of last year proved to be one of the most active months in the firm’s history, with ten deals secured on property worth a combined £78m. Three of the sales were in excess of £10m, and a further two over £5m, while 70% were described as “truly” off-market opportunities, demonstrating the real value of a top-notch search agency.

TBS Head Jonathan Bramwell, described by clients as “a walking encyclopedia”, sums up what’s been happening on the ground over the last 12 months: “Market conditions remain challenging but when the right properties become available, clients are willing to go for it. There remains a shortage of supply when it comes to ‘best in class’ property, both in London and the Country. The Cotswolds has been one of the most active markets for us this year in general, with the area around Daylesford and Soho Farmhouse proving especially popular. The main difference when you compare this market to the previous year is the time it takes to close on deals for clients. In the past it might have been days and weeks and now it is weeks or months. In the past the urgency may have resulted in buyers taking views on minor issues – now clients understandably are more selective and want solutions to problems before committing. This is exactly where our role becomes important. Savvy buyers do want expert advice and guidance through this more difficult climate. The uncertainty has created an opportunity for the truly professional buying agencies; it’s also important to say it’s not just about finding but making sure we do the right deal for them.”

See full article here: https://primeresi.com/prime-movers/buying-agencies/

TBS in The Times – What downturn? Locations where house prices are rising

One of the latest reports from Rightmove suggests that the rise in property prices this month is the lowest in seven years, however they also report that traffic to their site is up 5 per cent when compared with the same time last  year. This suggests that there is a backlog of pent up demand. It was confirmed this week that American Hedge fund owner Ken Griffin paid £95 million for 3 Carlton Gardens over looking St James’s Park – significantly reduced from the original price of £145 million. Whist this is an extreme example there are bargains to be had in some areas of the market. What is clear however is that there are still some locations where prices are going up.

The Cotswolds and Cheltenham specifically is one such hotspot.

Harry Gladwin Partner at The Buying Solution says; “Property prices in ‘hot’ areas of the Cotswolds continue to rise with Cheltenham experiencing nearly a 6 per cent increase over the past year. Over the past two years we’ve seen a 40 per cent increase in those looking to purchase in Cheltenham. Time poor parents who may have otherwise chosen a more rural location increasingly prefer to be within walking distance of their chosen school (private or state).  The recent regeneration in the town is helping to put Cheltenham on a par with larger UK Cities whilst helping to carve out its own identity. Investment from well-known names such as Julian Dunkerton and with the opening of The Ivy and a new John Lewis, Cheltenham is moving further into the spotlight.  Faster trains to London have been promised and with the Cotswolds on the doorstep, the town also represents excellent value when compared with other local centres closer to the Capital.”

To read the full article please click here; https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/what-downturn-locations-where-house-prices-are-rising-in-the-uk-h3ksz3c5z

TBS in The Times – The rental market

Jemma Scott, Partner, The Buying Solution is quoted in The Times discussing the rise in demand for rentals in all markets. An increasing number of would-be buyers, particularly in London and the southeast, are selling their homes and choosing to rent. At the top end international buyers are renting, often paying tens of thousands a month, instead of buying. This is partly because of Brexit uncertainty, but also in response to prohibitive higher-rate stamp-duty rates.

In Oxfordshire, for example Jemma comments on how a “client was looking for a long-term rental as they see this as a better option than purchasing a similar style of house in the current market.”

Read full article here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/prepare-for-the-rental-revolution-ghpcf8kmm

In a second article in The Times Bricks & Mortar titled ‘Why 2019 could be the year of the renter’ Jemma Scott, Partner at The Buying Solution, adds that it is a more difficult market for investors, particularly in London where the yields are less strong. “So tricky is the rental market that many accidental landlords, those forced to rent their properties last year after failing to sell them, are giving up and putting them back on the market at a cheaper price. The biggest change I have seen is the exodus of the accidental landlord. Landlords have taken a battering in recent years, and for many this dabble has become unappealing. With growing sentiment that now is an excellent time to buy, we have seen many of these homes return to the sales market.”

Read the full article here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/why-2019-could-be-the-year-of-the-renter-5dn2vzwq9

TBS in Country Life – Playing to Win

Property raffles have certainly hit the headlines and they may seem too good to be true. In theory you could own a multi million pound house mortgage free for the small cost of a ticket.

Often they are a vendor’s last resort when they can’t sell and many have come under fire by The Gambling Commission. Very few have also been able to sell the required number of tickets.

If successful there are also catches, Jonathan Bramwell says; “Although savvy vendors will include stamp duty in the ticket price the winner may find themselves with hefty running costs”.

There is a new high end property raffle site Cadivus (meaning Windfall in Latin) which has recently launched a newly refurbished £2 million apartment in South Kensington which is promising to legitimise raffles and raffle off a home that ‘people actually want to buy’. It remains to be seen as to whether it is a success.

To read more please pick up a copy of the January 16th issue of Country Life

TBS in The Sunday Times

The Sunday Times ‘Home Front’ explores ways to beat the January blues suggesting ‘the reverse commute’. Instead of living in a suburb or town and travelling into the big city in which you work, sweating it out on the train or queuing in a traffic jam day in, day out, you do the opposite. You live in the city, with its bright lights, culture and 24/7 amenities, and work outside, with any luck getting a seat or an easy drive to the office. Thea Carroll, senior buying consultant at the Buying Solution, says the reverse commute is a hot topic for clients — especially as house prices in many cities have dipped. “One client relocating from Europe will work in Woking, but is looking for a home in southwest London so he can do an easy reverse commute from Clapham Junction,” she says. “His children will be going to top secondary schools in the capital and his wife would prefer the London buzz on her doorstep, with a ready-made social scene, rather than having to travel in every day.”

Stats show that by 2016, about 305,000 people were living in London and travelling to work outside the capital.

Read full article here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/i-have-the-answer-to-the-january-blues-the-reverse-commute-89w3j793w

TBS in The Times: How to negotiate a Brexit property bargain

Do your research, look for quality and pitch your offer at the right level reports The Times.

Senior Buying Consultant Thea Carroll is quoted saying: “Property is a politicised, popular and highly prevalent topic at meal times — which has everyone falling into the trap of thinking they’re property experts.” So if you are after a bargain, she recommends doing your research before diving in.

Snapping up a property just for the sake of it being 5/10% under its original asking or 15/20% under its 2014/2015 value doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got yourself a good deal. You need an expert to assess the opportunity as though it were an investment, as whether or not you’re buying as an end-user or investor, neither party want to have less money at the end of the process than they started with, which by definition is an investment. A professional will assess the quality of the property, potential for capital appreciation, potential rental yield, its genuine value, the surrounding area’s value in comparison to it, they’ll use market analysis of the area overlaid with the type of architecture to figure out how well it could do in a stronger market and they’ll do all of this to establish your objective negotiation position. This is so that when they do make that call to agent, not only is taken seriously, but due to the fact that it’s a B2B conversation, both sides know they’ve come prepared. Then it’s up to quality of buying agent to perform and achieve the best deal for their client, which will happen as they represent their interests.

In London a home with a price cut sells after 34 days on average, compared with 69 days without a reduction, according to Hamptons. In northwest England it’s 24 days compared with 84.

Separate figures illustrate the growing number of cut-price deals, particularly in the southeast. The percentage of sales above asking price in 2018 has dropped to 14 per cent in London from 20 per cent a year earlier — the lowest figure in the UK.

Read the full article here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/bricks-mortar/how-to-negotiate-a-brexit-property-bargain-dj5gvlgq8