Three trends for this year’s autumn property market

buy and sellThe London property market experiences several high points each year driven by different seasonal trends.

For example, the market heats up during the run up to Christmas as people try to complete before the market closes down for the festivities. Then, during the first week of January a surge in the number of buyers pushes up demand and therefore prices.

During July and August, when most families go on holiday, activity increases once as owners try to sell before they go on holiday and again in September as buyers come back from their trips away ready to move home.

Rising demand during the autumn peak period pushes up prices. For example the team at Wandsworth Estate agents James Pendleton last year observed that prices began creeping up in October and November before peaking at a monthly average increase of 2.1% in December – before simmering down to a relatively tame increase of 1% in January.

In London properties sell 5% faster in October than in September so the later in Autumn a property goes on the market, the quicker the sale is likely to be. Properties sell even more quickly after the New Year –homes sold 40% faster during the first three months of the year in London compared to the three months before.

To find out about the current market conditions or if you have a question about buying selling or renting property speak to the team at London estate agents James Pendleton.

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London estate agency makes an unusual promise

estate agents in south west london

There are nearly 5,000 estate agents in London and it can be tricky to choose between them. Using a marketing campaign backed up by company-wide action, one agent in South West London is making a determined promise to truly ‘go that little bit further’ for their clients.

James Pendleton, one of London’s fastest-growing estate agents with nine branches in the Capital, has launched an unusual advertising campaign to highlight its commitment to customer service for those selling their homes.

The campaign launched in March and includes a recent light-hearted Easter banner. It focuses in a light hearted way on how the South West London estate agents is well known in the Capital for ‘going that little bit further’ and plays on how this frees up time for sellers to focus on other parts of their lives. Posters featuring the new campaign can be seen at sites in Fulham, Balham, Wandsworth and Battersea and have been created following research by the James Pendleton into what its customers really want from an estate agent.

“We found that people selling their homes are more interested in the standard of service offered by their estate agent than any other factors” says Managing Director Lucy Pendleton.

The new adverts reflect the company’s internal culture of going that little bit further to ensure excellent service; helping people move into their new home when a removals company let them down; spending several hours late on a Saturday dismantling furniture in a soon-to-be sold property and helping a vendor who had locked themselves out of their home on a Sunday.

“Ever since the business began we’ve put extraordinary customer service at the heart of it and we wanted our next advertising campaign to reflect this while at the same time retaining our signature tongue-in-cheek tone,” says Lucy.

 

Home makeover trends for 2014

As we endure this winter’s extreme weather let’s not forget that spring will soon be upon us and with it will come a deluge of a different kind; an army of homeowners getting ready to redecorate their properties.

If you’re one of them and have plans for your home then here are some 2014 interior design trends to provide some inspiration:

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True blue
So which paint, wallpaper or colour theme to choose for your home? 2014 is shaping up to be the year when blue and purple dominate. For example Pantone, the worldwide authority on colour, has named Dazzling Blue, Violet Tulip and Radiant Orchid as its top three colours of the year, while all the main paint manufacturers including Dulux, Crown and the popular Farrow and Ball also predict blue will be 2014’s colour of choice.

Bright future
On the other hand, after six years of financial insecurity the world of decoration continues to return to themes that embrace the feel good factor and this includes the use of cheerful hues which, after many years of white-paint minimalism, looks like a bright idea. Say hello again to lemon yellow, lime green and cerise.

The luxury look
Another trend that reflects a need to put the years of austerity behind us is the ‘luxury look’. This interiors fashion includes a liberal use of prints on wallpaper and furnishings as well as the return of the patterned carpet, ornate wood panelling and even a 1980s staple, the built-in wardrobe.

Outside is in
The ongoing concern with environment issues is making gardens that are more inside than outside fashionable and this means, in a very un-green way, even fake foliage. But in the world of living ‘outside in’ the trend is for small trees, box hedges and other larger plants to be placed around the home to give it a ‘greener’ look.

To speak to experienced property experts about plans for your home contact London Estate Agents James Pendleton.

London’s £1m-plus housing market is expanding

If you live in London and your home is worth more than £1 million then you may be one of the 60,000 or more people who joined this relatively exclusive club last year.

Approximately 240,000 apartments and houses in London are now said to be worth £1m or more and it’s a property market that has turned in an extraordinary performance over the past six or so years since the 2008 financial crisis.

As London’s economy continued to recover this year and unemployment hit a four year low at the end of last year so this increased optimism continues to feed through to the top of the market. Over the past 12 months some 10,000 £1m-plus properties were sold in London, up by over 10% compared to the previous 12 months, latest figures reveal.

“James Pendleton is confident that levels of activity in the £1m-plus housing market will continue to increase this year and although the price increases seen in the prime market within London may not reach the highs of 2013 which saw rises of approximately 9% across the Capital, we anticipate this buoyant market to continue,” says the London estate agents’ Sales Director Ewen Bunting.

London estate agents' Sales Director Ewen Bunting

London estate agents’ Sales Director Ewen Bunting

Experts say the London property market, particularly in central London, has become greatly influenced by foreign buyers and last year some £7 billion was spent by them on property within the M25, a level of investment which is expected to be repeated in 2014 despite new government policies designed to reduce tax breaks for non-UK homeowners.

But as central London’s high prices force many £1m home buyers to look elsewhere, estate agents in Clapham South, Fulham, Wandsworth and beyond are seeing more properties at this price being recorded on their streets.

Why London is on track for a repeat of 2013’s property market growth

property for sale in Battersea

Battersea is one of several areas in South West London reporting strong growth in 2013

House prices in London enjoyed a year of unexpected growth in 2013 with official figures revealing an average rise of 10.6% and estate agents in Clapham South, Wandsworth, Battersea and Fulham reporting rises far in excess of this. But what will happen this year?

Prices depend on activity and the number of homes sold in London rose significantly during 2013.  Whilst levels have not reached the Capital’s pre-2007 peak of 1.3 million homes sold a year, Land Registry figures clearly point to further increases in property sales in London during 2014 and this will help keep its housing market motoring, experts say.

Predictions for house prices in London are buoyant for the coming year because the recovery in the UK economy continues and forecasts for national price rises vary between 4% and 8% while in London they vary from between 8% and 11%.

Confidence is not restricted to experts. A survey published by property website Zoopla found that nearly all of nearly 8,000 Londoners it canvassed expected property values in the Capital to rise during the first half of the year by an average of 9.6%, compared to a national expectation of 7.2%.

Such optimism has been created in part by two key government measures designed to boost buyer and seller confidence.

These are the Help To Buy and Funding for Lending schemes both of which have succeeded, by the government’s own measures, in thawing the lending freeze brought on by the 2008 financial crisis.

Funding for Lending offers lenders cheap funds on the proviso they use it to create more affordable mortgages while Help To Buy (in its current form) has created several new routes for first time buyers as well as those further up the ladder to put down greater deposits and therefore be approved for more affordable mortgages.

Be property prepared this New Year!

kings place

2014 is just a handful of days away and the property market is about to undergo its annual holiday hibernation as property owners and searchers alike put their feet up in front of the fire and browse for investment ideas on their smartphones.  Don’t be fooled, though, by a quiet Christmas market: while the festive season is typically one of the year’s least active periods the New Year is known for being quite the opposite.

Plenty of time to think and browse at home coupled with the inevitable New Year’s Resolutions will soon see homeowners rushing to sell in droves, buyers renewing their search with a new energy and landlords taking advantage of the annual post-Christmas flood of tenants.  The expected bustle is always great for the market as a whole but individual clients can find an increase in pace and choice daunting.

That’s why we advise registering with a sales or lettings agent now to take advantage of the automatic property alerts offered by good London estate agents like James Pendleton.  Searching for your dream home is the ideal pastime when the Turkey sandwiches are out and the re-runs are on, and automatic updates tailored to your search criteria remove the need to navigate busy property feeds.

Our advice to property owners is, naturally, to get prepared now to get your property out there ready for the New Year.  Now is not the time to wait-when the whole market is thinking the same thing it pays to be an extra fortnight ahead!

If you’d like to find out how to make the current property market work for you it makes sense to contact your local estate agents in London to speak to an expert.

Property Pixel: An innovative fundraising initiative

Property Pixel Homepage

The Property Pixel homepage

Five times award winning London Estate Agents James Pendleton are among agents showing support for Zoopla Property Group’s Property Pixel initiative.  The project, run by a team from Zoopla in support of the Prince’s Trust, invites property professionals to display their logos on sponsored ‘pixel plots’ on a dedicated website and has so far raised £27,800.

Zoopla, one of the UK’s most popular property portals, is known for its online innovation and this year also launched the popular Twitter property 100 which ranks professionals and businesses according to their social media proficiency.  Property Pixel is an innovative way for property professionals to support a worthy cause in an unusual and interesting way.

James Pendleton have a firm interest in supporting both local and national causes and run their own charity initiative, LiveToGive, in-house.  Despite supporting their own causes the company is open to further extending their charity programme with initiatives such as Zoopla’s.  CEO Lee James Pendleton explained the company’s affinity with the project:

“When Zoopla contacted me about Property Pixel I was delighted to get involved. The idea is typically innovative and a great way for the whole industry to unite in support of a very worthwhile cause. The Prince’s Trust is a great charity and this initiative is something we are proud to be associated with.

I hope the whole industry gets behind Property Pixel and makes a life changing contribution by supporting this endeavour and ensuring every plot is purchased.”

You can keep track of PropertyPixel’s progress by visiting propertypixel.co.uk and for updates on James Pendleton’s charity initiative visit livetogive.org.uk

The Negotiator Awards 2013: A triumph for acclaimed London Estate Agency

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James Pendleton’s Gold Award for Property Manager of the Year

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James Pendleton’s Gold Award for Innovator of the Year

The Negotiator Awards represent an important benchmark of quality for the UK’s estate agents, letting agents and auction houses.  Judged by a panel of property experts of diverse backgrounds the awards cover 23 categories and, once won, are an industry recognised mark of quality.

2013’s winners were announced on Tuesday at a glittering ceremony in the Grand Ballroom of the London Hilton Hotel.  Representatives from companies large and small across the country gathered for an informative conference followed by a glamorous evening of food, drinks, comedy from the excellent Hugh Dennis and Bond themed entertainment.   The event was organised with aplomb by the Negotiator Magazine and sponsored by Zoopla Property Group.

London Estate Agents James Pendleton were thrilled to receive five awards at the prestigious event. “We entered five categories and are absolutely over the moon to have won five times – our team will be delighted to be able to share that success with our clients throughout 2014” said Senior Associate Director Deborah Bunting, who was present at the ceremony.  The estate agents in South West London walked away with five accolades:

  • Innovator of the Year – Gold
  • Property Manager of the Year – Gold
  • Medium Estate Agency of the Year – Silver
  • Marketing Team of the Year – Silver
  • Employer of the Year – Bronze

The full list of Bronze, Silver and Gold award winners can be found here and will soon be recognised in Property Drum and The Negotiator magazines as well as in national property press.   To find out more about James Pendleton or if you’re looking for properties for sale or properties to rent in South West London contact the team here.

An incredible achievement for London mortgage broker Tom Matthews

As any Estate Agent with a focus on top notch service will know, finding the right partners to work alongside your team is vital.  James Pendleton Estate Agents in South West London have a fantastic partner in expert London mortgage brokers Coreco, and were delighted to hear the news this week that Financial Consultant Tom Matthews has been named Young Broker of the Year at the British Mortgage Awards 2013.

The prestigious annual event was this year held at the Westminster Park Plaza hotel in central London and drew together companies of all sizes from across the country for what is possibly the networking highlight of the year.  Nominees for each category were put forward by fellow professionals and clients alike and those with the most nominations made it to a final shortlist.

Tom’s fiercely competitive category (which applies to brokers under 30 who have made an outstanding contribution to the industry) was whittled down to three final contenders.  The final decision was made by some of the top experts in the industry and Tom was up against two of the top brokers in the UK.  “While I had heard suggestions that I was in with a good chance of coming top, both myself and Coreco had no way of knowing for sure that I’d win against some very strong competition so we had to remain pragmatic”

The ceremony itself was a dazzling affair accompanied by a black tie dinner and entertainment from the superb Jimmy Carr.  There were twenty award categories in all, and Tom’s being 15th in line meant he had a long and tense wait before hear the good news.  “It really was a nervous wait!  I was well aware of how competitive my category was and how many of my clients I’d told about my nomination; I was desperate to have good news for them!”

Luckily Tom has a great few weeks ahead as he passes on the news to his colleagues and clients; and James Pendleton Estate Agents’ Clapham Common team have no qualms about helping him out!  “This really is fantastic to hear; not only does it reaffirm for us the quality of the work Coreco is doing but it shows our clients that both ourselves and our partners really do go to the next level in customer service” said James Pendleton Managing Director Lucy Pendleton of Tom’s success.

Young Mortgage Broker of the Year Coreco

With four awards so far this year James Pendleton has plenty to be proud of and clearly has a finger on the pulse when it comes to recommending outstanding property experts.  If you have a property query of any kind you can visit both James Pendleton and Coreco in one of eight of the Estate Agents’ South West London offices-check their contact page for full details and keep an eye out for both companies’ very active Twitter feeds, @JamesPendleton and @Coreco.

Fulham’s Property Market: an upward trajectory

As London continues to buck property trends, setting new records month after month, so it takes Fulham with it: something which as Estate Agents in Fulham we’re well placed to observe. The SW6 postcode area continues to be excellent value for money in comparison with Chelsea and many other central London areas and the region’s convenient transport links and amenities  make it an attractive base for a family or  a first time buyer keen to jump on the property ladder. Also aiding growth is an influx of buyers from across Europe and the rest of the world who see the city as a safe haven for their investment.

At the end of 2012 the average price of a property sold in SW6 was £794,000, up 7.06% from the previous year. What we expect to see as the year progresses is that this figure increases further: in fact, we anticipate that it will rise above the 2012 high of £910,185.

Homebuyers can expect a more competitive market in Fulham in 2013. Stock levels are low and are expected to remain that way throughout the year, so house hunters should be prepared for a speedy transaction. Inevitably when the number of properties for sale reduces, prices are driven upwards. As the graph below shows, as the number of sold properties decreased towards the end of 2012 the average price of a house in SW6 increased.

Estate Agents in Fulham

Data taken from Rightmove and compiled by James Pendleton

Sellers are shifting into the driver’s seat and we are expecting there to be plenty of competition in certain markets due to the low supply. While homes will sell quicker this year, they still have to be priced right. We have already seen a large increase in the number of multiple offer scenarios throughout all seven of our South West London offices and this trend is sure to continue.

If you are thinking of selling your property in 2013 or have been on the market and would like some advice on getting your house sold please give us a call; we would be delighted to come out to visit you at your home.

Max Green

Associate Director, James Pendleton Estate Agents Fulham & Parsons Green 020 7183 4000 max@jphomes.co.uk