SellingUp.com – September 2016
London property market gets ‘Brexit overseas spending boost’
Brexit has sparked an increase in foreign interest in London properties of all kinds, according to a BBC report. The UK’s decision to leave the EU on 23 June resulted in an immediate fall in the value of the pound, and as a consequence, overseas investors are enjoying the effect that their money goes further. Whilst the commercial property market has always seen robust interest from the rest of the world, changes to stamp duty have now made residential properties more attractive, meaning that there is increased demand at a time when first-time buyers are already struggling to get on the property ladder.
Hyperlocal hybrid estate agent launches to cover E14 Canary Wharf
A new ‘hyperlocal’ estate agency based in a single postcode district has launched. The so-called hybrid agency Proper Local is designed to fill a niche somewhere between a traditional estate agency and online property sites – and it will focus exclusively on homes in the E14 postcode in London.
Proper Local does not have a storefront, like regular high street agencies, but its offices are based in Canary Wharf. Founder Christian Thomas, who has 10 years’ property market experience and was previously sales and marketing director for MyLondonHome, claims a distinction from both online and high street estate agents. Customers can visit the office to discuss their needs, he says, but there is no shop window and no expensive marketing.
Angry anarchists set to target Foxtons in Islington
The Class War anarchist group are set to protest against Foxtons estate agents over the gentrification of Islington. A message was posted on the group’s website, with more information promised soon: “Meet at 5pm @ Foxtons Islington Estate Agents, 355 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0PD.” It is not clear what day they were referring to however.
Foxtons, which issued a profits warning after the Brexit vote, has attracted the attention of Class War before. Three of its staff were dismissed last month after a demonstration took place outside Boris Johnson’s house. Earlier in 2015, the estate agency’s Brixton office was vandalised on two separate occasions, and ‘Yuppies Out’ graffitied on their building.
Zoopla reports more estate agents listings in battle with rival portals
The Zoopla Property Group, which is in an ongoing battle with competitor OnTheMarket, has said it has seen another rise in agent numbers and listings on its site.
The agent-owned website OnTheMarket prompted controversy when it launched for its ‘one other’ portal policy: agents who used it were forced to choose between listing their properties on Zoopla or Rightmove, rather than using all three. The result was a dramatic dip in agency customers for Zoopla. However, the current results suggest that Zoopla is recovering, with UK Agency partner numbers increasing for 16 consecutive months, and property listings increasing 5% year-on-year.
Hybrid estate agent EweMove bought by high street firm Martin & Co
Martin & Co, the stock market-listed estate agency, have bought online-based hybrid agency EweMove for £15 million. EweMove will act as a subsidiary and will offer a new growth vector – allowing Martin & Co to establish its presence better in the online market.
In the year to June 2016, EweMove generated £1.65 million in revenues and pre-tax profits of £120,000. Martin & Co have stated they are attracted by the hybrid model, which they expect to be a significant element of the estate agency market. As part of the deal, EweMove’s management will join Martin & Co’s senior executive team, and will be given overall responsibility for technology and marketing.
Online agent eMoov reveals where in London property prices have FALLEN
London is the strongest property market in the country, with house prices increasing in value by around 13% or an average of £50,000 since last August (against an average of 9% for the UK as a whole). However, prices in a few boroughs have underperformed. Online agency eMoov have analysed the market and pinpointed which areas have bucked the trend.
The worst areas for property owners were Hammersmith and Fulham, and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Prices in the former fell by 3%, or an average of more than £24,000. Kensington and Chelsea has seen falls of 6% or an average of £80,000, due to a number of factors including the Brexit vote and changes to stamp duty.
YOPA gets on the Great British Bake Off bandwagon for a good cause
The team from online agency YOPA have joined the Great British Bake Off’s competition and cake sale to support their chosen charity, Barnado’s. Staff from YOPA’s London and Hinkley offices brought in cakes and cookies, including a number of YOPA-themed treats, raising a total of £214.15.
YOPA also support Barnado’s by donating £5 from every house sale to the charity. Barnado’s is one of Britain’s leading children’s charities and has been providing safe homes for disadvantaged children for 150 years.
Urban.co.uk reveals what could be ‘London’s narrowest house’
What is believed to be London’s narrowest property has been identified by online sales and lettings agency Urban.co.uk. The Victorian house, on Peel Street in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, is just seven feet wide.
The former owner enlisted a canal boat designer to fit out the interior, to make the most of the limited space – which includes two reception rooms, two bathrooms, a balcony and garden, as well as planning permission for a basement extension. The house is on the market for £1.2 million, making it one of the cheapest freeholds in the borough.
Sarah Beeny’s Tepilo issues guide to different types of available mortgage
Sarah Beeny, founder of online agency Tepilo, has published a short guide to the types of mortgage typically available to customers. The Bank of England has cut interest rates to a record low of 0.25% in the wake of uncertainty following the Brexit vote, but Tepilo argue that many people are still unclear about what the different deals actually mean for them in practice. The guide covers Fixed rate, Tracker, Discount, SVR (Standard variable rate), Interest-only and First-time buyer mortgages.
HouseSimple gives its seasonal solutions for selling up in autumn
HouseSimple, voted online estate agency of the year, have offered advice for homeowners who are looking to sell in the autumn. The tips are geared towards those who want to host their own viewings and avoid agents fees by doing it themselves. Amongst other things they recommend paying particular attention to lighting as the days become shorter, and making sure that leaves and autumn debris are cleared away to give the right impression.