Monday, 15 October 2018

49 Days to Sell a Property in Ramsgate


Whether you are a Ramsgate landlord looking to liquidate your buy to let investment or a homeowner looking to sell your home, finding a buyer and selling your property can take an annoyingly long time. It is a step-by-step process that can take months and months. In fact, one of the worst parts of the house selling process is the not knowing how long you might be stuck at each step. At the moment, looking at every estate agent in Ramsgate, independent research shows it is taking on average 49 days from the property coming on the market for it to be sold subject to contract.

But trust me ... that is just the start of a long journey on the house selling/buying process. The journey is a long one and therefore, in this article, I want to take you through the standard itinerary for each step of the house selling procedure in Ramsgate.

Step 1 – Find a Buyer

You need to instruct an estate agent (of course we can help you with that) who will talk through a marketing strategy and pricing strategy to enable you to find a buyer that fits your circumstances. 49 days might be the average in Ramsgate, yet as I have said many times, the Ramsgate property market is like a fly’s eye, split up into lots of little micro markets.

Looking at that independent research, (which only focused on Ramsgate), it was interesting to see how the different price bands (i.e. different micro markets) are currently performing, when it comes down to the average number of days it takes to find a buyer for a property in Ramsgate.


Asking Price (Ramsgate)
Average Time to Find a Buyer in Ramsgate (days)
Under £100,000
50
£100,000 to £200,000
50
£200,000 to £300,000
46
£300,000 to £400,000
70
£400,000 to £500,000
62
£500,000 to £1,000,000
63
Over £1,000,000
-



Interestingly, I thought I would see which price band had the highest proportion of properties sold (stc)... again – fascinating!


So, now you have a buyer ... what next?

There are a variety of distinctive issues at play when selling your property in Ramsgate, together with the involvement of a wide and varied range of professionals who get involved in that process. That means there is are enormous differences in how long it takes from one property to another. Moving forward to the next steps, these are the average lengths of time it takes for each step to give you some idea of what to expect. 

Step 2  - Sort Solicitors (and Mortgage)

Again, something we can point you in the right direction to, but it will take a good few weeks for your buyer to apply and sort their mortgage and for your solicitors to prepare the legal paper work to send to the buyer.

Step 3 – Legal Work and Survey

Once you buyer’s solicitor receives the paperwork from your solicitor, then your buyer’s solicitor applies for local searches from the local authority (to ensure no motorways etc., are going to be built in the back garden!).  These Searches can take a number of weeks to be returned to the buyer solicitors from the council, from which questions will be raised by the buyer’s solicitor to your solicitor (trust me – you don’t see a tenth of the work that goes on behind closed doors to get the sale through to completion). Meanwhile, the surveyor will check the property to ensure it is worth the money and structurally sound. Overall, this step can take between 3 and 6 weeks (sometimes more!).

Step 4 – Exchange of Contracts

Assuming all the mortgage, survey and legal work comes back ok, both the buyer and solicitor sign contracts, the solicitors then perform “Exchange of Contracts”. When contracts are exchanged, this is the first time both buyer and seller are tied in. Before then, they can walk away ... and you are probably 4 or 5 months down the line from having put up the for sale board – this isn’t a quick process! BUT hold on ... we aren’t there yet!

Step 5 – Completion

Between a week and up to six weeks after exchange of contracts, the buyer solicitor sends the purchase money to the seller’s solicitor, and once that arrives, the keys will be given to the buyer … phew!

To conclude, all in all, you are looking at a good four, five even six months from putting the for-sale board up to moving out. 

If you are thinking of selling your Ramsgate home or if you are a Ramsgate landlord, hoping to sell your buy to let property (with tenants in), either way, if you want a chat to ensure you get a decent price with minimal fuss ... drop me a message or pick up the phone.

Monday, 8 October 2018

3.5% Drop in the Thanet Property Market



The number of residential property transactions in Thanet will be 3.5 per cent lower in 2018, compared to 2017.

According to my research, the seasonally adjusted statistics for our local authority area suggest with the number of properties already sold in 2018, and the number of properties currently under offer or sold subject to contract (allowing for property sales to fall through before exchange of contracts) we, as an area, will end the year 3.48 per cent lower compared to 2017.

So why are transaction numbers so important to Thanet homeowners, Thanet landlords and potential first-time buyers?

Many economists and property market commentators believe transaction numbers give a more precise and truthful indicator of the health of the property market than just house values. In the six years before the Credit Crunch in 2007/8, the average number of completed property transactions in the local area (the local authority covered by Thanet) stood at 3,630 per year .. yet in the three years following the Credit Crunch, on average, only 1,875 homes were changing hands per year in the area.
Roll the clock forward to more recent times and last year, in 2017, 3,004 homes changed hands (i.e. transacted and sold) in the area, higher than the local authority’s 23 year overall average of 2,855 homes per year.


In the past, a reduction in the number of properties selling has often been believed to be the first signal of a down turn in the housing market as a whole. Although, the down turn of the credit crunch years (2007/2008) was more a free-fall than a subtle down turn. Look at the graph and the ‘so-called’ halcyon days of the 2000 to 2006 property market were a roller coaster when it came to the number of transactions. House prices were rising in the six/seven years before the credit crunch (2000 to 2006), albeit, the rate of growth of Thanet house prices did slow in late 2005 and 2006 (which does fit in nicely with the graph).
In other articles, I have mentioned the change in the number of houses for sale today compared to last year and further back. Although, the market has seen in recent months (i.e. the short term) an increase in the number of properties for sale, fundamentally, in the medium term, there has been an underlying trend in the reduction of properties coming onto the market for sale in Thanet (and nationally) and this has been one of the main drives behind the lack of properties selling .. Thanet people aren’t moving as much as they were 30 years ago meaning fewer houses are selling each year.

However, this short-term increase in properties for sale hasn’t been even across the board. In certain sectors of the Thanet property market, there is a glut of properties on the market at the moment and so prices and values are dropping on those types as sellers compete for the limited amount of buyers… yet, there are other sectors of the Thanet property market where there is a dearth, a shortage of property, and buyers are fighting tooth and nail with silly offers to try and secure the sale. This means, there are some bargains for you Thanet buy to let landlords. If you look hard enough, you could spot the same trends I have seen in Thanet and find the individual property micro markets that fall into that first sector (with its glut). 

So, if you want the inside track on the Thanet property market, whether you are a landlord of ours or another agent, I am more than happy to guide you in the right direction if you drop me a line or an email (contacts details are easily found on this page – and I don’t bite or do hard sell – promise!).

So, to conclude, I believe we will finish on 2,899 housing transactions by the end of the year in the area .. not too far off last year’s figure but higher than the long-term 23-year average. Looking at the short term future, now it’s true some (not all) but some potential purchasers of property in Thanet may be exhibiting more caution because of concerns that the Bank of England will continue to put up interest rates– to which I reply – yes of course they will when they are only ultra-low at 0.75%. Anyway, that is the reason why 90%+ of new mortgages over the last nine months have been on a fixed rate. Also, if they do go up a few percentage points – they are nothing compared to the 12%, 14%, even 15% mortgage rates many of my landlords saw in the early 1990’s. 

We can all speculate (and I appreciate the irony of that as I write this article) but all I say to any Thanet landlords, Thanet homeowners or Thanet first time buyers is act according to your own life cycle, budget on a modest increase in interest rates in the coming few years (yet protect yourself by fixing it), consider your own circumstances and finally, what you can afford.