1st December 2020
A question lots of people are asking right now is, “should I wait to let or sell my house?”. Or, “is the property market strong enough at the moment?”. Here’s some advice to answer just that, from our Directors Michael Moore and Angie Wright who have a combined experience of 54+ years in the Leeds property market…
Lockdown 2 has been a very different experience for our team compared to the first lockdown. This time around our teams have been able to carry on selling and letting properties, viewing, negotiating and closing sales and facilitating move-ins for tenants. Although Government gave the property industry the ‘green light’ to carry on working, we made the decision to have some of our team work from home to ensuring the office remained safe and socially distanced, something we have taken very seriously since all of this began. With the wonders of technology (which we invested heavily in a few years ago) our team have been able to work seamlessly whether it be from home, the office or their car between appointments.
Our strategy for our rentals team during Lockdown 1, when new lettings were paused, was to concentrate on tenancy renewals, ensuring tenants could keep their homes and helping to safeguard the rental income our landlord clients need to maintain their property, in these uncertain times. The strategy worked very well, with 328 out of 468 properties having their tenancy agreements renewed in 2020 – this far surpasses any other year in our trading history.
I’m happy to say that all of our management properties are fully let after a stream of successful lettings throughout November! We now have only 2 properties on the market to let, which is a very new statistic for us! Undoubtedly Covid has deterred some tenants from moving this year which has reduced available stock levels on the market. Whilst we see this as a positive for our management clients, tenant demand remains strong and we’d welcome new clients onto our books.
Now is a great time for an investment landlord to be adding to their portfolio, especially if you’re buying though a limited company. Low interest rates mean there are some excellent finance deals around, and with the Stamp Duty Holiday not ending until 31st March (hopefully to be extended!) there are savings to be made. Everyone needs somewhere to live and with a shortage of housing in Leeds there are plenty of quality tenants in the market.
The sales market remains strong, especially for family homes. Some of our recent listings have received over a dozen viewings, with several sales being in excess of the asking price. Our video tours are being watched by significantly more potential buyers than we ever anticipated and as the content is almost as comprehensive as an in-person viewing, the physical viewings are leading to a 33% conversion rate – twice as high as previous years.
Buyers are accepting the need to be able to provide us with proof of funds before they can book a viewing. We appreciate this does mean buyers are having to do more groundwork prior to offering, but it also means we can secure a property for them very quickly after offering, reducing the chance of missing out or being gazumped. Unfortunately, the level of demand is also creating problems for those who are dependent upon selling an existing property to finance the next one. If you haven’t secured a buyer for your present property, and have an established chain, many sellers won’t entertain a viewing where they have half a dozen or so other buyers in a proceedable position. We haven’t seen such competition for properties since the boom of 2004 – 2007.
People tend to make big decisions over Christmas and around New Year (fresh start and all that) with Rightmove’s statistics showing the number of views of the portal peaking at this time every year. December may see fewer new listings for both sales and rentals, but a shortage of stock with high demand means a seller or landlord is likely to have more potential buyers and tenants looking at their property now than at other times of the year.
If you’re wondering “should I let or sell my house right now?”, our advice is, don’t hesitate. Make the most of the strength in the property market. Our strategy for 2021 is in place and we’re available to help both new and existing clients that wish to move, sell or invest!
If you have a property to sell or let and want to know more about the market, or how we can help you, do not hesitate to get in touch. You can fill out this form, call us on 0113 274 20330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are #moorethananestateagent 12 months of the year!
This is a collaborative editorial between our Directors Angie Wright and Michael Moore