This Week in Property: The Latest News

Take a look at what our CEO Gill Fielding has to say about this week’s property news…

Break that chain

We all know that one of the worse things about buying or selling a property is the dreaded chain. Your particular deal is going OK, but then someone up or down the chain who you don’t know has a problem and suddenly a whole group of property deals falls apart.

That’s why property investors often get better deals than domestic purchasers – because they normally come chain free.

But recent figures show that we are moving into being a chain free property country and now, according to Rightmove, 1 in 5 (21%) property deals are chain free and that’s an increase from 15% a year ago. Clearly the pandemic has something to do with that, but it’s also to do with people being frustrated by events that are out of their control so they are choosing to sell, rent then buy where they can control all the events and timings.

People are always better and more successful when they take responsibility and control and sort themselves out rather than being held hostage to other people and their events. This is true for everything in your life including property transactions and all financial management.

I don’t know what proportion of Rightmove’s deals are due to the pandemic and what are due to a permanent change of behaviour but I’d like to see the chain free property transaction continue!

Don’t tell the neighbours

I notice that increasingly sales of property are done behind closed doors and are never advertised openly by estate agents.

Knight Frank says over 7% of their sales are done without traditional open marketing where the property is sold to one of a select few chosen private buyers.

London seems to be the leader in this field with 1 in 5 properties sold this way and across the country it’s about 1 in 10.

This is a sign that it’s a sellers market currently and any property coming to sale has far too many buyers clambering for it. Sellers don’t want loads of buyers looking at their house and they certainly don’t want too many people visiting who might be Covid carriers.

All you need is one buyer and they can generally be found without too much marketing and most estate agents have connections to private buying agents who search for property for clients. Of course, some of this change of marketing is due to the pandemic but it’s also due to people wanting privacy and not wanting the neighbours to know they’re on the move and it’ll be interesting to see if this trend continues after lockdown.

Of course, property investors have been used to this for some time. Many of the best deals are done before a property actually comes to market and so developing a great relationship with lots of agents is a task that all would be investors need to master so that they get priority access to any property that might be coming up for sale.

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