On Monday night the annual Property Press Awards were held in London. The event, sponsored by LSL Property Services and meticulously arranged by the team at Wriglesworth was heaving with the Great & the Good of what would once have been Fleet Street. I was one of a 37 of judges who sifted the wheat from the chaff to come up with worthy winners in the various categories. To my embarrassment there was a new award in 2015 – the Property Commentator of the Year which was generously thrust into my hands by retired BBC political editor & Strictly survivor, John Sargeant. TheContinue Reading

Speaker John Bercow has suggested that repairs and modernisation to the Houses of Parliament are now urgent and that the cost might run to £3bn. Twice the cost of the replacement of the Twin Towers & six times the total cost for the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly combined. Packing MPs off on a gravy-train from St Pancras to Strasburg would obviously be very tempting but in reality, where could we relocate whilst the work went on and how big is the current set up? The Palace of Westminster extends to eight acres and houses not only the UK’sContinue Reading

So kind of Matt Pritchett to scribble a cartoon for me in the Telegraph. He’s done so many great property related jokes.Continue Reading

Always flattering to be asked to contribute to someone else’s blog. A great opportunity from the team at Te Atrium provides the chance to talk about the difference between ‘price’ and ‘value’. Read more here.Continue Reading

With publication of the latest Land Registry index we now have all the main numbers including HMRC, Halifax and Rightmove. Here are the trends in asking prices, sale volumes, sold prices and the difference between London and the rest of the country. I’ve also included a look at both the top (over £1m) and bottom (under £200k) to show that perhaps everyone is starting to appreciate that this is the new norm. The most expensive home sold in March was N0.20 The Boltons which fetched just short of £55m. The cheapest was a flat in Plymouth and cost just £8,000!Continue Reading

Easter traditionally marks the start of the main selling season but the damp weather that has hung over many parts of the country in the past month seems to have depressed buyers. Figures published this morning by HMRC suggest that the anticipated pick up in the housing market has not materialised. 72,000 homes were sold in April across the United Kingdom compared to seasonally adjusted figures of 88,000 in March and 70,000 in April last year. 137,000 sales were recorded across the United Kingdom in April 2006. The rush of first time buyers who worked to beat the end of the Stamp Duty holiday on 23rdContinue Reading

I’d forgotten about the BBC MoneyWatch program broadcast in 2010. Here a sample of my contribution – Alan and Radha want to buy a home in Sheffield. Like many people looking in this recession they’d like to decide what to buy with their head but will they end up falling in love with somewhere and buying with their heart? Fronted by the excellent Andy Verity this isn’t a performance from yours truly that is going to worry Phil & Kirsty! None-the-less, it’s not a bad illustration of what I do for a living.Continue Reading

Imagine being able to shave 26% off the asking price of the house of your dreams. Well, it’s taken one client two years to do it but last week we exchanged contracts on a lovely Hertfordshire house that was first marketed at £2.5m back in 2009. Savills had the first run at it launching the 6 bed house and 19 acres to a market that was still reeling from the credit crunch in 2009. The price was to be reduced twice over the coming months but it came on with two similar properties both of which suffered similar fates;- EastwickContinue Reading

“My client simply won’t take less” said the bubbly selling agent when I first bid on the pretty four bed flat in Belsize Park. When the flat was first marketed last summer the guide price of £1.65m had produced a little interest. When we first viewed the property the selling agent had dropped the asking price to £1.5m, it was empty and on a cold February morning it struggled to offer a warm welcome. Having rejected our initial offer the selling agent ‘dressed’ the flat, renting some furniture which at least made it look like a home. We had lookedContinue Reading

With the publication of the latest numbers from The Land Registry we can now review the market and see how the year is shaping up. Remember that the samples or ‘baskets’ of properties used by the various brands who provide the data are not all the same and to complicate matters further each uses a different way to calculate ‘an average’. Look at the trends rather than the absolute figures and decide if the residential market is in good shape or if there are some reasons for concern.Continue Reading

As if we didn’t know it London is made up of many different smaller markets and just as there isn’t ‘a national housing market’ it’s not really fair to judge Mayfair along with The Old Kent Road. I have clients who want to live in N1 but not in Nw1, happy to look in Sw11 but not Sw8 – but then there are more obvious reasons for this second example. So, how can we judge the performance of one area with another? Well, the Land Registry will help allowing you to compare one borough with another or indeed with aContinue Reading