Category Archives: News

Crunch day for the UK – but how could crucial Brexit vote affect the property market?

Today is a big day for the country, with a crucial vote due this evening in Parliament on Brexit.

Looking at the agent that EYE uses daily to monitor the market generally, we can see that so far this year this south-east branch has not put one property under offer so far this year, and has just one new listing – although of course it could be marketing properties without publicity.

Brexit, perhaps?

However, on the other hand, we can also see from social media that Thomas Morris has 42.2% more sales this January than at the same point last year, with instructions up 51.2%.

Brexit?

Then there was the Telegraph story at the weekend about the vendors choosing to sell now, and then sit it out while renting before buying again, in anticipation of picking up bargains after Brexit-related house price falls.

Does this ring any Brexit bell with you?

Of course, none of us can influence tonight’s vote, resolve the Parliamentary deadlock or stave off the defeat that even the BBC reckons is inevitable and which it also says is just a matter of the scale of the defeat.

EYE is neutral on a subject under which the squelchy ground changes from day to day.

However, our readers are welcome to voice your opinions on the possible likely outcomes – and their potential effects on the housing market, which is after all your living.

These possible outcomes include:

  • Accepting Theresa May’s deal
  • A no-deal Brexit – ie, we just leave: one agent tells us that this could trigger ‘the mother of all recessions’, but maybe you disagree?
  • A second referendum – the ‘people’s vote’
  • Delaying and renegotiating – by its very suggestion, that would take time
  • Staying as we are, in the EU
  • Staying in the EU’s Customs Union
  • A General Election

SOURCE: PROPERTY EYE

Cleddau Bridge toll scrapping deal ‘not there yet’

The BBC have reported a deal to scrap tolls for crossing a road bridge in Pembrokeshire has not yet been finalised, council bosses have said.

Cars are charged 75p each way to cross the A477 Cleddau Bridge which links Pembroke Dock with Burton Ferry.

It was announced in October the charge would end in April.

But cabinet member Paul Miller told councilors the latest Welsh Government offer did not satisfy concerns about maintenance costs.

The future of tolls on the Cleddau Bridge, which opened in 1975, has been up for discussion since plans emerged to scrap the Severn Bridge tolls, which took effect on Monday.

Charges on the Cleddau Bridge range from 35p for horses and motorbikes to £1.50 for vehicles weighing more than two tonnes and coaches with more than 15 seats.

Earlier in December, the Welsh Government said it had offered Pembrokeshire County Council £3m a year to cover maintenance costs and the loss of income from the tolls.

Mr Miller told members at a full council meeting on Thursday: “This is a negotiation and we’re very close to reaching an agreement with Welsh Government but we’re not there yet.”

He said the current offer did not “ensure the financial viability in terms of future maintenance”, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

ITV News – Overwhelming majority in Wales want MPs to reject May’s Brexit deal

Forty eight per cent of Welsh voters want MPs to reject Theresa May’s Brexit deal, a poll has found.

Ahead of Tuesday’s crucial meaningful vote, YouGov asked Welsh voters what they think in a exclusive opinion poll for ITV Wales.

Less than a quarter of people questioned wanted their MP to support the Prime Minister’s deal with the EU and nearly half said it should be rejected.

We’re Racing for Life!!!

10 of our West Wales Ladies will be running, walking and potentially crawling the 5k race for life at Scolton Manor on the 1st of July, to raise money and awareness for Cancer Research UK! To find out details on how you can sponsor them, please find us on facebook! Go Girls!

WE’RE ON RIGHTMOVE!

We are delighted to announce that we are now marketing our properties through Rightmove!

Rightmove have recently announced they have had their busiest month to date with over 140 million visits in March, so we are looking forward to see next months results!

 

Good Luck, Daniel!

Milford Tritons member and seasoned Tri-Athlete, Daniel Devine, has decided to do one final Ironman event which takes place in Tenby later this year and has decided to raise funds in aid of the Withybush CDU appeal!  All funds will go towards supporting staff, patients and family members who attend Pembrokeshire Haematology and Oncology Day Unit at Withybush Hospital.

If you would like to support him, please go to www.whcduappeal.co.uk and follow the link!

Sales progression costing more for high street agents as online firms fall down on the job, claim

Traditional agents are being increasingly forced to step in to ensure that chains don’t collapse where sellers have chosen online firms – and are having to take the hit on higher costs of sales progression.

A new report from a firm of solicitors that has conducted interviews with estate agents in its local area says that lack of support from online agents is driving up the cost of sales progression for high street agents.

Regional solicitors Rix & Kay, which covers Sussex and Kent, said that 98% of traditional estate agents agreed that the home buying process is more likely to collapse in the absence of experienced professionals.

The firm said that the most skilled and critical phase of the home buying and selling process was sales progression but that online agents who are paid upfront and not reliant on a sale completing to get paid had little motivation or incentive to support their clients.

Nonetheless, it also found that the public has little awareness of how critical sales progression is and that traditional agents needed to do “far more” to differentiate their services from online rivals if they want to avoid being selected on cost alone.

In the estimation of the agents Rix & Kay spoke to, a total of 84% thought that the public don’t truly understand the role of the traditional estate agent.

Meanwhile, 76% felt they were not doing enough to ensure the public is aware of the differences in service traditional businesses can offer.

The report also recommended that traditional agents consider alternative business models if they wanted to remain profitable.

It found that 70% of traditional estate agents agreed with this idea, whereas only 8% disagreed (with 22% neither agreeing nor disagreeing).

Rix & Kay added that better regulation of the home buying and selling process was “fundamental” to improve service quality, as well as the reputation and credibility of the industry.

Of the agents surveyed, 66% strongly agreed this was the case, with a further 28% simply agreeing.

Not a single agent disagreed with the idea.

And it urged agents to embrace technology to improve their service, and to learn from their online rivals in this respect.

Meanwhile, it warned agents that they urgently need to consider the impact of the proposed letting fees ban, expected in 2019, on the sustainability and profitability of their business.

Zoe Woodward, consultant at John Hoole estate agents based in Brighton, who participated in the survey said: “We’re caught. We prefer open communication and know that as soon as one of the links in the chain is not informed or keeping us informed, the chain is vulnerable.

“So do we refuse to have any communication with the part(s) of the chain that has paid an online agency? We don’t, because we want a successful completion at the end of the day and our professionalism doesn’t allow us to be slack.”

Tracey Wells, director at Home & Castle Estate Agents based in Polegate, East Sussex, added: “Online estate agents are not a direct threat to most traditional estate agents and it’s not market share that is our concern.

“What’s more worrying is the strain and additional pressure online agents are bringing to the home buying and selling process because they are not concerned about completing a successful sale and are not providing the support that clients need.

Unfortunately, traditional agents feel obliged to step in to try and support the whole process or run the risk of the chain collapsing.”

Scott Garner, head of business development at Rix & Kay and author of the report said: “During the last six months I’ve witnessed unrivalled passion for an industry which has suffered for decades from a tarnished reputation.

“The traditional agents I spoke to have been central to their communities for a long time and their primary concern is helping local people move home.

“The challenge for them is to be seen as a key advisor to the home buying and selling process and not an unnecessary expense. That challenge is now even harder as new entrants continue to de-value the profession and increase pressure on margins.”

Rix & Kay’s survey is small and regional, and so there are significant caveats. It spoke to 14 different estate agents who between them operate 127 offices in the south east for its research.