Archive for January, 2013

Housing Market Recovery IS Here, Insist Lenders

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Mortgage lenders are insistent that the housing market recovery is under way.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders says it “may be easy to overlook the recovery that has already quietly been under way”, with consumer sentiment having not yet caught up.

Green Shoots May Be Emerging, says Rightmove

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There are signs of green shoots in the housing market, Rightmove said this morning.

It said traffic to the site is up 27% on this time a year ago, and new listings have increased by 22%.

Currently, 11,153 properties are being newly listed on the site each week, compared with 9,108 a year go. While this is still 37% down on five years ago, this is the highest level recorded at the beginning of a new year since 2008, Rightmove said.

Asking prices have barely changed from last month, creeping up just 0.2% to stand at an average of £229,429. The figure is just 0.4% below the highest January asking price ever recorded – £230,428 in January 2008.

In London, asking prices for property new to the market have jumped 3.6% to stand at £480,890. It takes the annual increase to 9.7%. The shortage of stock in London, which reduced some agents to starvation levels, has improved, with a weekly run rate of 2,795 – up from the 1,396 new listings recorded in January 2012 but still 34% down on five years ago.

Record-breaking traffic to Rightmove has been boosted by the growth in mobile devices. On Christmas Day, the proportion of Rightmove’s pages viewed via mobile devices more than doubled compared to normal levels, and has remained high since.

However, Rightmove director Miles Shipside said it was unclear whether people were actually searching for properties on Christmas Day or simply trying out their presents.

He did, however, say that early indicators offer reasons to be confident that both prices and transaction levels will rise modestly this year.

He said: “After five years of putting their lives and moves on hold with their spare space shrinking around them, it looks like some of the pent-up demand to move is breaking out.

“Perhaps more are becoming immune to the relentless flow of bad news stories. Financial Armageddon seems to have been averted and people are getting on with their lives.”

But Rightmove’s comments were challenged by property company boss Nick Robinson, of PPR Estates, a property investment firm which specialises in buying distressed portfolios.

He said: “The annual rush of enthusiasm from estate agents each January is now in full swing with campaigns all over the media to persuade us that all is normal in the property market and now is the perfect time to sell or buy.

“Unfortunately, this could not be further from the reality that most potential sellers and house buyers are experiencing as we head into 2013. Seller numbers, whilst up on last year, are still circa half the numbers needed in a functioning market.

“As we all know, instructing an estate agent is free and is often little more than a testing of the water.

“Buyers still require huge deposits going into 2013 and actual buying prices remain slightly down at best, excluding the London bubble. Estate agent enthusiasm alone cannot drive the UK housing market.”

Record Levels of Visitors Flocking to Zoopla

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Zoopla says it has seen record levels of activity on its websites during the first half of January.

There were new highs last week for the number of visitors to its sites, the number of searches conducted and pages viewed and the number of inquiries sent to its members.

Last week alone over 75m pages were viewed on the Zoopla websites, up 21% over the same period last year.

Inquiry levels are also up 21% year on year and reached an average of more than one lead sent every second over the past week.

Zoopla also said that mobile usage has trebled over the past 12 months with 32% of all visits so far in January now being made on a mobile device as users increasingly search property listings on the go.

Alex Chesterman, founder & CEO of Zoopla, said: “Our continued investment in both our brands and our product is helping us to continue to deliver great results for our members.

“We are seeing record levels of home mover interest which will hopefully translate into stronger market activity over the next few weeks.”At Andrew Scott Robertson we believe in exposing our clients properties to the widest possible audience, hence our commitment to marketing all of our instructions through the Zoopla websites which include Find a Property and Prime Location.As a result of our exposure on the web, we have also recorded record new buyer registrations in the past fortnight.

Rise In Buy-To-Let Sparks Growth In Valuations Activity

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Valuation activity grew annually for a third consecutive month in December on the back of growth in buy-to-let, national valuations firm Connells Survey & Valuation has reported.

The number of residential valuations conducted by Connells in December was 2% more than a year ago, although activity was down 15% from November.

The firm says the total number of valuations in 2012 was 12% higher than in 2011 – the most annual activity since 2007.

The annual rise in buy-to-let activity in December was key. In the month, there were 22% more buy-to-let valuations than same month in 2011. Over the whole of last year, buy-to-let activity grew by 33% compared to 2011 – to represent 14% of all valuations in 2012, an increase from 12% of activity in 2011.

We have a long list of investors waiting to buy and some have also registered a number of first time buyers. If you are considering the sale or rent of a property locally please contact us for a free no obligation market appraisal

Next Auction Sale 19th February 2013

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We are open for instructions for our next sale which will be held on Tuesday 19th February 2013.
If you are considering placing your property for auction please call or email us for further advice.

andrew scott robertson’s First Sale of 2013

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Following the merger of Andrews & Robertson with Wimbledon chartered surveyors Quinton Scott, we are pleased to bring you the first catalogue under the banner of andrew scott robertson. This is introducing to the market 157 residential and secondary commercial lots to be sold by auction at The Hotel Russell , Russell Square, London WC1 on the 19th February.

The catalogue incorporates investment, development and vacant lots with opportunities to add value by managing the asset stock. The vast majority are located in the most popular regions, London and the Home Counties.

This February we are offering a portfolio of tenanted houses, development sites and a former munitions store on behalf of Defence Infrastructure Organisation (The Ministry of Defence); ten investment properties in and around Milton Keynes comprising tenanted houses, commercial investments and a development site by order of the LPA Receivers, and seven houses in desirable areas for the London Borough of Lambeth.

We anticipate competitive bidding, for despite the challenges facing the economy the appetite for well priced residential property is heightening. We see growing numbers of private buyers frustrated by the private treaty process turning instead to auction, and the return of many familiar faces to our sales.

This trend has helped to contribute to a nationwide rise in residential auction revenues, which grew by 10% up from £2.3bn in 2011 to £2.5bn in 2012 according to the latest Essential Information Group figures. EIG also reported that volumes offered, sold and sums raised in 2012 reached their highest level for four years which is truly encouraging.

During the last 12 months, under the Andrews and Robertson banner, our auctioneers raised £104m and we were ranked among the top five residential auction firms in Estates Gazette’s Residential Auction league tables for the sixth year running, with a success rate of 80% and an average lot size of £216,000.

Looking ahead we anticipate increasing growth in the residential sector underpinned by strong tenant demand. Though the commercial sector has been suffering due to a lack of bank lending, we anticipate activity may improve as more forced sales make their way to the auction room where a depth of cash-rich private buyers are eagerly waiting to acquire such stock.

We would also like to draw your attention to the following highlights:

216a Barry Road, East Dulwich, SE22:A freehold two floor terraced ‘half house’ offered on behalf of Mountview Estates Plc.Guide Price: £290,000 +

Six regulated investment opportunities:To be offered on behalf of a major vendor to be offered individually.

8 Montague Road, Croydon, Surrey: A freehold detached building with planning permission for the demolition of the existing building and the erection of a five floor building comprising seven self-contained flats. Guide Price: £485,000 +

Flat 3, 31 Lavender Gardens, Battersea, SW11: A long leasehold one bedroom self-contained flat. Guide Price: £210,000 +

A portfolio of 39 ground rent investments: To be offered individually.

278-280 Kirkdale, Sydenham, SE26: A pair of freehold buildings with planning permission for the demolition of the existing buildings and the erection of a five floor plus basement building to comprise seven self-contained flats and a bar/restaurant. Guide price: £425,000 +

We look forward to seeing you in the room.

Robin Cripp
Chief Executive & Senior Auctioneer

24 High Street,
Wimbledon Village,
London SW19 5DX

Tel: +44 (0)20 8971 6780
Fax: +44 (0)20 8946 3683