Doncaster Property Blog » September 2018

Monthly Archives: September 2018

Doncaster Property News

Great(er) Expectations: Why Doncaster Home Sellers are Having to Reduce Their Asking Prices by an Average of £8,900 Each

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As we leave the memorably hot summer behind us, some interesting statistics have come to light on the Doncaster Property Market which will be thought-provoking for both homeowners and buy to let landlords alike.

Over the last 12 months, 3,748 households have changed hands in Doncaster, interesting when compared with the 10-year average of 3,462 households per year.

Yet, for the purpose of this week’s article, I want to discuss the pricing of the current crop of Doncaster’s property sellers and the prices they are asking for their homes and the prices they are achieving (or not as at the case may be). It is so important for all property owners to know the real story so they can judge for themselves where they stand in the current Doncaster housing market, thus enabling them to make suitable and informed decisions… and that is why, in my blog about the Doncaster Property Market, I pride myself on telling the people of Doncaster the real answers, not just the ones they want to hear.

The national average of homes selling at or above the asking price currently stands at around 10%, so around 90% go below the asking price – but by how much? Well according to Rightmove, in the Doncaster area, the average difference between the ‘FINAL asking price’ to the price agreed is 3.5% … yet note I highlighted the word FINAL in the last statement.

You see some Estate Agents will deliberately over-inflate the suggested initial asking price to the house seller, because it gives them a greater chance to secure the property on that agent’s books, as opposed to a competitor. This practice is called overvaluing. Now, of course, each homeowner wants to get the most for their property, it is quite often their biggest asset – yet some agents know this and prey on those house sellers. You might ask, what is the issue with that?

Well, you only get one chance of hitting the market as a new property. Everyone has access to the internet, Rightmove and Zoopla etc, and your potential buyers will know the market like the back of their hand. If you have a 3-bed semi that is on the market for a 3 bed detached house price.. those buyers will ignore you. Your Doncaster property sticks on the market, potential buyers will keep seeing your Doncaster property on Rightmove each week, then start to think there is something wrong with it, dismiss it even further, until you, as the house seller have to reduce the asking price so much (to make it appear inexpensive) to get it away. According to our own research, the average house buyer only views between 4 and 5 houses before buying – so don’t assume viewers will come round your optimistically priced (i.e. overvalued) property, thinking they will knock you down – no quite the opposite!

So how widespread is overvaluing in Doncaster? The results might surprise you …

34.6% of properties in Doncaster, currently on the market, have reduced their asking price by an average reduction of 5.9% (which equates to £8,900 each)

So, all I ask is this.. be realistic and you will sell at a decent price to a decent buyer. First time – every time – enabling you to move on to the next chapter of your life.

 

Doncaster Property News

49 Days to Sell a Property in Doncaster

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Whether you are a Doncaster landlord looking to liquidate your buy to let investment or a homeowner looking to sell your home, finding a buyer and selling your property can take an annoyingly long time. It is a step-by-step process that can take months and months. In fact, one of the worst parts of the house selling process is the not knowing how long you might be stuck at each step. At the moment, looking at every estate agent in Doncaster, independent research shows it is taking on average 49 days from the property coming on the market for it to be sold subject to contract.

But trust me … that is just the start of a long journey on the house selling/buying process. The journey is a long one and therefore, in this article, I want to take you through the standard itinerary for each step of the house selling procedure in Doncaster.

Step 1 – Find a Buyer

You need to instruct an estate agent (of course we can help you with that) who will talk through a marketing strategy and pricing strategy to enable you to find a buyer that fits your circumstances. 49 days might be the average in Doncaster, yet as I have said many times, the Doncaster property market is like a fly’s eye, split up into lots of little micro markets.

Looking at that independent research, (which only focused on Doncaster), it was interesting to see how the different price bands (i.e. different micro markets) are currently performing, when it comes down to the average number of days it takes to find a buyer for a property in Doncaster.

 

Asking Price (Doncaster) Average Time to Find a Buyer in Doncaster (days)
Under £100,000 53
£100,000 to £200,000 44
£200,000 to £300,000 48
£300,000 to £400,000 78
£400,000 to £500,000 107
£500,000 to £1,000,000
Over £1,000,000

 

Interestingly, I thought I would see which price band had the highest proportion of
properties sold (stc)… again – fascinating!

So, now you have a buyer … what next?

There are a variety of distinctive issues at play when selling your property in Doncaster, together with the involvement of a wide and varied range of professionals who get involved in that process. That means there is are enormous differences in how long it takes from one property to another. Moving forward to the next steps, these are the average lengths of time it takes for each step to give you some idea of what to expect.

Step 2  – Sort Solicitors (and Mortgage)

Again, something we can point you in the right direction to, but it will take a good few weeks for your buyer to apply and sort their mortgage and for your solicitors to prepare the legal paper work to send to the buyer.

Step 3 – Legal Work and Survey

Once you buyer’s solicitor receives the paperwork from your solicitor, then your buyer’s solicitor applies for local searches from the local authority (to ensure no motorways etc., are going to be built in the back garden!).  These Searches can take a number of weeks to be returned to the buyer solicitors from the council, from which questions will be raised by the buyer’s solicitor to your solicitor (trust me – you don’t see a tenth of the work that goes on behind closed doors to get the sale through to completion). Meanwhile, the surveyor will check the property to ensure it is worth the money and structurally sound. Overall, this step can take between 3 and 6 weeks (sometimes more!).

Step 4 – Exchange of Contracts

Assuming all the mortgage, survey and legal work comes back ok, both the buyer and solicitor sign contracts, the solicitors then perform “Exchange of Contracts”. When contracts are exchanged, this is the first time both buyer and seller are tied in. Before then, they can walk away … and you are probably 4 or 5 months down the line from having put up the for sale board – this isn’t a quick process! BUT hold on … we aren’t there yet!

Step 5 – Completion

Between a week and up to six weeks after exchange of contracts, the buyer solicitor sends the purchase money to the seller’s solicitor, and once that arrives, the keys will be given to the buyer … phew!

To conclude, all in all, you are looking at a good four, five even six months from putting the for-sale board up to moving out.

If you are thinking of selling your Doncaster home or if you are a Doncaster landlord, hoping to sell your buy to let property (with tenants in), either way, if you want a chat to ensure you get a decent price with minimal fuss … drop me a message or pick up the phone.

 

Doncaster Property News

Value of Doncaster Property Market falls £20.1m

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The combined value of Doncaster’s housing market has fallen by £20,111,070 in the last 6 months, meaning the average value of a Doncaster property has decreased in value by an average of £490.

This is great news for Doncaster first time buyers and Doncaster buy to let landlords, as there is a slight hesitation in the market because of the uncertainty over Brexit. As I have always said, investing in Doncaster property, be it for you to live in or as a buy to let investment, is a long-term game. In the grand scheme of things, this minor change over the last 5 or 10 years is nothing.

The RICS’s latest survey of its Chartered Surveyor members showed that nationally the number of properties actually selling has dropped for the 16th month in a row. Locally in Doncaster, certain sectors of the market are matching that trend, yet others aren’t. It really depends which price band and type of property you are looking for, as to whether it’s a buyers or sellers market.

The RICS also said its member’s lettings data showed a lower number of rental properties coming on to the market. Anecdotal evidence suggests that (and this is born out in the recent English Housing Survey figures) Doncaster tenants over the last few years are stopping in their rental properties longer, meaning less are coming onto the market for rent. I have noticed locally, that where the landlord has gone the extra mile in terms of decoration and standard of finish, this has certainly helped push rents up (although those properties where the landlord has been remiss with improvements and standard of finish are in fact seeing rents drop). Doncaster tenants are getting pickier – but will pay top dollar for quality. So much so, I believe there will be a cumulative rise of around fourteen to sixteen per cent over the course of the next five years in private rents for the best properties on the market.

Back to the Doncaster Property Values though …

This slight drop in Doncaster property values doesn’t particularly concern me. The fact is that over the last 6 months 1,298 properties have sold for a combined value of £192,009,246. You see, that drop must be seen in perspective in that 6 months ago, the total value of Doncaster property stood at £6,365,153,655 (£6.37bn), and today it stands at £6,345,042,585 (£6.35bn) .. this change is a drop in the ocean.

In the short term, say over the next six months and assuming nothing silly happens in Korea, the Middle East or Brexit negotiations, it will be more of the same until the end of the year. In the meantime, the on-going challenges ensuring we as a Country build more homes (although the Office of National Statistics figures released in July showed nationally the number of new homes started to be built over the second Quarter of 2018 had dropped dramatically) makes me think that Doncaster (and Nationally) property value is likely to recommence an upward trajectory as we go into 2019.

One final thought for all the buy to let landlords in Doncaster (and indirectly this does affect all you Doncaster homeowners too). I do hope the recent tax changes towards buy to let landlords don’t bite as deep as it is possibly starting to with certain landlords I know.  We talked about this in an article a few weeks ago and I know why the Government wanted to change the balance by taxing landlords and providing a lift for first time buyers .. however, this may well come at the expense of higher rents for those Doncaster tenants that don’t become first time buyers, as the appeal of buy to let potentially weakens.