Category Archives: Property News

Doncaster Property News

Doncaster First Time Buyers Need 5.1 Times Annual Salary to Get on Housing Ladder

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What is it to be British? Our stubbornness, long-suffering stoicism, our vexation at injustice, our obsession with football and rugby, we are weather obsessed external awkward noncommittal modest people whilst underneath seething like a volcano because someone jumped the queue….. and our No.1 obsession is with the property ladder.

This ‘love affair’ with owning our own home has been both good and bad for the UK as a whole; giving people financial freedom in their later years whilst also reducing the quantity (and quality) of housing provision whilst adding the extra pressure of a ‘them and us’ society. Strong words I know .. but let me explain more.

I honestly believe that most Governments since the end of the 1970’s, Conservative and Labour, have attempted to nourish our addiction to home ownership (to keep the housing market on track) with the Council House Right to Buy sell off in the 1980’s, tax relief of mortgages, relaxation of the mortgage rules in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s and most recently, the Help to Buy scheme.

But the Brits haven’t always had this obsession.

Roll the clock back 100 years and, in 1918, just under a quarter of all Brits owned their own homes and the other 77% rented. Go back 50 years to 1968, and only 46% of people owned their own home, the rest rented. This homeownership thing is quite a recent phenomenon.

According to my research, anyone looking to get a foot onto the property ladder as a first-time buyer in Doncaster today, AS A SINGLE PERSON, would need to spend 5.1 times their earnings on a Doncaster first time buyer property.

 

Using the numbers from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the average value of a first-time buyer property in Doncaster today is £91,000, compared to £85,000 in 2007. If we divide those property values by the average annual earnings of first time buyers – in 2007, that was £14,802 pa and that has risen to £17,765 pa .. giving us the ratio of 5.1 to 1.

However, what must be remembered is that these are raw statistics from the ONS and don’t take into account other factors, like most people buy their first home as a couple. Also, mortgage rates are at an all-time low and who can remember mortgage rates of 15%+ in the 1990’s, meaning borrowing today is relatively cheap. Also, 95% Loan to Value first time buyer mortgages have been available since the end of 2009  (i.e. you only need to save a 5% deposit) and first time buyer rates of 2.19% fixed for 5 years can be obtained (correct at time of writing this article)… it is cheaper to buy than rent .. fact!

I believe there has been a mind-set change to owning a home. Home ownership was the goal of the youngsters in the latter half of the 20th century. Britain is changing to a more European model of homeownership, where people rent in early to mid-life, wait to inherit the money from their parents when in their 50’s and then buy.. thus continuing the circle – albeit in a different way to the last Century.

This means the demand for privately rented accommodation will, in the long term, only continue to grow. If you would like to know more about where the hot spots are for that growth in Doncaster, then one place would be my property blog INSERT URL HERE or if you want to drop me an email or telephone call, feel free to pick my brain on the best places to buy (and not to buy) in Doncaster to ensure your rental investment gets you want you want. The choice is yours!

Doncaster Property News

How Would a Hard Brexit Affect Doncaster House Prices?

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I have been asked a number of times recently what a hard Brexit would mean to the Doncaster property market. To be frank, I have been holding off giving my thoughts, as I did not want to add fuel to the stories being banded around in the national press. However, it’s obviously a topic that you as Doncaster buy to let landlords and Doncaster homeowners are interested in … so I am going to try and give you what I consider a fair and unbiased piece on what would happen if a hard Brexit takes place in March 2019.

After the weather and football, the British obsession on the UK property market is without comparison to any other country in the world. I swear The Daily Mail has the state of the country’s property market on its standard weekly rotation of front-page stories! Like I have said before on my blog, there are better economic indexes and statistics to judge the economy (and more importantly) the property market. If you recall, I said the number of transactions was just as important, if not more, as a bellwether of the state of the property market.

Worries that the Brexit referendum would lead to a fast crash in Doncaster (and national) property values were unfounded, although the growth of property values in Doncaster has reduced since the referendum in the summer of 2016.

Now, it’s true the Doncaster property market is seeing less people sell and move and the property values are rising at a slower rate in 2018 compared to the heady days of the first half of this decade (2010 to 2015), but before we all start panicking, let’s ask ourselves, what exactly has happened in the last couple of years since the Brexit vote?

Doncaster house prices have risen by 3.01% since the

EU Referendum…

 …and yes, in 2018 we are on track (and again this is projected) to finish on 4,839 property transactions (i.e. the number of people selling their home) … which is less than 2017 … but still higher than the long term 12 year average of 3,866 transactions in the local council area.

 

So, it appears the EU vote hasn’t caused many major issues so far, however, if there was a large economic jolt, that could be a different game, yet how likely is that?

The property market is mostly influenced by interest rates and salaries.

A hard Brexit would subdue wage growth to some degree, yet the level of the change will depend on the undetermined type of Brexit deal (or no deal). If trade barriers are imposed on a hard Brexit, imports will become more expensive, inflation will rise and growth will fall, although at least we are not in the Euro, meaning this could be tempered by the exchange rate of the Pound against the Euro. In plain language, a hard Brexit will be worse for house prices than a deal.

So why did the Governor of the Bank of England suggest a disorderly hard Brexit would affect house prices by up to 35%?

I mean it was only nine years ago we went through the global financial crisis with the credit crunch. Nationally, in most locations including Doncaster, property values dropped in value by 16% to 19% over an 18-month period. Look at the graph and if we had a similar percentage drop, it would only take us back to the property value levels we were achieving in 2015.

And let’s not forget that the Bank of England introduced some measures to ensure we didn’t have another bubble in any future property market. One of the biggest factors of the 2009 property crash was the level of irresponsible lending by the banks. The Bank of England Mortgage Market Review of 2014 forced Banks to lend on how much borrowers had left after regular expenditure, rather than on their income. Income multipliers that were 8 or 9 times income pre-credit crunch were significantly curtailed (meaning a Bank could only offer a small number of residential mortgages above 4.5 times income), and that Banks had to assess whether the borrower could afford the mortgage if interest rates at the time of lending rose by three percentage points over the first five years of the loan … meaning all the major possible stumbling blocks have been mostly weeded out of the system.

So, what next?

A lot of Doncaster homeowners might wait until 2019 to move, meaning less choice for buyers, especially in the desirable areas of Doncaster. For Doncaster landlords, Doncaster tenants are also likely to hang off moving until next year, although I suspect (as we had this on the run up to the 2015 General Election when it was thought Labour might get into Government), during the lull, there could be some Doncaster buy to let bargains to be had from people having to move (Brexit or No Brexit) or the usual panic selling at times of uncertainty.

Brexit, No Brexit, Hard Brexit … in the whole scheme of things, it will be another footnote to history in a decade. We have survived the Oil Crisis, 20%+ Hyperinflation in the 1970’s, Mass Unemployment in the 1980s, Interest Rates of 15% in 1990’s, the Global Financial Crash in 2009 … whatever happens, happens. People still need houses and a roof over their head. If property values drop, it is only a paper drop in value … because you lose when you actually sell. Long term, we aren’t building enough homes, and so, as I always say, property is a long game no matter what happens – the property market will always come good.

Growth in UK property values as well as in Doncaster seems fated to slow over the next five to ten years, whatever sort of Brexit takes place.

Doncaster Property News

Doncaster Property Market: Is Sell to Rent the new Buy to Let?

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It doesn’t seem two minutes ago that it was 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade (32 degrees Celsius for my younger readers), hosepipe bans looked likely and it was simply too hot to sleep at night, yet early indications were, that as the temperatures soared, the Doncaster property market appeared to be cooling ever so slightly.

2.54% less people moved home in the Doncaster area in the first part of 2018, when compared to the average number of people moving home (in the same time frame) between 2014 and 2017

The average number of households who sold and moved locally between 2014 and 2017 in the winter and spring months was 318 homes a month.. yet in the same time frame in 2018, 310 (on average) sold and moved.

So, Doncaster doesn’t seem to have been hit by the same issues affecting the rest of England where the average number of people moving home in the first part of 2018 is 11.99% less than between 2014 and 2017. So what is the issue? Many have cited Brexit as the issue – but I think it’s deeper than that.

Brexit seems to be the “go to excuse” for everything at the moment – my neighbour even blamed it for the potholes! Anyway a few weeks ago, I was out for a family get together in another part of the UK when one of my extended family said that they were planning on buying their first home this autumn most of those present said they were stupid to do so because of Brexit. Nonetheless, half an hour later, another distant cousin said to the same family crowd that they were planning to sell their home; to which most said they were also daft to do so because of Brexit.

Both sides of the argument can’t be right! So, what exactly is happening?

Well if you have been reading my blog on the Doncaster property market over the last few months, I have been discussing the threats and opportunities of the current state of fluidity in the Doncaster property market, including the issue of OAPs staying in homes that are too big for them as their children have flown the nest, interest rates, inflation, lack of new homes being built and the long term attitude to homeownership.. yet I have noticed a new trend in the last few months.. the emergence of the ‘sell to renter’.

Sell to Renter?

I have seen a subtle, yet noticeable number of Doncaster homeowners that have been selling their Doncaster homes, renting and wagering that, in the next few years, the Doncaster property market will tumble by more than what they spend on their short-term rental home, before they buy another Doncaster home in a couple of years i.e. a ‘sell to renter’. This type of ‘sell to renter’ is mostly predominant at the middle to upper end of the Doncaster property market – so I’m not too sure if it will catch on in the main ‘core’ market?

So, what does this all mean for Doncaster homeowners and Doncaster Buy To Let landlords?

Well, in the short term, demand for middle to upper market Doncaster rental properties could increase as these ‘sell to renters’ demand such properties. I would however give a note of caution to Doncaster landlords buying in this sector of the Doncaster property market as yields in this sector can be quite low. However, for homeowners of middle to upper market Doncaster properties, you might have less people wanting to buy your type of property, as some buyers are turning to renting?

Like I have always said, Doncaster properties are selling if they are realistically priced (realistic for the market – not a rose-tinted version where someone will pay 10% over the odds because everyone has access to the market stats with the likes of Rightmove and Zoopla!).

P.S Notice the spike in the graph, where the number of property sales jumped to 567 in the month of March 2016? That was all the Doncaster buy to let landlords snapping up buy to let properties before the stamp duty rules changed!

Doncaster Property News

Doncaster House Prices vs Doncaster Rents since 2006

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The Doncaster housing market is a fascinating beast and has been particularly interesting since the Credit Crunch of 2008/9 with the subsequent property market crash. There is currently some talk of a ‘property bubble’ nationally as Brexit seems to be the ‘go-to’ excuse for every issue in the Country. Upon saying that, looking at both what we do as an agent, and chatting with my fellow property professionals in Doncaster, the market has certainly changed for both buyers and sellers alike (be they Doncaster buy to let landlords, Doncaster first time buyers or Doncaster owner occupiers looking to make the move up the Doncaster property ladder).

Doncaster house values are 1.63% higher than a year ago, and the rents Doncaster tenants have to pay are 1.4% higher than a year ago

When we compare little old Doncaster to the national picture, national property values have risen by 0.4% compared to last month and risen by 3.0% compared to a year ago, and this will surprise you even more, as nationally, property values are 19.8% higher than January 2015 (compared to 11.4% higher in the EU in the same time frame).

However, if we look further back…

Since 2006, Doncaster house values are 7.57% higher, yet the rents Doncaster tenants have had to pay for their Doncaster rental property are 18.7% higher

…which sounds a lot, yet UK inflation in those 12 years has been 42%, meaning Doncaster tenants are 23.3% better off in ‘real spending power terms’.

Looking at the graph, the rental changes have been much gentler than the roller coaster ride of property values. I particularly want to bring to your attention the dip in Doncaster house values (in red) in the years of 2008 and 2009 … yet as Doncaster property values started to rise after the summer of 2009, see how Doncaster rents dipped 6/12 months later (the yellow bars)…. Fascinating!

So, we have a win for tenants and a win for the homeowners, as they are also happy due to the increase in the value of their Doncaster property.

However, maybe an even more interesting point is for the long-term Doncaster buy to let landlords. The performance of Doncaster rental income vs Doncaster house values has seen the resultant yields drop over time (if house prices rise quicker than rents – yields drop).

Whilst, it’s true Doncaster landlords have benefited from decent capital growth over the last decade –with the new tax rules for landlords – now more than ever, it’s so important to maximise one’s yields to ensure the long-term health of your Doncaster buys to let portfolio. More and more I am sitting down with both Doncaster landlords of mine and landlords of other agents who might not be trained in these skills – to carry out an MOT style check on their Doncaster portfolio, to ensure your investment will meet your future needs of capital growth and income. If you don’t want to miss out on such a MOT check-up, drop me a line – what have you got to lose? 30 minutes of time against the peace of mind – the choice is yours.

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 in 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

7 Reasons Why Doncaster Buy To Let Landlords Shouldn’t Be Criticised

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There is no escaping the fact that over the last couple of decades, the rise in the number buy to let properties in Doncaster has been nothing short of extraordinary.  Many in the “left-leaning” press have spoken of a broken nation, the fact many youngsters are unable to buy their first home with the rise of a new cohort of younger renters, whom have been daubed ‘Generation Rent’ as landlords hoover up all the properties for their buy to let property empires. The government has been blamed in the past for giving landlords an unfair advantage with the tax system. It is also true many of my fellow professionals have done nothing to avail themselves in glory, with some suspect, if not on some rare occasions, downright dubious practices.

Yet has the denigration and unfair criticism of some Doncaster landlords gone too far?

It was only a few weeks ago, I read an article in a newspaper of one landlord who had decided to sell their modest buy to let portfolio for a combination of reasons, one of which being the new tax rules on buy to let that were introduced last year. The comments section of the newspaper and the associated social media posts were pure hate, and certainly not deserved.

Like all aspects in life, there are always good (and bad) landlords, just like there are good (and bad) letting agents … and so it should be said, there are good tenants and in equal measure bad tenants. Bad letting agents and bad landlords should be routed out … but not at the expense of the vast majority whom are good and decent.

But are the 3,292 Doncaster portfolio buy to let landlords at fault?

The Tories allowed people to buy their own Council house in the 1980’s, taking them out of the collective pot of social rented houses for future generations to rent them. Landlords have been vilified by many, as it has been suggested by some they have an unhealthy and ravenous avarice to make cash and profit at the expense of poor renters, unable to buy their first home. Yet, looking beyond the headline grabbing press, this is in fact ‘fake news’. There are seven reasons that have created the perfect storm for private renting to explode in the 2000’s.

To start with, the Housing Acts of 1988 and 1996 gave buy to let landlords the right to remove tenants after six months, without the need for fault. The 1996 Act, and its changes, meant banks and building societies could start to lend on buy to let properties, knowing if the mortgage payments weren’t kept up to date, the property could be repossessed without the issue of sitting tenants being in the property for many years (even decades!) … meaning in 1997, buy to let mortgages were born… and this, my blog reading friends, is where the problem started.

Secondly, in the early 2000’s, those same building societies and banks were relaxing their lending criteria, with self-certification (i.e. you did not need to prove your income), mortgages 8 times their annual salary, and very helpful interest only mortgage deals helped to keep repayments inexpensive.

Thirdly, the totally inadequate building of Council Houses (aka Local Authority Housing) in the last two decades and (so I’m not accused of Tory bashing) – can you believe Labour only built 6,510 Council Houses in the WHOLE OF THE UK between 1997 and 2010? Giving the Tories their due, they have built 20,840 Council Houses since they came to power in 2010 (although still woefully low when compared the number of Council Houses built in the 1960’s and 1970’s when we were building on average 142,000 Council Houses per year nationally). This meant people who would have normally rented from the Council, had no Council House to rent (because they had been bought), so they rented privately.

And then 3rd,4th, 5th, 6th and 7th

  • Less of private home building (again look at the graph) over the last two decades.
  • A loss of conviction in personal pensions meaning people were looking for a better place to invest their savings for retirement.
  • Ultra-low interest rates for the last nine years since the Credit Crunch meaning borrowing was cheap.
  • A massive increase in EU migration from 2004, when we had eight Eastern European countries join the EU. That brought 1.4m people to the UK for work from those countries – and they needed somewhere to live.

Thus, we got the perfect storm conditions for an eruption in the Doncaster Private Rented Sector.

Commercially speaking, purchasing a Doncaster property has been undoubtedly the best thing anyone could have done with their hard-earned savings since 1998, where property values in Doncaster have risen by 209.86%…

…and basing it on the average rental in Doncaster earned £114,912 in rent.

Yet, the younger generation has lost out, as they are now incapable to get on the property (especially in Central London).

The Government have over the last few years started to redress the imbalance, increasing taxes for landlords, together with the Banks being tighter on their lending criteria means the heady days of the Noughties are long gone for Doncaster landlords. In the past 20 years, anything but everything made money in property and it was easy as falling off a log to make money in buy to let in Doncaster – but not anymore.

Being a letting agent has evolved from being a glorified rent collector to a trusted advisor giving specific portfolio strategy planning on each landlord’s buy to let portfolios. I had a couple of instances recently of a couple of portfolio landlords, one from Tickhill who wanted income in retirement from his buy to let’s and the other from Wroot, who wanted to pass on a decent chunk of cash to his grandchildren to enable them to buy their own home in 15/20 years’ time.

Both of these landlord’s portfolios were woefully going to miss the targets and expectations both landlords had with their portfolios, so over the last six/nine months, we have sold a few of their properties, refinanced and purchased other types of Doncaster property to enable them to hit their future goals (because some properties in Doncaster are better for income and some are better for capital growth) … And that my blog reading friends is what  ‘portfolio strategy planning’ is!

If you think you need ‘portfolio strategy planning’, whether you are a landlord of ours or not (because the Wroot landlord wasn’t)  … drop me a line or give the office a call. Thank you for reading.

Doncaster Property News

3% Rise in the Doncaster Property Market

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The number of residential property transactions in Doncaster will be 3 percent higher in 2018, compared to 2017.

According to my research, the seasonally adjusted statistics for our local authority area suggest with the number of properties already sold in 2018, and the number of properties currently under offer or sold subject to contract (allowing for property sales to fall through before exchange of contracts) we, as an area, will end the year 2.98 percent higher compared to 2017.

So why are transaction numbers so important to Doncaster homeowners, Doncaster landlords, and potential first-time buyers?

Many economists and property market commentators believe transaction numbers give a more precise and truthful indicator of the health of the property market than just house values. In the six years before the Credit Crunch in 2007/8, the average number of completed property transactions in the local area (the local authority covered by Doncaster) stood at 6,279 per year .. yet in the three years following the Credit Crunch, on average, only 2,639 homes were changing hands per year in the area.

Roll the clock forward to more recent times and last year, in 2017, 4,650 homes changed hands (i.e. transacted and sold) in the area, higher than the local authority’s 23 years overall average of 4,603 homes per year.

In the past, a reduction in the number of properties selling has often been believed to be the first signal of a down turn in the housing market as a whole. Although, the down turn of the credit crunch years (2007/2008) was more a free-fall than a subtle down turn. Look at the graph and the ‘so-called’ halcyon days of the 2000 to 2006 property market were a roller coaster when it came to the number of transactions. House prices were rising in the six/seven years before the credit crunch (2000 to 2006), albeit, the rate of growth of Doncaster house prices did slow in late 2005 and 2006 (which does fit in nicely with the graph).

In other articles, I have mentioned the change in the number of houses for sale today compared to last year and further back. Although the market has seen in recent months (i.e. the short term) an increase in the number of properties for sale, fundamentally, in the medium term, there has been an underlying trend in the reduction of properties coming onto the market for sale in Doncaster (and nationally) and this has been one of the main drives behind the lack of properties selling .. Doncaster people aren’t moving as much as they were 30 years ago meaning fewer houses are selling each year.

However, this short-term increase in properties for sale hasn’t been even across the board. In certain sectors of the Doncaster property market, there is a glut of properties on the market at the moment and so prices and values are dropping on those types as sellers compete for the limited amount of buyers… yet, there are other sectors of the Doncaster property market where there is a dearth, a shortage of property, and buyers are fighting tooth and nail with silly offers to try and secure the sale. This means, there are some bargains for you Doncaster buy to let landlords. If you look hard enough, you could spot the same trends I have seen in Doncaster and find the individual property micro markets that fall into that first sector (with its glut).

So, if you want the inside track on the Doncaster property market, whether you are a landlord of ours or another agent, I am more than happy to guide you in the right direction if you drop me a line or an email (contacts details are easily found on this page – and I don’t bite or do hard sell – promise!).

So, to conclude, I believe we will finish on 4,788 housing transactions by the end of the year in the area .. higher than both last year’s figure and the long-term 23-year average. Looking at the short-term future, now it’s true some (not all) but some potential purchasers of property in Doncaster may be exhibiting more caution because of concerns that the Bank of England will continue to put up interest rates– to which I reply – yes of course they will when they are only ultra-low at 0.75%. Anyway, that is the reason why 90%+ of new mortgages over the last nine months have been on a fixed rate. Also, if they do go up a few percentage points – they are nothing compared to the 12%, 14%, even 15% mortgage rates many of my landlords saw in the early 1990’s.

 

We can all speculate (and I appreciate the irony of that as I write this article) but all I say to any Doncaster landlords, Doncaster homeowners or Doncaster first time buyers is act according to your own life cycle, budget on a modest increase in interest rates in the coming few years (yet protect yourself by fixing it), consider your own circumstances and finally, what you can afford.

 

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.