PHILIP’S BLOG 28/08/2015

maggi-j-owl-2SUMMER LOVE IN BIRMINGHAM: With the end of the summer holidays now in sight we are seeing a refocussing on the tasks ahead by some of our potential vendors, getting ready to sell this autumn plus by those purchasers & tenants who have allowed their deals to drift through these summer weeks , often not helped by their own conveyancing solicitor and other associated professionals being away on their holidays. This year, more than many recent years, we have noticed more people being away, a clear sign perhaps of an improving economic environment… or maybe just the result of a poor English Summer ! The number of tenants looking though is building towards the annual summer hiatus… everyone needs to be in by the end of september, students & professionals alike.

The continuing shortage of both good property to sell & the large numbers of potential purchasers , investors plus owner occupiers, alongside an increased demand for well- located rental properties has continued the pressure onto asking prices through the recent months. Birmingham as a location for both business and education is without doubt now winning friends and the environmental improvements within the City Centre is helping in pulling back those who perhaps refocussed elsewhere in the City or indeed moved further out a decade or more ago. Success breeds success and I have no doubt this new wave of apartment and office blocks en route within the City core, which we are going to now see being built through this autumn and beyond, into next year plus the year after is going to entice the demand further.

On another subject ..a buyer recently out with us after agreeing to buy an apartment admitted that he had bought another flat in the same block weeks earlier from an internet based agent, for some what less than he was now paying our vendor! He advised that there was no negotiation on his initial offer from the owner or seemingly an understanding of what else was recently selling within the building. Undoubtedly a coup for him but it also highlighted how in a fast improving market vendors can get caught if they just rely on historical online Land Registry statistics or agencies that aren’t closely tracking the immediate local market. As I am sure I have said before the Land Registry is three months behind & those recorded sales are often agreed three months or more behind that. In a market moving at 8-15% growth this can be a big shortfall. At the same time negotiation in a busy market isn’t about agreeing the initial offer. Agents like ourselves are in the middle for a reason and it is not about just being able to hold a set of keys to the front door when the vendor is at work. Most people shy away from confrontation but when selling your home or major asset you really mustn’t hide and the agent is often a great foil both in terms to ensuring all the detail of the deal is agreed at the outset but also in ensuring the timing quoted by the purchaser is also backed up by his financial & legal professionals . There are too many times we hear about blinds, washing machines & other freestanding appliances not being negotiated or funding not being able to be in place to meet the deadlines agreed by the purchaser. For buyers busy markets are stressful but they can help themselves by being able easily to prove ,especially when there strong competition, that they can proceed quickly & effortlessly.

Enjoy the Bank Holiday