ICW Property Minute


The Negotiator reports

The share of the property market held by low-fee online estate agents has reduced for the second time in a row, according to the latest research by consumer advice service The Advisory. Its rolling fortnightly snapshot of the sales market reveals that the top ten online estate agents accounted for 4.65% of all new listings over the past two weeks, down from 4.71% the fortnight before.

The research also reveals that, although Purple bricks is the clear leader in the online estate agency field, its share of this market has reduced by 4.5% since the beginning of January.

Over the past two weeks Purple bricks listed 2,846 new properties while House Simple listed 573 and Yopa 481. Most other online agents are a long way behind the top three including Doorsteps (135), 99Homes (53) and House Network (35).

The list of top ten agents by new listings includes e Moov for the first time since its website and tech was bought off its receiver by agency Mash room late last year and re-opened its doors in mid-January. Over the past two weeks it listed 24 new homes for sale.

Property Wire reports

Prime property markets in England and Wales remains strong despite Brexit

The underlying demand for prime property across England and Wales remains strong with the latest figures showing an increase in offers made and properties sold subject to contract.

Prime property prices in regional markets in England and Wales fell by 0.8% over the first three months of 2019, the third consecutive quarter that average prices have fallen, the data from Knight Frank shows.

The figures also shows that in the 12 months to March 2019 prices in the prime markets have fallen by 1.8%, the biggest fall on five years. But Oliver Knight, residential research associate at Knight Frank Residential Research, said that the underlying demand for prime property across England and Wales remains strong with Knight Frank figures showing aa 5% increase in offers made and a 22% rise in properties sold subject to contract.

He pointed out that recent performance in regional markets reflects heightened political uncertainty surrounding the UK’s planned exit from the European Union. ‘A lack of clarity about the outcomes and timings has resulted in caution among some buyers and sellers in prime residential markets,’ he explained.

Knight also pointed out that there are variations in price performance depending on location with prime markets closest to the capital feeling the effects of a weaker London market. Values in North Surrey, for example, fell by nearly 3% annually.

Elsewhere, average prices in markets across the North Thames and Chilterns fell by 5.4% over the 12 months to March. Generally, more moderately priced properties have been resilient. Property worth up to £1 million fell by a relatively modest 0.7% annually, while £2 million plus properties have fallen by an average of 2.5%.

The Times went to town with an all-out attack on estate agents at the weekend.

On Saturday’s front page, the story was run under the headline “Estate agents dupe sellers”.

The sub-heading was: “Owners misled into paying higher commission after properties overvalued”.

The story accused agents of routinely over-valuing “by up to a fifth in a practice that can mislead sellers into paying higher rates of commission”.

It said that the practice is “rife”.

The front page story went on to say: “The properties then sell at lower prices, but the agents take big fees.”

As well as a front page story, The Times devoted a leader to it, and there were pieces by property editor Anne Ashworth and from the anonymous agent who writes the ‘dodgy London agents’ blog.

The story specifically picked out Foxtons, saying that nearly two thirds of its properties had price reductions.

Second behind Foxtons was Express Estate Agency, which sells homes quickly.

Insight reports

Commercial property investors underestimate risks of climate change

Investors in commercial property are underestimating the risks associated with climate change, including more frequent and intense extreme weather events, and need to rethink their assessment of asset vulnerabilities, according to a new report from the Black Rock Investment Institute.

Thats all for today thanks for listening