Friday, 22 October 2021

What Makes a Good Estate Agent? 4 Things to Look For in an Estate Agent to Sell Your Home


Selling your home is a huge life decision. Finding the right person for the job is one of the most important things you can do.

A good estate agent is honest, reliable, and easy to talk to. They can be the sole reason your home sells at the right price and the right time.

But how do you know who’s good and who’s not? Here are four things you should look for in an estate agent to sell your Warrington home.

1. Communication

Strong communication is one of the most important qualities of a good estate agent. If they aren’t communicating with you from the get-go, this is a bad sign. It’s easy to lose trust in someone that’s keeping you out of the loop. The last thing you want when selling your home is to feel like something shady is going on.

At the point of enquiry, monitor things like how promptly your calls are returned and whether promises are delivered. If an agent says they’ll send you information tomorrow and you don’t hear from them for a week, avoid at all costs.

2. Expertise

Your home is one of your biggest assets. Selling it is a skill and you want your estate agent to be an expert. That means they should be up to speed on the local area and can answer any questions you have about the selling process. An agent that knows what they’re doing will be able to reassure potential buyers and get you the right price for your home.

To check expertise, quiz your estate agent on things like local crime rates, local schools, nearby amenities and ask whether they have local area guides.

3. Good Reviews

Good reviews speak volumes. They can provide insight into an agent’s expertise, professionalism, and overall ethics.

Check the agent’s website for links to their reviews, success stories or testimonials. A good estate agent will be proud of their social proof, so they shouldn’t be hard to find.

4. Listening Skills

When you first enquired with your local agent, who did all the talking? If you couldn’t get a word in, this is a huge red flag. If your estate agent isn’t listening to you or acting very interested in what you have to say, how can you trust that they’ll take concerns seriously? Or that they’ll get things done the right way?

While you should expect an agent to pitch their services and sell, sell, sell, you should be doing most of the talking. A good estate agent will ask you questions and listen intently. It’s a sign that they want to understand your property and how they can help.

About Hamlet Homes Warrington

At Hamlet Homes Warrington, we pride ourselves on our high standards. Our team can help sell your home with the expertise and professionalism it deserves.

If you’re selling your Warrington home, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us today for a chat on 01925 235 338 or via email at manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk.

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, whether you’re buying, selling or looking for an investment opportunity, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of the Warrington property market.

Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235 338 – we are based on the Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR WARRINGTON HOME IS WORTH FOR FREE
Hamlet Homes Warrington, your local Estate Agent
Follow my Warrington Property Market Blog
Hamlet Homes Warrington LinkedIn Page
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Facebook Page
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Twitter Page

Monday, 18 October 2021

Will Warrington house prices fall in the Autumn?


The stamp duty tax holiday is over, furlough finished at the end of September, unemployment is due to rise and inflation is rife … is this the end of the post lockdown Warrington property boom?

Surely, we are heading for house price correction?

Forecasting what will happen in the Warrington property market this Autumn may not be as simple as it first appears.

It’s true the Warrington property market is starting to settle down after the all-time number of property deals were completed in June.

More Warrington people will have moved home in 2021 than in any year since 2007, with an estimated 1.5 million home buyers nationally having bought a property.

Roll the clock back to last Christmas, and the Government’s Office for Budget Responsibility, projected that national house prices would drop between 6% and 8%.

By Christmas, the price of the average home
in Warrington will be about £240,700,
up 3.1% on last Christmas.

Let us not forget there were so many ambiguities at the start of 2021. We were about to start a 5-month lockdown, hospitals were bursting at the seams with patients, the vaccines hadn’t started, 4 in 10 employers had furloughed their staff and we had just had Brexit ... things didn’t look good.

Yet, nothing could be further from the truth 10 months later – the Warrington property market has been on fire. But after a heated summer in the Warrington property market, things certainly can’t carry on as they have been since the end of lockdown.

So, where are we with the Warrington property market as it stands? Taking reference from historical data on the website The Advisory (I would certainly recommend you check it out) …

78% of properties on the market today in Warrington
are sold subject to contract (stc).

How does this compare to October 2019 and October 2017?

In October 2017, 46% of Warrington properties were sold stc,
whilst in October 2019, 45% of properties were sold stc ...

Yet how does that compare to the national picture?

In 2017, 39.72% of the country’s properties for sale were sold stc whilst in 2019, that figure was 38.11%.

Now I love a good league table, so then decided to compare our locality to the rest of the Country.

So, I chose to look at the WA1 postcode specifically. For information, there are 2,234 postcode districts in the Country.

The 2021 sold stats put WA1 in at 98th place in
the Country, 877th in 2017 and 195th in 2019
… meaning we have improved from the 2017 and 2019 figures.

As we enter the last 3 months of the year, there are not so many uncertainties as there were at the start of 2021. On the good news front, 49 million Brits have had at least one jab (45m two jabs) and the UK will be the world’s fastest growing advanced economy this year according to the IMF.

Conversely, the furlough scheme ended at the end of September and with energy prices going through the roof, a real shortage of homes for sale (as I have discussed a number of times in recent blogs) and rising inflation on the back of a shortage of raw materials and trained staff, forecasting this and what will happen to Warrington house prices might not be as easy as it seems.

Post stamp duty tax holiday, it is now recognised that the majority of the demand for people moving home is focused by a profound unhappiness and frustration with the homes we live in, revealed during the first lockdown in 2020.

Buyers (and tenants – so take note Warrington buy-to-let landlords) want space ... in fact, three types of space … and they will pay handsomely for them!

  • Office space (be that bedroom or study)
  • Outside space (gardens or proximity to green areas)
  • Broadband with ‘outa-space’ download speeds
And whilst there is a shortage of properties coming on to the market, demand and supply 
economics mean …

Warrington house prices should remain relatively stable going into 2022.

The number of properties coming onto the market in Warrington is slowly improving, yet not enough to diminish house values.

Also, don’t forget Warrington first-time buyers still have stamp duty relief all to themselves again and mortgages are cheap. At the beginning of the 2020 lockdown (spring 2020), mortgage providers removed their higher risk 5% deposit mortgages for fear of a housing market crash. Currently, the vast majority of these low 5% deposit mortgages are back, together with the Governments own 5% deposit mortgages.

Yet many Warrington homeowners are concerned about inflation
and its effect on their mortgage payments.

Inflation is important because if inflation gets too high, the Bank of England will need to raise interest rates to reduce inflation. Because mortgage payments are based on the bank of England interest rate, higher mortgage payments will affect what people can afford. Normally the higher the mortgage rate, the less likely house prices are to increase (and in fact if interest rates are too high, house prices will fall).

Whilst I can’t give you advice, with the Bank of England base rate at a 300-year historic low of 0.1%, I’m still surprised that nearly 3 in 10 Warrington homeowners with mortgages are not on a fixed rate mortgage. There has never been a better time to get a fixed rate mortgage, as there are deals out there with interest rates as low as 1%. This means even if interest rates do go up in the short term, you will be protected from higher mortgage costs. Anyway, back to inflation.

Inflation did rise quite quickly and steeply in 2008/9
but came back down within a year.

This was because of a shortage of staff and raw materials during the Credit Crunch of 2008/9, the very same issues we are experiencing at the moment in Q4 2021. The type of inflation (yes, there are types of inflation!) in 2008/9 was called ‘push inflation’. Whilst inflation is not great, ‘push inflation’ could be described as the better type of inflation (as long as is it doesn’t go on for too long).

The economic crippling hyper-inflation seen in the 1970s was ‘pull inflation’. The circumstances that create ‘pull inflation’ are not being experienced at the moment in the UK. This is good news because ‘pull inflation’ is bad inflation, which in turn would create massive problems to the UK economy as a whole.

Therefore, whilst inflation will probably rise to 4% - 5% by Christmas, I don’t believe the Bank of England will raise interest rates substantially as the message we are hearing from them is they see this as a short-term blip.

Opportunities for Warrington buy-to-let landlords?

Ultra-low mortgage rates and a booming rental market is encouraging more Warrington buy-to-let landlords to expand their rental portfolios, yet their strategy is changing. Yields are increasing as there is a shortage of rental properties, driving up rents. Also, there are Warrington landlords looking to exit the rental market, often because they want to liquidate their portfolio for retirement. These portfolios don’t make it onto Rightmove and get sold ‘off market’.

Therefore, if you are a serious Warrington buy-to-let landlord and you’re looking to expand your own portfolio, it’s really important to put yourselves on the mailing list of estate agents and also build up great one-to-one relationships with the same agents to ensure that you’re at the front of the queue for these off market rental portfolios and not at the back.

To conclude, nobody knows the answer to what will happen to the property market in Warrington as we go into 2022. There are many factors that could affect the market in a positive and negative way, yet buying property is always a long-term investment (be it for yourself or to rent), so if you need any advice or opinion on what you should do, drop me a line or pop into the office and we can discuss the options you have over a cup of coffee.

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, whether you’re buying, selling or looking for an investment opportunity, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of the Warrington property market.

Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235 338 – we are based on the Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR WARRINGTON HOME IS WORTH FOR FREE
Hamlet Homes Warrington, your local Estate Agent
Follow my Warrington Property Market Blog
Hamlet Homes Warrington LinkedIn Page
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Facebook Page

Friday, 15 October 2021

How To Sell a Home in Need Of Repair in Warrington


Just because your home is a fixer-upper, that doesn’t mean you can’t sell it for a great price. There is a huge market of family DIY-ers and developers that would love to snap up your home and give it a refresh.

Here at Hamlet Homes Warrington, we can help sell any property, no matter the condition. But if you’re worried about buy-ability, check out these tips on how to sell a home in need of repair in Warrington.

1. Make Small Updates

Are there small things you can fix that won’t make the house look so broken? Like a wonky door handle or a missing lightbulb?

If there are little, cheap things you can fix around your home, and you have the time, just do it. While these issues may seem small in comparison to the bigger deals, they can stand out in the photos.

2. Clean Up

Even though your home needs investment, a clean home is always more attractive than a messy one. Cleanliness may not matter much to a developer. But if your buyer is a DIY family that’s looking to live in your home while fixing it up, cleanliness will make the house appear more homely and liveable. Plus, a tidy home can make the repair work seem less daunting and overwhelming.

3. Be Honest

When meeting your estate agent, be honest about the repair work you know is needed. Just because your home needs investment, that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get a great price. But lying about the issues or covering things up can break trust – not just between you and your agent, but with potential buyers, too.

If an estate agent is going to sell your home to the right buyer, they need to know everything. So don’t scrimp on the detail and make sure you’re being as honest as possible.

4. Highlight The Positives


A good estate agent will automatically be able to draw on the positives. But it’s still good to share the small things they may not know. Like the fact that you get a great sunset from the master bedroom. Or that the garden is south facing. All these things can help highlight the potential of your home.

5. Manage Expectations


If your home needs repair, it can still have great saleability. But it’s a good idea to manage your expectations, especially if your home needs a lot of investment.

Consider that your home may be valued at the lower end of the price range. Or that you may get a few offers under the asking price from interested buyers. If a buyer undertakes a survey, be prepared that they may renegotiate if any major work is thrown up. This may not happen, but it’s good to manage your expectations before you enter the process.

Want More Tips From An Expert?

At Hamlet Homes Warrington, we pride ourselves on getting the best value for you. We’re always looking for new homes and new challenges – and we’d love to hear from you if you’re selling your Warrington home!

Give us a call today on 01925 235 338 or send us an email at manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk to request a valuation.

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, whether you’re buying, selling or looking for an investment opportunity, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of the Warrington property market.

Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235 338 – we are based on the Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR WARRINGTON HOME IS WORTH FOR FREE
Hamlet Homes Warrington, your local Estate Agent
Follow my Warrington Property Market Blog
Hamlet Homes Warrington LinkedIn Page
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Facebook Page
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Twitter Page

Monday, 11 October 2021

Warrington Homeowners to be Made Homeless?


The number of properties for sale in Warrington has fallen by 68% since this time two years ago (October 2019). One of the reasons is that many Warrington buyers feel overwhelmed and fearful they will be made homeless if they sell their home and can’t buy another. So, I have decided to look again at the facts and give them to you in greater detail in this article.
My research has found the number of Warrington properties for sale started to decline last autumn (2020).
Nationally, the same story is being written as the average UK estate agency office now has around 16 properties on their books to buy, compared to 43 a couple of years ago.
So why is this an issue? Many Warrington homeowners are wanting to move home and are worried they will put their current home on the market, it sells quickly and then be unable to find another home to buy – thus they believe they will then be making themselves homeless.
The fact is that most Warrington home buyers need to sell before they can buy their next home, meaning they need to place their property on to the Warrington property market before they can buy their next home.
Yet because of the low supply of properties for sale and the current high demand, there is an imbalance in the Warrington property market. This means some Warrington house sellers are nervous to put a ‘for sale’ board outside their house.
So, let me look at the Warrington numbers in greater detail. According to the three main property portals (Rightmove, Zoopla and On-The-Market) …

In October 2019, there were 562 properties for sale in Warrington. 
Today, there are only 178 properties for sale, a reduction of 68%.

When I break it down into bedroom numbers and type it gets even more interesting (note things like building plots and part commercial/part residential etc., won’t be in these numbers so the stats below won’t precisely match up to those above).


# Properties on the Market in Oct 2019

# Properties on the Market in Oct 2021

Percent Change

5+ Bedrooms

22

8

-64%

  4 Bedrooms

85

17

-80%

  3 Bedrooms

202

50

-75%

  2 Bedrooms

200

66

-67%

  1 Bedroom

50

33

-34%


.. and when I looked at the type of properties ... it got even more interesting …

Type of Property

# Properties on the Market in Oct 2019

# Properties on the Market in Oct 2021

Percent Change

Detached

99

23

-77%

Semi

162

35

-78%

Terraced

136

34

-75%

Flat

133

73

-45%


As you can see, there have been some interesting changes in the number of properties on the market in Warrington over the last few years, depending on the type and the number of bedrooms, yet all types of housing are down considerably.

So, if Warrington homeowners do sell, will they be made homeless 
if they can’t find their next ‘forever home’?

The answer is quite simply ... NO!
Warrington properties are coming on to the market all the time, yet the buyers have got to be in the game, in it to win it so to speak. If you keep looking at properties, without even having your property on the market, let alone sold (subject to contract), then you will fall into a self-fulfilling prophecy of not being able to buy another home and will always be chasing your tail.
And it’s those magic words of “subject to contract” that are your get out of jail card.
The average time taken from agreeing a sale to it being legally binding (i.e. exchange of contracts) is about 19 weeks.
During those 19 weeks, you are ‘sold subject to contract, which means you have four or five months to find your new home and the likelihood of not finding your next forever home is very small.
And even if you can’t find anywhere, you will never be homeless as the sale is not legally binding until you exchange contracts, so you can withdraw from the sale up to that point, without penalty.
One final word of advice to all Warrington home movers.

Around 6 in 7 Warrington homebuyers could
have missed their ‘forever home’ in 2020/21.

Let me explain, in a study of various UK estate agents 84.8% of homebuyers were not on the estate agent's mailing list before they contacted the agent to view the home according to Denton House Research.

Yes, 6 out of 7 buyers (84.8%) waited until the property came on to the market on one of the portals (e.g. Rightmove, Zoopla or On The Market) before asking to view it. But would it surprise you that depending on the location and type, up to one in five houses don’t actually make it on to the portals for sale.

This means if the homebuyer hadn’t registered themselves on the agents mailing list, they would’ve missed out on their ‘forever home’, because they would not have known the property was for sale until it was too late.

Quite simply, if you are serious about moving home in Warrington, get yourself on the mailing lists of all the agents in Warrington.

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, whether you’re buying, selling or looking for an investment opportunity, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of the Warrington property market.

Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235 338 – we are based on the Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR WARRINGTON HOME IS WORTH FOR FREE
Hamlet Homes Warrington, your local Estate Agent
Follow my Warrington Property Market Blog
Hamlet Homes Warrington LinkedIn Page
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Facebook Page

Friday, 8 October 2021

How To Choose a Home In Warrington


When you start browsing homes, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of opportunity. It’s even easier to get swept up in the moment and end up making bad choices!

Taking time to decide what you want in a Warrington property before you start viewing can help you quickly find the right place.

If you’re struggling to choose a home, here are our tips on how to find the right place to buy in Warrington.


1. Decide What’s Important and What’s Not


When thinking about your new home, you may have a mile-long list of hopes and dreams. It’s great to know what you want before you start looking. But it’s also a good idea to know what’s important and what’s not. Finding the dream home with everything you want can be tricky, if not impossible.

Make a list of your top priorities and split things into a list of ‘essentials’ and ‘nice-to-haves’. This will help make choosing your Warrington home much easier.


2. Consider The Long-Term


If you’re moving home or buying your first place, make sure you’re thinking about the long-term. Knowing how long you’ll stay in your new home can help you decide what’s needed.

For example, if you want to stay for at least ten years, will you need a school nearby, good transport links or a spare bedroom?

You don’t need to plan your entire life. But it’s good to have a rough idea of what you need long-term when choosing a new home.


3. Think About Investment and Resale Value

If you’re thinking about investing in renovation work when you move, consider the resale value and future development of the area.

Ask your estate agent for information about things like extension potential or projected resale value in five to ten years. This can help you decide whether you’d rather choose a property that needs lots of work or one that’s ready to move into.


4. Think About What You Want To Be Close To

When looking for a home in the Warrington area, think about what amenities you want nearby. Is it important that you are near the station or a bus stop? Or is it more important that you have access to the local schools or parks?

Deciding what amenities are important can help narrow down your search. Just make sure you’re not being too specific with your search, The more specific you are, the harder it’ll be to find your new home!


Ask An Expert

Can’t decide what you want from your new home?

Here at Hamlet Homes Warrington, we can help you figure out what you need and what area is best to buy in.

Check out our listings in Warrington to see what we have on offer. Or get in touch with a member of our team. We’d love to help!

You can reach us on 01925 235 338 or via email at manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk.

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, whether you’re buying, selling or looking for an investment opportunity, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of the Warrington property market.

Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235 338 – we are based on the Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR WARRINGTON HOME IS WORTH FOR FREE
Hamlet Homes Warrington, your local Estate Agent
Follow my Warrington Property Market Blog
Hamlet Homes Warrington LinkedIn Page
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Facebook Page
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Twitter Page

Friday, 1 October 2021

5 Reasons Why Autumn is the Best Time to Sell Your House


If you’re in Warrington and are looking to sell your property, then autumn could well be the perfect time for you to sell up and move on.

Yes, spring is often seen as the best time to sell, and that’s undoubtedly true, but we at Hamlet Homes Warrington also find that autumn proves to be a buoyant time in the property market.

If you were thinking of writing autumn off, stop. Think about it. Autumn could absolutely be the season for you to show your house off to a potential buyer.

Here, we look at some of the reasons why. When you’ve had a read, give us a call on 01925 235 338 and we’ll be pleased to help you sell your property in Warrington this autumn .

1. Summer’s out, and Christmas is around the corner

During August, many people’s thoughts are preoccupied with lazing in the summer sunshine, or going away on holiday than they are about selling their home. But once holidays and school breaks are over, and people take a good look around where they are living, they often think about it being the time to move.

When people think about a move, they then look at timescales and realise that they could just about be in their new home by Christmas, giving them time to settle in and get the new place ready for the festivities.

So, it makes perfect sense that autumn is the ideal time to put your house on the market.

2. Seasonal scents


Setting the stage for a potential house buyer is crucial in making the right impressions. Remember, you’re not just selling a house, you’re selling a dream or a lifestyle.

That’s why autumn represents an excellent time to sell your house.

The changing colours of the leaves, light drizzle and cooling air make it a perfect time to prepare your home. Imagine someone coming in out of the crisp coldness into a cosy house, with autumn fragrances in the air and a display of cherry and brown leaves, fir cones and berries beautifully arranged on a table. Imagine the warm thoughts they will have if you set your fire on low, with perhaps a couple of table lamps casting shadows in a living room.

You should see autumn as a season of opportunity, knowing that someone will fall in love with your property.

3. Remove the stresses, lower the costs


It’s a fact that spring going into summer is traditionally the busiest period for the property sector. This means that all the professional help you need, including conveyancers and removal companies, will be exceptionally busy.

In summer, the market drops off, only to rise again in autumn, but not to the levels seen earlier in the year. This means that you are more likely to get the removal company of your choice and on a date of your choice.

There is some talk that removal businesses lower their prices in autumn to attract customers. This may well be true, so it seems you could reduce your moving costs too – and isn’t that a good thing when you have so much to think about and pay for.

4. Attract serious buyers

As we mentioned earlier, it is after the summer lull that people think about moving, and they consider being in their new home before Christmas.

We at Hamlet Homes Warrington see autumn as the time we see the more serious potential buyers getting in touch. These are the ones who will want to see properties to actually move to – they won’t be the tyre-kickers, just having a nose round to see what’s happening, with no real intention to buy.

After all, you don’t want to waste your time, you want to get moving. When we speak with potential buyers, we always ascertain how serious they are. We can’t always promise, but we do have many years of experience and knowledge so we can get a good feeling for people.

5. Stand out

If your property goes on the market in the autumn, it’s more likely to get noticed, compared to the traditional spring influx of properties to the market. This is particularly true when you see how our exceptional photography will show off your home to its best advantage.

We think it’s best to stand out from the crowd, and autumn is the ideal time to do that.

Our team at Hamlet Homes Warrington are always available to offer advice so, please don’t hesitate to call us on 01925 235 338 or email us at manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk. We will be delighted to offer our words of wisdom on all things property.

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, whether you’re buying, selling or looking for an investment opportunity, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of the Warrington property market.


Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235 338 – we are based on the Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR WARRINGTON HOME IS WORTH FOR FREE
Hamlet Homes Warrington, your local Estate Agent
Follow my Warrington Property Market Blog
Hamlet Homes Warrington LinkedIn Page
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Facebook Page
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Twitter Page

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Wages Rising by 8.3% pa - How Will This Affect the Warrington Property Market?


As they struggle to meet demand, Argos have had to increase the wages of their HGV drivers from £11.41 an hour to £15 an hour - a rise of 31.2% meaning their pay goes from £27k to £35k. Care home providers are offering signing-on bonuses of many thousands of pounds to entice nursing staff away from their competitors, and new homes contractors say labour costs are growing as the housing boom pushes up demand for bricklayers and joiners. Restaurant chains, coffee shops, blue-collar workers in factories and warehouses are seeing wages rise at an extraordinary rate.

The average wage for a worker in Warrington in full-time employment is 
£559.20 per week (before tax).

We can all argue over the reasons behind it; some suggest the ‘B’ word (ending in ..xit), whilst others put it down to the pandemic and some the demographic changes of UK population.

So, before I look at what it could do to the Warrington property market, let me look at why wages are rising. You will note all the above inflation wage increases are in blue-collar industries.

(Blue-collar workers refers to any worker who engages in physical or manual labour, such as building, hospitality, maintenance etc., whilst white-collar workers are those classed in the professions and service industries).

What are the reasons for these wage increases?
  • In the past, the demand for inexpensive ‘blue-collar’ labour has been fed by a steady supply of Eastern European workers since 2004. Yet with the ‘B’ word, that has now ended.
  • Also, even in late July, the furlough scheme has kept 1.9 million Britons from their jobs.
  • Fewer ‘Generation Z’ (those in their late teens to mid 20’s) who normally would work in the hospitality industry are not working at the same rate they used to, when compared to before the pandemic.
  • And finally, fewer ‘Baby Boomers’ (those born before 1965) are working since the end of the first lockdown.
How could these wage increases affect
the Warrington property market?

White-collar wages, since the turn of the millennium, have risen in real terms, yet blue-collar wages have remained stagnant (although they started to pick up slowly just before the pandemic).

So, if all blue-collar workers are now seeing a substantial increase in their real wages since the pandemic, what will this mean especially for the Warrington property market? It would mean the following…
  • Continued reduction in unemployment
  • Growth in consumer spending
  • Rents will continue to rise in the short term
  • Rise in homeownership in the medium term
Starting with unemployment:

1,465 Warrington people have come off the dole queue in the last 12 
months alone, reducing the unemployment rate by 1.3% to the current 
5.1% in our local authority area.

If wages continue to grow for everyone, that means unemployment will continue to reduce.

Secondly, these pay rises will start to burn holes in people pockets. We should assume those people with the extra cash will spend it. In fact, it is a recognised trait in economics that blue-collar workers tend to spend a lot more of any increase in disposable income (when compared to white-collar workers). This would give a boost to the retail, hospitality, leisure and travel industries very quickly.

Warrington rents are already 5.1% higher than 12 months ago,

and if wages continue to grow, then rents will increase even further. This is because rents in the private sector tend to rise in line with wages rather than with property prices.

This is excellent news for Warrington buy-to-let landlords.

Next, if wages for blue-collar workers continue to grow, I believe we will finally see a long-term growth in home ownership again. In 2008, 68% of people owned their own home, yet that had been slowly reducing over the 2010s to 63% in 2018. Yet since 2018, this has increased slightly to 65%.

The Brits who had the biggest problem jumping on to the property ladder were not just the 20 something’s, but also middle-aged blue-collar workers. With blue-collar wages stagnant over the last two decades, and accelerating house prices, it was much tougher for them to save up a deposit for a mortgage.

Yet with the Governments recent 5% deposit mortgages and more disposable income (because of the wage rises), some might decide not to spend the extra on going out and holidays and buy their first home instead (because most people want to own the place where they live - if they can afford it, they will buy).

Overall, if this increase in blue-collar wages is across the board, then this 
could be one of the greatest things to happen to the Warrington property 
market in a long time.

It is certainly long overdue. Since the millennium, wages at the bottom end of the pay scale (i.e. blue-collar workers) have deteriorated, while the professional white-collar middle classes have done much better. The disparities between both classes/workers are both imbalanced and harmful to the economy and society as a whole.

But what is the real story behind the headlines?

One school of thought is that some fear these wage increases will fuel hyperinflation (and in turn, interest rates will have to rise to counter that).

As I have mentioned many times in my articles on the Warrington property market, the last thing we need is a rise in interest rates (as mortgage rates will increase accordingly). A rise in interest rates will put a massive brake on the Warrington property market – which is not good for anyone.

Also, we have to remember a few things…

there are still 1.9m people on furlough
(which stops at the end of September).

Not all of those people will go back to their original jobs, meaning they will need to find a new job, so the pay pressures could just as easily diminish as employment bottlenecks clear.

Also, the 8.3% wage rise is based on a year-on-year figure (i.e. a snapshot of now versus a year ago) and therefore the headline figures have been profoundly distorted by the large numbers of blue-collar workers on furlough in 2020 (i.e. they were on 80% pay). The Office for National Statistics have gone on record saying that, accounting for some of the distortions caused by the pandemic, real wages for blue-collar workers are more likely 3.5% up.

Finally, as with all things, the devil is in the detail. The newspaper headlines reporting the over inflated pay rises this spring are true. However, in truth (of course we all know bad news sells newspapers) these wage rises were focused on professions with specialist skills. For example, whilst wages for HGV lorry drivers have risen by double digits, pay rates for courier drivers have remained stagnant. At the same time, wage growth for white-collar jobs is almost at zero for yet another year.

To conclude, there are interesting times ahead for everyone involved in the Warrington property market. I do not profess to know all the answers, however, I do have my own opinions. Whether you are a Warrington first-time buyer, second-time buyer, homeowner, landlord or tenant and would like to pick my brains on any aspect to do with the Warrington property market, please do not hesitate to drop me a DM, give me a call or send me an email.

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, whether you’re buying, selling or looking for an investment opportunity, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of the Warrington property market.

Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235 338 – we are based on the Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR WARRINGTON HOME IS WORTH FOR FREE
Hamlet Homes Warrington, your local Estate Agent
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Friday, 24 September 2021

What Should I do to my House in Warrington Before I Sell it?


Deciding to put your home in Warrington on the market is a huge step. But, beginning the process of preparing your property for sale can be completely overwhelming.

Here are eight tips every seller should follow to ensure their home is ready to welcome viewers.


1. Do a Thorough Declutter


A rigorous declutter is essential before you place your house on the market. This will not only make your home look bigger, brighter and more inviting, but it will help massively with the moving process.

The easiest and most thorough way to declutter is to approach each room separately. Empty the entire contents of the room, and split it into three separate piles. The first should be items you adore, which will be joining you in the new home.

The second pile should be items of excellent quality, but belongings that are simply not loved by your family anymore. These can then be sold, given away, or donated to charity.

The third and final pile will consist of items that are no longer any good. These can then be taken to your local recycling centre to be transformed into something new.


2. Clean Rigorously


Your home must be sparklingly clean in the preparation process to allow for the best quality photographs to entice the most viewers.

Consider renting a carpet cleaner to scrub the floors throughout your home. Additionally, take this opportunity to deep clean the blinds and curtains, which will transform any space.


3. Decorate and Depersonalise

Viewers want to look around your home and imagine a place that their family will enjoy. During their visit, they will visualise how their furniture and belongings will sit in each room, which can be challenging if the space is already cluttered.

Where necessary, paint the rooms in light, neutral colours to attract the broadest range of viewers. Remove any large family photos and pictures, which can also be distracting for potential buyers.

However, avoid expensive renovations such as kitchens and bathrooms. These might look fantastic, but it is unlikely you will reap the rewards during the sale.


4. Complete All Maintenance Jobs

There are many niggly things in our homes that we learn to live with. Stained carpets, leaky pipes, and unvarnished windowsills.

Showing your home to a potential buyer with these issues suggests you have not loved and taken care of the property, which can seriously deter viewers. In such a competitive market, your home needs to do everything it can to stand out in the crowd.

These tasks are often inexpensive and quick to sort, so dedicate an afternoon to fixing the issues before you plan to put your home on the market.


5. Switch Around the Rooms

You may use certain rooms in a way that works perfectly for your family, but that doesn’t mean it will appeal to prospective buyers.

For example, you might be currently using your dining room as a playroom. Unfortunately, this may eliminate older couples with no children or those who don’t plan to start a family soon. Remember, buyers quickly glance through the online advertisements, so your home must do everything it can to make the best possible first impression.

Try to squeeze in an office space where possible. More people are working from home than ever before, and a dedicated space for a desk will make a huge difference.


6. Set The Scene

Home staging is the process of ensuring your home looks its absolute best before the photographs are taken, or buyers enter the property. You might decide to lay the table, add new lighting, or even rearrange the furniture to maximise the potential of each space.

Fill rooms with fresh flowers and reed diffusers before viewers arrive to leave the house smelling beautiful.


7. Freshen up the Garden


The outside space is as important as what’s inside the home for most buyers. Therefore, ensuring your garden is in top condition is imperative.

Before de-weeding the area and mowing the lawn, you should remove any empty plant pots, toys, or general waste. This shows the garden has been cared for throughout your ownership.

Kerb appeal is crucially important too, and viewers often make snap decisions on their first impressions. Therefore, it may also be worthwhile to paint any garden walls or fences, brightening up the area.
8. Arrange a Fantastic Photographer

Once your home is ready to be put on the market, it’s time to hire a fantastic photographer to capture all of your hard work. Your estate agent will usually be able to arrange this for you, ensuring that your home is shown in the best possible light.

Hamlet Homes Warrington are your local property experts for the Warrington area. Call us on 01925 235 338 or email manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk to find out the best improvements you can make to your Warrington home.

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, whether you’re buying, selling or looking for an investment opportunity, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of the Warrington property market.

Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235 338 – we are based on the Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR WARRINGTON HOME IS WORTH FOR FREE
Hamlet Homes Warrington, your local Estate Agent
Follow my Warrington Property Market Blog
Hamlet Homes Warrington LinkedIn Page
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Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Twitter Page

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Warrington Buy-to-Let Market on the Rise as Returns Rise by 62.4% in 5 Years


Warrington landlords are becoming progressively more self-assured about expanding their rental portfolios; as Warrington rents rise, mortgage interest rates fall and demand for decent Warrington rental properties outstrips supply.

A number of reports nationally would suggest around a third of UK ‘portfolio’ landlords (i.e. landlords with more than one rental property) are actively looking to expand their rental portfolios in the next 12 to 18 months, that would locally mean…

1,089 Warrington ‘portfolio’ landlords are looking to add to
their rental portfolio by the end of 2022.

The pandemic has had a substantial change to what we want from a home. Many people think that relates just to homeowners, yet nothing could be further from the truth as it also applies to tenants.

Homeowner or tenant, many of us have spent a lot of time away from places of work. Many office workers face the outlook of the combination of working from home as well as at the office, meaning a change in what people look for in their home. People (including tenants) are looking for larger properties, with extra rooms for office space and decent sized gardens or to be closer to outside green space.

So, let’s look at the ‘scores on the doors’ as to why Warrington landlords are on the up…

Warrington house prices are 31.5% higher than 5 years ago.

Because some Warrington first-time buyers are being priced out of the market due to these house price rises, they are being forced back into the rental market. Add the extra demand of the 1 in 10 Warrington house sellers, who in the last 12 months have had to go into rented accommodation instead of buying, and this has created increased demand. Meaning…

Rents today in Warrington are 5.1% higher than a year ago and 
30.9% higher than 5 years ago.

The average rent of a Warrington property today is £833 pcm.

In previous articles on the Warrington property market, I was talking about the lack of properties to buy – yet that issue is also there in the British rental property market. Now let’s look at the supply of rental properties.

Would it surprise you that the number of private rented homes in 
the UK has fallen in the last 12 months by just over 2.5%?

Why? One reason has been many ‘accidental’ landlords have used this housing market to sell their property for a good price. That means the supply of available rental properties has decreased. The perfect storm of increased demand and lower supply, and with many Warrington tenants competing for those larger Warrington homes, they may find Warrington rental prices pick up even more over the next year.

What about buy-to-let mortgages for Warrington landlords?

The banks all but withdrew from buy-to-let lending in the first lockdown. Yet, since last summer, things have settled down and during 2021 there has been a mortgage price war.

Warrington landlords can borrow 60% of the value of their BTL property on a two-year fixed rate of 1.18% from Platform and even those with a 20% deposit (that’s borrowing 80%) can borrow that money at 2.49% 2-year fixed rate from The Mortgage Works. Those looking to fix for a little longer can get 1.44% from The Mortgage Works and 1.79% at 75% loan to value from Santander.

(It must be noted there are some fees to these mortgages, and you must take advice from a qualified mortgage advisor before deciding which mortgage is best for you).

So, is now the best time to invest in Warrington buy-to-let 
property?

If you are attracted to invest in Warrington buy-to-let, it’s vital to do your homework first – particularly if you are new to the game.

When estimating the expected rental returns on investment, capital growth and yields, many Warrington landlords look to what has happened with house prices and rental prices, yet past performance does not always deliver a future guaranteed return.

Smart Warrington landlords will speak with agents like myself and others in Warrington, prudently researching the Warrington property market to discover what types of properties are in high demand (and short supply) from tenants.

Whether you are a landlord of ours or not, please feel free to drop me a line via email or social media for no nonsense advice on the important matters to look out for before investing in Warrington buy-to-let.

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, whether you’re buying, selling or looking for an investment opportunity, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of the Warrington property market.

Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235 338 – we are based on the Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR WARRINGTON HOME IS WORTH FOR FREE
Hamlet Homes Warrington, your local Estate Agent
Follow my Warrington Property Market Blog
Hamlet Homes Warrington LinkedIn Page
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Friday, 17 September 2021

5 Tips To Deal With Gazumping

There are few things more frustrating for home buyers than being gazumped. The chances are you’ll already have spent a great deal of time and money preparing to buy a property, only to have it snatched away from you before exchanging contracts.

If you’re planning to buy a property, here are five tips to help prevent you from being gazumped, and what to do if it does happen to you.

1. Ask The Seller To Take The House Off The Market

Once you’ve had an offer verbally accepted, it’s worth asking the seller to take the property off the market immediately.

This doesn’t guarantee that you won’t be gazumped, but if the property is no longer on the market it will significantly improve your chances of it not happening.

It’s usually standard practice for a property to be taken off the market once an offer is accepted, and most sellers will be happy to oblige. If they’re not, then it could be a warning sign that they’re still open to a higher offer.

2. Have a Mortgage In Principle

It’s always a good idea to have funds in place before making an offer on a property as it can help to speed the whole process up, and that’s usually a good thing for buyers and sellers.

If you have your mortgage in principle, it shows the seller that you’re a serious buyer and that you’re able to move relatively quickly, compared to a buyer who hasn’t got the funds in place.

3. Have a Conveyancer In Place

As with the mortgage in principle, it’s a good idea to have your conveyancing solicitor in place before starting the buying process.

Again, it can help to speed the whole process up, and it demonstrates to the seller that you’re a serious buyer who’s looking to get things moving as quickly as possible.

Finding a conveyancer that you want to use can be a time-consuming process, so before making an offer on a property, ask friends, family and your estate agent for recommendations, and check reviews so you can find someone you’re happy with.

4. Get To Know The Seller


Sometimes the personal touch can go a long way. Building a relationship with the seller and showing a genuine interest in their property, along with your future plans for it, may help persuade them not to accept a higher offer in the interests of fairness.

Of course, there are no guarantees, and a higher offer may be more attractive, but having a friendly relationship with the seller can make a big difference.

5. Ask The Seller To Sign a Lock-In Agreement

A lock-in agreement, or exclusivity agreement is a binding contract that prevents the seller from negotiating with another buyer during a fixed time period.

Both parties will usually pay a deposit, and if either side breaks the agreement then the deposit is forfeited.

This is definitely the best way to avoid being gazumped, but it’s also the least common, and a lot of sellers are likely to be reluctant to sign it. There are still no guarantees either, but as the seller stands to lose a large sum of money through their deposit, it’s arguably the most effective way to prevent gazumping.

How To Deal With Being Gazumped

Despite your best efforts, sometimes being gazumped is an unfortunate and unavoidable part of the home buying process. If this does happen to you, there are a couple of things you may be able to do to stop your purchase falling through.
  • Gazump Your Gazumper!
If you have the funds to go back in with a higher offer this is likely to be your best chance of getting your purchase back on track.

However, make sure you can actually afford to go higher. If your initial offer is at your maximum, or close to it then don’t overstretch yourself financially.

And also be aware that you may end up in a bidding war. The other buyer may have a lot more room to move financially, so you could find yourself paying well over the odds, or being ultimately outbid anyway. Just make sure you have your finances in order before entering into a bidding war.
  • Sell Yourself
This is where being prepared comes in handy. Even if another buyer can come up with a higher offer, you may still be in a stronger position than you think.

For example, if you’re a first-time buyer then you’re chain free and potentially able to move very quickly. Perhaps you’re able to be more flexible with completion dates than the gazumper, or you have your mortgage in place and they don’t. Whatever your USP is, be sure to highlight why you’re an attractive buyer.

Hamlet Homes Warrington are your local property experts for the Warrington area.

Call us on 01925 235 338 or email manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk to find out how we can ensure your sale or purchase runs smoothly.

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, whether you’re buying, selling or looking for an investment opportunity, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of the Warrington property market.

Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235 338 – we are based on the Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR WARRINGTON HOME IS WORTH FOR FREE
Hamlet Homes Warrington, your local Estate Agent
Follow my Warrington Property Market Blog
Hamlet Homes Warrington LinkedIn Page
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Facebook Page
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Twitter Page

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Why Are More Warrington OAP Homeowners Deciding Not to Move Home?


A recent report by Legal & General stated that, since the pandemic, many older homeowners had put their plans to move home 'on ice'. It said that fewer OAP homeowners are planning to downsize from their large family homes after the pandemic made them realise the actual value of their local community and space.

Historically, many OAPs move home to another part of the country to live near their grown-up children. Yet the pandemic has shown that OAPs can live quite well locally without moving to a strange new town to live near their children. The support networks of their friends in their existing community has emphasised the significance and importance of having friends close by.

Yet this trend isn't just for OAPs moving away. Many Warrington OAPs who aren't moving away from Warrington (because their family is still local) are also deciding to stay put longer for the same reasons. Even though they are rattling around their large 3 and 4 bed detached family homes, they love the space their large Warrington homes offer.

And for those Warrington OAPs who are wanting to move, the issue is that the choice of properties they could buy to downsize is limited. This scarcity of properties for sale, called the 'housing crunch’, can be seen by that lack of choice of properties for OAPs to move to.

Only 36 bungalows are for sale in Warrington

In a ‘normal' Warrington property market, I would expect this to be double or even triple this number.

All these factors combined means these OAP "eternal homeowners" threaten to make the scarcity of properties coming on to the market even worse!

So, why is this an issue for everyone else?

Well, because Warrington OAPs aren’t moving from their large 3 and 4 bed detached homes to smaller bungalows or ground floor apartments, this is creating a blockage on the housing ladder. Warrington families, in their 30’s and 40’s, are desperate for larger 3 and 4 bed detached homes for their ever-expanding families. But if the OAP sellers of those family houses aren’t moving, they will remain overcrowded in their existing homes.

Let’s look at the numbers first.
  • There are 4.42m UK over-65 property owners, and their properties are worth a combined £1.53 trillion (which covers just under three-quarters of the national debt).
  • 71.3% of those aged 65 and over own their home (although 1 in 10 still has a mortgage).
  • There are 16,854 Warrington homes occupied by OAPs, representing 23.9% of all the households in Warrington (notable compared to the UK average of 31%).
  • 87% of those Warrington OAPs are retired, meaning the rest are still working! (The national average is 83.4%).
  • The total value of the property in Warrington owned by OAPs is £3.01bn.
  • 69.7% of Warrington OAPs own their home outright (compared to the national average of 65.8%), and 6.4% of Warrington OAPs own their home, albeit with a mortgage (compared to the national average of 5.5%).
Many Warrington OAP homeowners simply love the house and neighbourhood they live in, often living in their homes for over 25+ years. I talk to many mature Warrington homeowners who say they are afraid to put their home on the market, because they believe (incorrectly) if they find a buyer for their home and can’t find another property to go to … they would be made homeless.

I can only share my opinions on the matter. The one thing I have seen in my years in the property market is that so many Warrington people leave it too late to move home. So, when they do move, they aren’t fit enough to do all the jobs in their new home. Indeed, is it better to move home in your late 60's/early 70's, meaning you can still do the little things to make your new house a home, rather than in your late 70's/early 80’s and find the jobs are much harder to do?

Also, if you are worried about finding your next home, get yourself on the mailing lists of all the Warrington estate agents. A recent study showed only 1 in 6 buyers were on an agent’s mailing list for the property they bought. Therefore, by being on the mailing list, you will get to know of any suitable properties coming on the market before most others. This is important in this housing market; a property is often sold STC before it hits Rightmove (to a buyer that put themselves on the agent’s mailing list).

By downsizing, you could use the additional funds to top up your pension, take the family on a holiday of a lifetime (once it’s safe to do so of course), or help your children get on the housing ladder themselves with a deposit for their own home.

I fully appreciate many of the 12,829 OAP homeowners in Warrington have many reasons to stay, be that sentimental, friendship, support networks etc. My advice to all of you is to do your homework, put yourselves on the mailing lists of agents (in case the property of your dreams comes up) and do what is best for you. By downsizing, you are giving yourself better options for your quality of life and massive opportunities to spend more time on the things you enjoy like your family, holidays, or even helping others.

The choice, as they say, is yours.

If you are a Warrington homeowner and want to ask me anything about what I have said, please drop me a line to discuss the matter further at no cost or obligation.

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, whether you’re buying, selling or looking for an investment opportunity, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of the Warrington property market.

Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235 338 – we are based on the Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR WARRINGTON HOME IS WORTH FOR FREE
Hamlet Homes Warrington, your local Estate Agent
Follow my Warrington Property Market Blog
Hamlet Homes Warrington LinkedIn Page
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Facebook Page