I <3 Sundays
Sundays are great in the UK. We have really big newspapers with all sorts of colourful supplements, we have traditional ‘Sunday Lunches’ (roast beef/lamb/pork/chicken, roast potatoes, all sorts of veg and lashings of gravy) and if you’re really lucky there’ll be a nice family film on the box at around 3pm. It’s also the perfect day to look back at the week just past and think about what we’ve learnt, ready to face a new week tomorrow.
With that in mind, I’m going to start using my Sunday mornings to round up British real estate news for all you AgentGenius fans.
So, what’s been happening this week in the UK?
- The UK government bail-out seems to be helping – As you probably know, the UK government has had to step in to sort out the economic mess on our island just like the US government has had to on your shores. Granted, ours wasn’t to the tune of 700 billion dollars, but it was a pretty big deal. Anyhoo, it seems to be helping the housing market. Sales aren’t on the up, yet, but viewing activity has improved. In the days after the UK bail-out, viewing figures were up by 35% compared to the week before according to one of our largest estate agencies. New instructions have also been said to be on the up by as much as 30%, so confidence in the housing market is clearly improving.
- That all being said, agents are still struggling – Agents are still being forced to shut up shop here, the average number of sales per agency are at record low figures. In London, the average estate agency (that’s an office full of estate agents, not a single agent) sold just 8 properties in the three month run up to September. Some estate agencies have gone to drastic measures, with one London chain offering to cut commission entirely…that’s right, they’ll sell your home for free! Needless to say, that was a front page story in some of our newspapers this week.
- Rightmove cuts more than 60 jobs – Just as Zillow and Redfin have had to lay off workers, British real estate search site Rightmove has also had to make redundancies. Rightmove has been around for 8 years in the UK and this week announced they would have to make 20% of their staff redundant to cut costs.
- Demand for rental properties is strong – Letting agents aren’t complaining here at the moment, rental demand has doubled over the past year. The difficulties people are facing in trying to obtain a mortgage, as well as decreasing home values, has meant renting has emerged as an attractive option for many. Some letting agents have described the rental demand as the strongest they’ve ever dealt with, and many predict further growth.
In non-RE news, some of your ‘football’ (we all know that football is the game you guys think is called ‘soccer’) players have come to London! The Saints are playing the Chargers at Wembley Stadium today. And it’s pouring with rain…well, this is London.
See y’all next Sunday for more UK real estate news 🙂