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A New Sunday Series From Your British Correspondent

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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?

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  • 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 🙂

Written By

Poppy Dinsey works in Business Development at Globrix, the UK property search engine. She lives and works in London, which she loves except for the awful weather and lack of good pecan pie. She's got a pretty nifty degree in Eastern European Economics from UCL, which she readily admits she's never put to good use, although she did once dress up a Russian Bond Girl. You can find her on Twitter, 12Seconds, Seesmic and pretty much everywhere that's ever had a website.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Jennifer Fivelsdal

    October 26, 2008 at 6:04 am

    Poppy – Looking at that plate I am hungry and it is only 8:00 here. The condition in Britain is somehow mirroring what’s happening here. I have seen some struggling agent switch over to the rental market.
    Have a great day.

  2. Lee Stacey

    October 26, 2008 at 7:23 am

    Sundays are great.

    For me, Sundays always start with a band practice. Can’t beat marching around in a cold wet factory car park with bugles and drums blazing.

    Then there’s the football… I mean REAL football too. Today is Liverpool Chelsea. It doesn’t get better than that. Hopefully we (Liverpool) will be top of the table two hours from me writing this.

    And Suday roasts… Oh yeah! No further commentary required.

    I personally shall spend the rest of the day not doing much at all.

    With regards to the property market in the UK. I’ve noticed around our office that there seems to be a bit of a buzz again. We’ve all accepted that there is a problem, now we’re trying to take advantage of our position in the market. Chances are that if you’ve got this far without curling up and dying, you can get over this hump by tightening your belt and sharpening up. Somehow, the Government bail out has put a bit of confidence in the market again. Agents, investors and developers alike can now start taking advantage of this.

    The property market is dead. Long live the property market!

  3. C Tann-Starr

    October 26, 2008 at 7:29 am

    Good morning Poppy D. Thanks for the round-up. Will link back from A/R to let the guys know about your new series. <3 C.

  4. Erion Shehaj

    October 26, 2008 at 9:23 am

    Love the ending with “ya’ll” ..:-)

  5. Brian Brady

    October 27, 2008 at 7:50 am

    …and the Chargers lost so there is no joy in San Diego.

    I love that AG has a “London correspondent”

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