The most professional and quality driven estate agent we have used. Nothing was too much trouble for them. I would highly recommend them.
Mr R Burns, Nocton
"head and shoulders above everyone else"
They're so reassuring, giving us the latest information we needed at any given time. I wouldn't use anyone else again in the future, they're head and shoulders above everyone else we've used in the past.
Mrs K English, Welton
We didn't really expect to get this level of service from an estate agent. It's the first time we really came away very satisfied with the outcome.
Mr & Mrs S Almond, Sleaford
I would say they were proactive, reliable and just outstanding. We really got the impression that they genuinely wanted to help us sell our home and help us move to our dream property.
Mr M Smith, Long Bennington
"a real pleasure to deal with"
Mount & Minster were recommended to us by one of our friends who had also used them recently. Outstanding service from beginning to end. I can't recommend them highly enough, they were a real pleasure to deal with.
Miss E McKenna, Lincoln
"know their business inside-out"
They are articulate, intelligent and affable with a can-do attitude. Flexible in their approach, they know their business inside-out as well as being RICS qualified which is reassuring.
Mrs A James, Grantham
2021 Property Market Predictions
As buyers and sellers throughout the East Midlands seek to put 2020 behind them, many will want to consider whether 2021 will prove to be a good year to move home.
Various recent announcements at a national level certainly give good reasons to be optimistic:
We're officially out! Not only that, but a deal has been struck and has been given the official stamp of approval by Parliament. The uncertainty in recent years and various questions that remained unanswered have all been put to bed and confidence has certainly been restored. While there will undoubtedly be a period of recalibration as private individuals and commercial institutions get used to doing things a bit differently, the medium and long term look positive. Due to vendors holding off over the last couple of years until some certainty had been restored to the market, 2021 may well be the year that sellers are more confident and content to move, increasing supply and giving buyers more options.
With the approval of more scientific solutions to this global pandemic, there's certainly wind in the sails of those who had previously been nervous throughout 2020. Any property market is propped-up with the underlying foundations of the 'three D's': death, divorce and debt. COVID increases these 'opportunities' greatly; death is self-explanotory sadly increases probate sales, divorce is more prevalent with the family complications and stress relating to lock-downs, and lastly debt is increasingly a worry as people have been off work/furloughed, lost business or indeed lost their income or job entirely, forcing them to release equity in their homes by offering them for sale and downsizing. Again, these factors will increase supply.
Stamp Duty Holiday
With the announcement last year of a zero threshold for the first £500,000 on your property acquisition, there is still time to benefit from this financial saving until the end of March 2021. Despite the recession in 2020, this fiscal policy ignited a huge amount of buoyancy and was the biggest factor to pushing house prices up by around 7% by the end of 2020. Many vendors took advantage of this and sold-up, going into rented so as not to rush a purchase, sitting and waiting to see what 2021 brings. While there is no official confirmation of any extension relating to this holiday, Mount & Minster predict that the current holiday will be extended, either in its current form or altered slightly to still prove more favourable than pre-COVID.
Property Market Predictions
The amount of houses currently going through the conveyancing process is positively high as we approach the current Stamp Duty holiday cut-off in March. These will continue to push forward to completion throughout January, February and, crucially, March.
An unusually large number of properties will come onto the market in the first three months of the year compared to previous years, as those wishing to exploit the confidence boost following the Brexit deal get their homes market ready.
After the first three months of the year, companies will be weaned off furlough and the other financial subsidies will be withdrawn. Bounce-Back Loans will need to start to be repaid and the true economic damage of 2020 will be more transparent. The media will report on more companies going into administration and a huge spike in unemployment, sucking confidence out of the property market and painting a picture of doom and gloom. This will discourage vendors marketing their properties for sale, decreasing the number for sale and therefore reducing the pool of purchasers for those lingering on the market.
This is when it will get interesting. Spring and early summer are when the majority of homes come-up for sale. With the reduction in the number of properties available to buy and prices presumably attractive with motivated/desperate sellers accepting lower than average offers, this will be the catalyst to those sitting comfortably in temporary accommodation (having already sold in 2020 or early 2021) with no chain and cash to pounce on the opportunities available to them. However, with low supply and an increase in demand, we will very quickly see bidding wars and early reports of the market picking-up. The bottle-neck of potential vendors sitting and waiting for some early signs of positivity will then rush to get their homes on the market.
It is our prediction, therefore, that the first quarter will be steady. The second quarter will be quiet which will suddenly lead to a spike in the third quarter when the market will pick-up significantly, running through into the final quarter and ending-up with property prices at between 3-4% higher by the end of 2021.
We also predict that areas around Grantham, Newark and Lincoln will perform better than others with the continued exodus of people from London relocating to our area as the trend of working from home will continue. With the main line to London proving fast and reliable, the occasional journey will prove to be a huge benefit to our area, pushing prices upwards thanks to deeper pockets from the south.
If Stamp Duty is extended as is, or favourably restructured compared to previous years, then you can expect the same trends as above, but at a far more favourable level, with house prices increasing over 6%.
To discuss the above in more detail or to get free advice, please feel free to contact us and we'd be delighted to help.
How to Keep Good Tenants
With complications relating to COVID-19, it’s more important than ever for landlords to look after good tenants and encourage them to remain in their rental property and renew their tenancy. Mount & Minster letting agents advise on how to negotiate a tenancy renewal that works for both landlord and tenant.
The ideal time to contact your tenants is around 12-16 weeks before the end of the fixed term. This should be done in writing explaining you're happy with their occupation and you’d like them to stay in the property. The key here is to give yourself the time that's needed to agree terms while knowing well in advance if you need to prepare to remarket the property and find new tenants.
As a landlord, there are two key variables one should consider when negotiating a renewal: pricing and length of tenancy.
1. PricingIt’s essential you listen to the advice of your letting agent and understand your property’s value in the current local market. A good agent will know whether the market may have changed significantly since the tenants commenced their tenancy, particularly during the current climate.
Other reasons why the market may have changed, include:
Seasonal markets can differ. For instance, if you enter a contract in December and the fixed term ends 18 months later in June then demand for property, and thus rental asking prices, is likely to be significantly higher as the summer months have been known to be the peak rental season.
Developments in the local area may have increased or decreased its desirability - for instance, the introduction of new transport links.
Once you have determined what is a reasonable price, you need to consider expenses and cash flow. If a tenancy agreement is renewed you will avoid marketing fees from your agent, as well as void periods where you remain liable for bills, council tax, and mortgage payments without any rental income. It is worth taking this into account when considering pricing with your current renters.
Whilst the current economy faces challenges, it’s important to bear in mind that the residential lettings market is quieter and many renters are struggling to afford what they could pre-Covid. This means there is less demand in the market and many renters are looking to downsize or reduce their rent. When negotiating a renewal, offering slightly lower rent could see you better off in the long term than if you attempt to remarket.
2. Contract LengthYour agent should seek to structure your renewed rental contract to allow the property to return to the market when you would enjoy maximum pricing leverage. The best time to end a contract is generally in the June to September peak period for lettings, but this will vary between type and location of property.
Throughout the entire process, it’s important to remember that you and your renters are working towards the same goal: they want to live at your property and you want to keep them there.