Maskells Estate Agents

Maskells November Month End

Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2016

November Update

Welcome to the Maskells November Month End Commentary. Whilst larger agents are in the sad and unenviable process of making staff redundant, Maskells continues to buck the trend - We have exchanged contracts on houses in W11and SW10, flats in in SW10, SW3 and SW7 and as of the last week of November we were ranked No.2 on Rightmove for new listings behind Foxtons but ahead of our fine competitors Knight Frank, Savills and others in our area. How are we doing this when everyone else seems to be quiet? simply put - hard work and a great team.

Sales Commentary

The momentum in the Sales market continued in November in terms of viewings with a number of offers being made - some were acceptable and others less so but the takeaway here is that there is still interest and money chasing this market. We do have a plan to help our Vendors and Applicants which we will be discussing with them over the next few days with a view of launching in January. Watch this space! Our data point for the month end is that 45% of properties in SW3 and SW10 have been subject to a price reduction but only 10% of the properties on the market are under offer (Source: so the key here is flexibility and working as a team - what can we do together to make your home stand out above the rest to attract a buyer. To note, of stock that traded, this was bar-belled with homes over £3.6m attracting interest and under £1.5m but little else in the middle. We expect December to be subdued with both Vendors and Applicants taking stock over the Holiday period which may represent a good time to make an offer on any property you have been eyeing (we took 2 offers on the 23rd December last year)

Lettings Commentary.

The main piece of news this month was to do with Letting Fees for Applicants. No-one likes paying fees - including us (and our fixed costs run into thousands every month) but here is an example of where fees would be incurred and you can decide if they are reasonable or not:

Jane and Bill decide to rent a flat together and both sign a 12 month tenancy agreement and share the deposit. After 3 months, Bill decides to leave and Jane finds a new flatmate. In order to leave, an inventory needs to be done (to protect Jane and ensure that any damages are recorded), and Bill's share of the deposit needs to be returned. At the same time the Tenancy Agreement needs to be re-written (to record that the financial obligation for paying the rent now falls on the new tenant rather than Bill), a new inventory done (to protect the incoming tenant) and a new deposit taken. Bill and Jane had agreed to take the flat for 12 months and as a result of Bill leaving before the end of that agreed period, un-foreseen costs are being incurred. Should these costs be for Bill's account, the Agent or the Landlord? The fee incurred for this change would be £240 (Time and documentation costs (for the agent) including Credit Checks) plus inventory costs (which vary depending on the size of the property). Do let us know what you think.

In terms of the market, November was another strong month for us in Lettings but we do anticipate a slowdown as we near Christmas. The average rental was £6,500 per calendar month (pcm) which is touch lower than we were expecting but overall in line with last year. Achieved prices up to £4,300pcm were 1-3% off asking rising to 5% off asking over £4,300pcm. The market over £15,000 pcm was subdued really as a result primarily of the time of year and secondly applicants having a larger than usual amount of stock to choose from.