Hints and Tips for Navigating the Winter Property Market

As winter approaches, the property market in England undergoes a subtle transformation. The chilly weather and shorter days don’t deter determined buyers and sellers, but they do create a unique set of challenges and opportunities. If you’re selling over the winter months, you’re in the right place. We’ve used our local market knowledge to compile a list of hints and tips to ensure a smooth and successful experience.

  • 1. Kerb Appeal Matters

    Despite the winter chill, the exterior of your property should be inviting. Keep walkways clear of ice and snow and consider adding some winter-friendly greenery or outdoor lighting to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. A well-maintained exterior can make all the difference in creating a positive first impression.

  • 2. Showcase the Cosiness

    Embrace the season by highlighting the cosy features of your property. Arrange warm throws, cushions, and soft lighting to create a snug atmosphere. If you have a fireplace or a stove, make sure it’s clean and functional, and consider having it lit during viewings. A warm and inviting ambience can help potential buyers envision themselves living in your home.

  • 3. Proper Lighting

    Daylight hours are shorter during the winter, so lighting is crucial. Make sure your property is well-lit, both indoors and outdoors. Replace any burnt-out bulbs, and consider using warm LED lights to create a welcoming atmosphere. Open curtains and blinds during the day to maximize natural light.

  • 4. Keep It Warm

    A warm and comfortable property can leave a lasting impression on prospective buyers. Ensure your heating system is in good working order and maintain a comfortable indoor temperature during viewings. If you have a vacant property, consider using a timer to preheat the space before viewings – it’s usually a requirement of your insurance to keep the heating on at minimum levels to reduce the risk of burst pipes.

  • 5. Be Flexible with Viewing Times

    Winter’s shorter days mean that daylight is a precious commodity. Be flexible with your viewing times to accommodate potential buyers. Early evening viewings can be particularly atmospheric and give buyers an idea of how your property feels after dark.

  • 6. Maintenance Is Key

    The winter season can highlight maintenance issues, so make sure your property is in tip-top condition. Fix any leaks, insulate windows, and ensure that gutters and drains are clear of debris. A well-maintained property sends a signal of care and attention to potential buyers.

  • 7. Prepare for Bad Weather

    English winters are known for their unpredictable weather, so prepare for wet and muddy conditions. Have a mat or rug at the entrance for visitors to wipe their feet. Provide a coat rack or hooks for jackets and umbrellas, keeping your property tidy and free of wet messes.

  • 8. Pricing Realistically

    he winter property market can be less competitive, and buyers may have a smaller pool of properties to choose from. Be realistic about your pricing, taking into account the seasonal fluctuations in the market. A reasonable price can attract serious buyers.

  • 9. Work with a Skilled Estate Agent

    Your choice of estate agent is vital during the winter property market. They should have a deep understanding of the local market, seasonal trends, and the ability to market your property effectively. Choose an agent with a track record of success, especially during the winter months.

The winter property market in England can still be a successful period for both buyers and sellers. By implementing these hints and tips, you can make the most of the season and ensure a successful property transaction. Whether you’re preparing your property for sale or searching for your dream home, remember that a little extra effort can go a long way during the winter months. Stay warm, stay cosy, and stay one step ahead in the winter property market.

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Navigating the Rental Market in Preston and South Ribble

In this article, we will focus on the rental market specifically within the Preston and South Ribble area. Demand for rental properties remains at an all-time high, but we are seeing more issues with affordability amongst a landscape of rising rents.

Local Market Snapshot

Before we narrow our focus to Preston and South Ribble, it’s important to consider the broader context of the national rental market, which has been subject to a number of wide-ranging changes in recent years. There have been several major changes to legislation, with more to come, and a feeling amongst some landlords that the government are pursuing policies which are very detrimental to attracting investment into the Private Rented Sector (PRS). This, coupled with rising interest rates has meant many landlords are opting to leave the sector, making available properties even more scarce and thus increasing demand from tenants.

Preston and South Ribble: A Unique Market

The Preston and South Ribble market encompasses every type of property, from city centre apartments to larger rural properties. Many of the suburban areas have excellent schools, meaning demand for family sized properties is often extremely high.

Preston: The City of Opportunities

Preston, a vibrant and growing city, has garnered significant attention in recent years. Its economic growth, excellent educational institutions, and accessibility to the larger cities of Manchester and Liverpool have made it a prime location for renters. Demand is high across all types of property from a wide variety of tenants, from students to retired couples looking to downsize. Many tenants we meet are looking for long-term stability, and are often prepared to pay a higher deposit so they can have a pet.

Prospects for Tenants

If you’re a tenant in Preston or South Ribble, you’ll find that competition for properties can be high and this can create a tricky situation to navigate. If you view a property with Roberts and Co we do our utmost to make the process fair and transparent, letting the landlord make the final decision once we have all application forms in from any interested parties. If you’re finding it tough to secure a property, it can be worth speaking to letting agents direct and giving them some background – if you’ve been an exemplary tenant for 8 years in the same property then a new landlord is likely to be impressed by this stability. Always be honest, many of our landlords are happy to give people a chance in the right circumstances.

Opportunities for Landlords

For landlords in Preston and South Ribble, the current market presents an excellent opportunity for investment. The ongoing demand for rental properties shows no sign of abating, and rents are very much holding steady at record levels. There are also opportunities to purchase properties with sitting tenants, giving you the reassurance of a longstanding agreement and some history around rent payments and the way the tenant looks after the property.

Expert Guidance for Success

At Roberts & Co our team is well-versed in the Preston and South Ribble rental market. Whether you’re a tenant or a landlord, we provide valuable advice on property pricing, marketing strategies, and legal obligations which you need to take into account. Our fully managed landlords enjoy peace of mind, regular updates and an all-inclusive service with no additional charges. Landlords looking for a tenant find only service can be assured that the tenancy will be completely legally compliant at the point of the tenant moving in.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the rental market in Preston and South Ribble, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our experienced team is dedicated to facilitating a seamless and successful property journey, whether you are a landlord or a tenant.

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Preston and Surrounding Areas Summer Property Market Update

As we approach the end of summer (sorry sun-lovers!) we’ve been reviewing the housing market reports and looking at our own data to see how it compares to give you a local market update for both sales and rentals across Preston and the surrounding areas.

There has been a lot of negative media reports over the last few weeks relating to the economy, with rising inflation and the increased cost of living being highlighted as a major concern as we head into the colder months. Much of the reporting on the housing market has been in a similar vein, with articles warning of a downturn in the property market along with cooling demand from buyers and a subsequent drop in house prices. Reading the reports you would be forgiven for thinking it was a very poor outlook indeed, but this is simply not what we are seeing in the local market and it’s also not quite what has been reported by Rightmove in their most recent House Price Index, released Monday 15th August.

Key points from the Rightmove House Price Index are:

  • Nationally there has been a 1.3% drop in asking prices compared to the previous month but there remains an overall 8.2% annual increase in asking prices
  • The 1.3% fall is usual for August during holiday season and is consistent with the average August drop for the past 10 years
  • Buyer enquiries are still 20% higher than pre-Covid levels in 2019
  • There are 40% fewer available properties on the market than at this time in 2019

So what does this mean? The property market is almost completely at the mercy of supply and demand, which is why we’re still seeing a strong market despite gloomy economic forecasting. Demand from buyers is still very high, while the supply of properties is significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels. The usual seasonal dip has happened during the summer holidays, while everyone enjoys the sunshine and jets off abroad for the first time in a few years, but there is no reason to suspect we won’t continue to see a strong market through the Autumn months.

What’s happening in the local market in Preston and the surrounding areas?

You’ll notice we are using 2019 as a benchmark for comparison as this is pre-Covid and represents a more “normal” property market. 2020 was mostly taken over by lockdowns and the property market being closed for business, while 2021 shows an unprecedented level of activity due to pent-up demand from the previous year coupled with the end of the stamp duty holiday.

July 2019 July 2022
New properties on the market 14 34
Viewings booked 182 521
Offers accepted 12 26
Buyers registered with us 147 351

As you can see, we are experiencing more than double the levels of activity we were working with in 2019, which is fantastic news for our clients as it shows the market is still extremely strong in the local area. This is supported by the regional trends from the Rightmove House Price Index, showing the North West has actually seen a 0.4% increase in asking prices this month with an overall annual increase of 10%. Properties are also selling quickly, with an average time to sell of 32 days.

Rental market update

The local rental market continues to be extremely busy across Preston and the surrounding areas with a huge amount of demand from tenants when new properties come to the market. Tenant demand is up 6% compared with last year and the number of available properties is down 26% compared with the same period last year. This tight supply of properties is contributing to record rent levels across the country, with the North West showing an 11.5% year on year increase in rental asking prices. At Roberts & Co we are seeing high demand for properties at all levels of the market, with a particular shortage of family homes.

As ever in a fast-moving market, whether you are selling or renting a property, it’s important to work with an agent who understands your needs and how best to tailor that to the local market to ensure you get the best possible result. If you are thinking of selling or renting we’d love to discuss it further to see how we can help you – please call 01772 746100 for free, no-obligation advice.

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