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What’s really behind the huge decline in property sales?

According to industry data on Rightmove, some London boroughs have seen their number of property transactions drop by up to 40 per cent in the past 12 months, in comparison to 2015.

Vicky Bibiris at Location Location, said: “Increasingly we’re hearing from vendors whose homes have failed to sell with other agents.  Around 60% of homes that go on the market are unsuccessful first time around and the average time on the market has increased drastically. It’s the first time the number of homes failing to sell is higher than the number of properties actually selling. The reality is – ‘the market’ is not to blame for a property not selling nor the drop in transaction numbers.”  

If agents value correctly, this shouldn’t happen. The number of homes going on to sell should be closer to 70%+.

Location Location is the top-performing estate agent in Stoke Newington. In the past 12 months we’ve sold more properties than any other agent (more than double the number of homes than our nearest competitor).

Vicky added: “Sellers often base their expectations of their home’s value on high prices achieved in previous years. Local property prices peaked in 2015 and in early 2016 but prices have dropped considerably since. The market has changed drastically in just a couple of years. 

“If agents fail to respond to the shift in market conditions, vendors will be been given a warped impression of the local market – that’s incredibly unfair.  If you value a home too high, the likelihood is that it won’t get many viewings and it won’t sell.  That’s effectively putting people’s lives on hold.  It’s better to have a reality-check, to value correctly and sell quickly at the right price”.

Location Location changed its selling strategy to reflect the recent plateauing of values – where once agents valued high and buyers sometimes negotiated the price down, now the firm takes a more conservative approach to valuing, which generates more interest in their properties. Increasingly homes on their books sell for above asking price and within the first four weeks of going onto the market.

Vicky added: “Buyers aren’t silly – If they see a home listed online they perceive as overpriced, they won’t come and view it and there are plenty of others for them to see. If a property is on the market for too long buyers start assuming there’s something wrong with it and dismiss it altogether.

“The key is to get enough potential buyers through the door, generate demand for that property and the price goes up.”

The tendency by some agents to over-value by as much as £150,000 has led to a huge decline in sales locally and it gives a skewed impression of the market. These are normal market conditions (not boom or bust) - properties correctly and competitively valued will sell quickly. 

Taking a closer look at the Stoke Newington and Clapton property market

Total number of properties that came onto the market in the last 12 months in Stoke Newington and Clapton   = 1,902

Of that, the number of properties that had their sales agreed                                                                               = 790 (42%)  

Of that, the number of properties still on the market                                                                                              = 513 (26%)

Of that, the number of properties withdrawn from market                                                                                      = 599 (31%)

Of that, the number of properties that had their prices reduced                                                                             = 860 (45%)

Data from Rightmove Intel 18th Nov 2017 – 18th Nov

    It’s better to have a reality-check, to value correctly and sell quickly at the right price

    Posted 4th December 2018


    Vicky BibirisManaging Director

    Vicky started with Location Location as a junior negotiator in 2006 and within a short period of time became the top performing sales consultant in the company taking on the role of Branch Manager in 2009. Vicky's exceptional ability is backed up by her infectious enthusiasm for people and property, this led to her becoming Sales Director and equity partner in 2012. Vicky has been an integral part in establishing Location Location's reputation as one of North London's leading estate agents.