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May 26, 2024
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Property Natter – New beginnings and cups of kindness…


Following falls in swap rates, mortgage rates are taking a tumble and more lenders are likely to follow suit in the days to come.


As reported in Estate Agent Today, HSBC became the first major lender to release a rate of less than 4% in more than a year – a 5-year fix at 3.94%.


And the commentators are predicting more to come as lenders vie for business in the belief that the much talked about ‘pent-up’ demand will gradually be set free as economic conditions improve and buyers and sellers alike grow in confidence.


And there appears to be more to this burst of optimism than mere New Year intoxication, as Rightmove reported a record number of sellers coming to market on Boxing Day when it recorded a 26% increase in new sellers visiting its portal – beating the previous record set last year.


“Positivity is clearly resonating on the property market even though Christmas is normally a quiet period for the sector,” said Nathan Emerson, chief executive of Propertymark.


“Rightly so, sellers are clearly not deterred by the latest inflation figures or interest rates as optimistic signs start to emerge and are demonstrating confidence in the market. This is the positive type of news that Propertymark would like to see more of throughout 2024.”


And so say all of us. But it’s not going to be a cake walk out there. Nevertheless, if mortgage rates keep on falling and affordability conditions continue to improve for borrowers, transaction numbers are likely to rise (provided the pricing is realistic).

Good business in the community


There’s a great piece in this features section by LRG’s Kevin Shaw about the importance of estate agents working to support the community they serve.


He writes: “The evolving role of the estate agent in the local community goes far beyond property transactions. Estate agents have become community advocates, facilitators of connections, and drivers of sustainability. They leverage their local expertise, establish partnerships, and embrace sustainable initiatives to create thriving, vibrant neighbourhoods.”


Well said, sir. And I read a great example of this level of commitment from London-based agents, Location Location who celebrated a decade of giving with over 5000 toys donated to their Winter Toy Appeal.


They described 2023 as their most challenging year yet because the cost of living crisis meant that there were more eligible children on the list through extreme hardship but the number of those able to give had fallen.


Operations Director Meghan Eighteen took to social media to reach out to the property industry for help. Within days, hundreds of new toys and donations flooded in.


As a result, 5000 children, who possibly could have gone without, received a new toy for Christmas.


Wow.


A representation of the people act


Finally, a word about female representation on industry panels, seminars, online presentations, podcasts and the like. Much was said in 2023 about this topic and ARLA President-Elect Angharad Trueman has kicked off the New year by taking action to address the gender bias.


She expressed her displeasure in a LinkedIn post which described a friend being told there were male speakers only at a property conference because organisers couldn’t find any women qualified to speak on the subject.


“I also hear the same excuse about podcasts and online events. I’ve even started asking who else has been invited to speak on panels when asked. If it turns out to be mostly male I explain that I won’t be on the panel until they work to balance it up,” she said.


And now she’s gone a step further and drawn up a list of 80 women qualified to speak on property panels.


So now there’s no excuses.


Until next time,


N


If you’ve got a story you’d like me to Natter about, please get in touch at press@angelsmedia.co.uk






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