Rebecca Voller of Waterfords estate agents comments on the first few weeks of the New Year
Following contradicting reports already published so far in January, particularly on the subject of raising rents this year, Rebecca Voller, Head of Lettings at Waterfords estate agents comments on what they have seen happen in the first few weeks of 2013, and warns landlords to be cautious as tenants feel the squeeze.
Rebecca says: “January is renowned for being a busy month in the lettings field, but we have seen a particularly energetic market, right from the word go. There has been a real upsurge in general activity and we have also noted an impressive increase in applicant registrations within the regions that we operate, Hampshire and Surrey. Even though the market is buoyant, it has been specifically evident so far this year that our new applicants are setting limitations as to what they can afford.
Utility bills are constantly rising and salaries are not reflecting living costs so tenants are surely going to be feeling the squeeze. Our advice at the moment to landlords is to bear this in mind, and to not get carried away with the level of rent. Some reports have stated that many UK landlords will be raising rents this year and whilst market conditions need to be considered, rental prices need to be met with caution as tenants will struggle to keep up with the payments. For new landlords bringing stock to the market, asking prices also need to be set realistically.”
Throughout January, Rebecca has also become aware of a regional difference in activity. She says: “Our Surrey Lettings department has been experiencing high volumes of new instructions, and they therefore have a range of good quality available stock at the moment, providing a great diversity of choice for tenants looking in the area. At present applicants have the ability to take a bit more time to explore the market, but that is no bad thing.
Landlords now have time to ensure that their property is presented in a good condition throughout, attracting tenant’s where possible, something that is vital when there is a good level of stock on the market. Tenants have a very high expectation of the standard that a property is offered in. If the deco is below par or there are lots of obvious maintenance issues then these should be addressed sooner rather than later to secure a quick let, and at the best price possible.”
Reporting on their neighbouring county, Waterfords can confirm that Hampshire Lettings are currently seeing demand outweigh supply and the majority of properties coming on to the market are letting exceptionally quickly.
Rebecca continues: “Overall, we have reported an increase in business right from the start of the New Year including an uplift in applicant enquiries, new instructions and also transaction levels.
This follows on from a buoyant 2012 rental market and all indications point to it continuing with further growth. Waterfords also launched their exciting competition on 3rd January which has assisted in providing a wider variety of properties for tenants in need of rented accommodation. Landlords still have the chance to enter by simply putting their property on the market with us and they could win a brand new VW up!”
Waterfords are an independent estate agent with offices throughout Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire. Services offered include, residential sales, residential lettings, lettings property management, conveyancing, EPCs and land & new homes.
Waterfords was founded in 1995 by Brendan Cox and Gary Brook, and together they have over 60 years experience in the UK property market. Waterfords first office was located in Camberley, Surrey. This was such a great success that they now also have offices located in Chobham, Fleet, Sunningdale and Yateley.
Waterfords take pride in their reputation for providing a personal and professional service with a unique approach to marketing property. It is a testament to our performance and commitment to customer service that 75% of our business is derived from existing clients and their recommendations.