The number of properties for sale in Chelmsford has fallen by 27% since this time two years ago (October 2019). One of the reasons is that many Chelmsford buyers feel overwhelmed and fearful they will be made homeless if they sell their home and can’t buy another. So, I have decided to look again at the facts and give them to you in greater detail in this article.

My research has found the number of Chelmsford properties for sale started to decline last autumn (2020).

Nationally, the same story is being written as the average UK estate agency office now has around 16 properties on their books to buy, compared to 43 a couple of years ago.

So why is this an issue?  Many Chelmsford homeowners are wanting to move home and are worried they will put their current home on the market, it sells quickly and then be unable to find another home to buy – thus they believe they will then be making themselves homeless.

The fact is that most Chelmsford home buyers need to sell before they can buy their next home, meaning they need to place their property on to the Chelmsford property market before they can buy their next home.

Yet because of the low supply of properties for sale and the current high demand, there is an imbalance in the Chelmsford property market. This means some Chelmsford house sellers are nervous to put a ‘for sale’ board outside their house.

So, let me look at the Chelmsford numbers in greater detail. According to the three main property portals (Rightmove, Zoopla and On-The-Market) …

 

In October 2019, there were 928 properties for sale in Chelmsford. Today, there are only 679 properties for sale, a reduction of 27%.

 

When I break it down into bedroom numbers and type it gets even more interesting (note things like building plots and part commercial/part residential etc., won’t be in these numbers so the stats below won’t precisely match up to those above).

 

  # Properties on the Market in Oct 2019 # Properties on the Market in Oct 2021 Percent Change
5+ Bedrooms 57 33 -42%
  4 Bedrooms 192 104 -46%
  3 Bedrooms 270 121 -55%
  2 Bedrooms 276 237 -14%
  1 Bedroom 120 177 48%

 

… and when I looked at the type of properties … it got even more interesting…

 

Type of Property # Properties on the Market in Oct 2019 # Properties on the Market in Oct 2021 Percent Change
Detached 229 112 -51%
Semi 255 117 -54%
Terraced 91 42 -54%
Flat 304 391 29%

 

As you can see, there have been some interesting changes in the number of properties on the market in Chelmsford over the last few years, depending on the type and the number of bedrooms, yet most types of housing are down considerably.

 

So, if Chelmsford homeowners do sell, will they be made homeless if they can’t find their next ‘forever home’?

The answer is quite simply … NO!

Chelmsford properties are coming on to the market all the time, yet the buyers have got to be in the game, in it to win it so to speak. If you keep looking at properties, without even having your property on the market, let alone sold (subject to contract), then you will fall into a self-fulfilling prophecy of not being able to buy another home and will always be chasing your tail.

And it’s those magic words of “subject to contract” that are your get out of jail card.

The average time taken from agreeing a sale to it being legally binding (i.e. exchange of contracts) is about 19 weeks.

During those 19 weeks, you are ‘sold subject to contract’, which means you have four or five months to find your new home and the likelihood of not finding your next forever home is very small.

And even if you can’t find anywhere, you will never be homeless as the sale is not legally binding until you exchange contracts, so you can withdraw from the sale up to that point, without penalty.

One final word of advice to all Chelmsford home movers.

Around 6 in 7 Chelmsford homebuyers could have missed their ‘forever home’ in 2020/21

 

Let me explain, in a study of various UK estate agents, 84.8% of homebuyers were not on the estate agent’s mailing list before they contacted the agent to view the home according to Denton House Research.

 

Yes, 6 out of 7 buyers (84.8%) waited until the property came on to the market on one of the portals (e.g. Rightmove, Zoopla or On The Market) before asking to view it. But would it surprise you that depending on the location and type, up to one in five houses don’t actually make it on to the portals for sale.

 

This means if the homebuyer hadn’t registered themselves on the agents mailing list, they would’ve missed out on their ‘forever home’, because they would not have known the property was for sale until it was too late.

 

Quite simply, if you are serious about moving home in Chelmsford, get yourself on the mailing lists of all the agents in Chelmsford.

About Neil Baldock

Born and bred in Chelmsford, Neil went to Tyrells and The Boswells School and still lives in Springfield. A former police officer, Neil is an excellent problem solver for our clients. Neil oversees the Lettings, Property Management and Maintenance portfolio here at CDC and is able to offer specialist advice on all aspects of buy to let and property investment in Chelmsford and all areas of Essex. Neil is happy to offer advice to landlords even where the property is not being purchased through our agency and would welcome an informal chat with you regarding your investments. Neil is also well versed in HMO Management as we are one of the only agencies in Chelmsford which has a specialist HMO and rooms to rent department. Neil is Matthews younger brother and has a son named Michael.

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