Whether you are a Chelmsford homeowner, first-time buyer or landlord; the last 15 months has been a roller coaster ride when it comes to the Chelmsford property market.
With 213,120 UK house buyers and 58,580 UK tenants moving home in June, the summer has been manic for many people. Meaning some Chelmsford homeowners are asking if they should be staying put? Or should they wait for the best home to come onto the market before putting their home up for sale or find a buyer but be unable to find a property – it’s all rather confusing.
Then we have some Chelmsford landlords who are asking themselves if they should buy another property investment (and some even wondering if they should sell and cash in on the boom) and then finally, with 95% mortgages back, first-time buyers are asking if they should look to take the plunge and buy their first home or wait.
In this article, I hope I can help you with the decisions you might want to make and to navigate this unusual post lockdown housing market. Let me start with some stats to show you what is happening at the moment in Chelmsford.
The average time it takes to sell a Chelmsford property in this housing market is 27 days.
Interesting when compared with nearby Danbury at 57 days, Ingatestone at 57 days, Hatfield Peverel at 37 days and Billericay at 34 days.
Look back five years, it took 62 days on average to sell a Chelmsford home – the local property market is now certainly ‘cooking on gas’!
The property market has certainly solidified a little over the last few weeks. The Stamp Duty holiday rush has seen its run and the pent-up post-Brexit and more importantly post- lockdown demand has receded and although I am still observing competing offers on most Chelmsford properties, I certainly get a feeling of a small shift in the balance-of-power between the seller and buyer.
Many people have put their house hunting on hold as they go on their first holiday since 2019, be that glamping in Cornwall or having days out on a ‘staycation’. That means between now and mid-September, depending on what type of property you are looking for, many buyers could well discover that there are fewer competitors for their next home than there might be.
Also, July and August are notoriously barren months for estate agents putting new properties up for sale. Yet since the typical ‘seasonal property market’ is so out of kilter as a result of the pandemic, many agents are taking on a decent number of very good properties now, which is not something that characteristically would have happened in the summer months.
The important thing is not to wait for the property to hit the portals (i.e. Rightmove etc). Yet research shows, nearly 5 out of 6 people who bought their home were not on the agents mailing list before they viewed the home they eventually bought. That’s OK in a normal property market as you can wait until it hits Rightmove or Zoopla, yet these are unprecedented times and if you are not on an agent’s mailing list – you will miss out on properties.
If you don’t put yourself on the agent’s mailing lists, you could end up losing out on the property of your dreams.
So, the question is should you put your Chelmsford home on the market first or wait for the right property to come along?
Roll the clock back a few years and it was standard practice for people to wait for their dream home to come onto the market, then put theirs on and hope that would it sell in time. This housing market is different and only those who are in a position to proceed (cash buyers or those sold subject to contract) will be considered as serious buyers.
Yet, nobody wants to be homeless if they do sell.
Estate agents are returning back to their old skills from the 1980s and 1990s by chain building. By starting at the bottom of the chain of the smaller house and building up a chain, waiting for everybody to find their next homes, nobody need be made homeless.
This is not an issue because most house sales are taking on average between 20 and 25 weeks and as long as everybody communicates with each other and everyone knows where they are, then normally things go through, albeit slower. Can you believe it – estate agents really are earning their money with this!
So what Chelmsford homes are selling the fastest?
Chelmsford landlords, maybe there are some bargains to be had with some apartments with that length of time on the market? Again, do your homework or even consider picking up the phone to me for a chat.
So, there you have it. The lessons I hope you have now learnt from this are to put yourself on agent’s mailing lists, talk to agents about your requirements so you get a heads up first when a property is coming onto the market (don’t just do everything over a computer screen) and once you have found a property be a little bit more patient with how long it takes to build a chain and then get the property through to an exchange and completion so you get the keys to your forever home.
Whether you are a Chelmsford homeowner, Chelmsford landlord or first-time buyer and would like some advice and opinion on your circumstances in the current Chelmsford property market, please don’t hesitate to either pick up the phone or drop me a message.
To everyone else, what are your thoughts on the Chelmsford property market?
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