Local agent with big firm benefits

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Summer holidays are coming to an end and school holidays are almost over, so whati s the out look for the property market?

Depending on where you live in Sheffield and the surrounding area or elsewhere in the country, the downturn in autumn 2008 after the banking/financial crisis meant a sluggish market at best and a very poor market at worst.

This lasted for five years and then improved around nine months ago due to easier cheap mortgages, government intervention, such as the Help to Buy scheme, and an improving economy.

The market improved substantially after last year’s summer holidays and that trend has generally continued with a high demand in popular areas and prices exceeding the 2007-8 levels, but is this going to continue?

Demand is always lower in July and August and media comment over the last few weeks on MMR (Mortgage Review Market) and interest rates rising has also had an effect.

However, overall the housing market should continue its growth and healthy demand.

We have had very low interest rates since March 2009 and increases will come but they will be small and gradual and manageable, particularly in the South Yorkshire Area with relatively small mortgages compared with the South East. Mortgage Market Review means new mortgage customers will not overstretch themselves, and seeing a good independent financial advisor at the outset to assess affordability and ensure normal monthly living costs can be met when interest rates rise will prevent future problems arising.

With a general election in nine months’ time we can expect lots of good news from the government all helping the magic word ‘confidence’ enhance the market. We now have a booming economy with employment rising, mortgages with lower deposits readily available to suitable applicants and a shortage of housing all of which should result in sales remaining buoyant and prices rising. This will be fragmented as location is always vital so a good estate agent is needed if you are thinking of moving.

Some people like the security of a big national company when choosing an agent, others like the smaller local agent.

Hunters give you the best of both worlds. Security in a national brand of over 100 branches and an addition 32 opening in the next 3 months, but each office being independently owned means you get the top quality you deserve at a reasonable price. The business owner works in the branch. Hunters has the only estate agents training academy which is City & Guilds approved and client satisfaction for the first 7 months of the year is rated at 97% nationally for sales and lettings. The Sheffield offices have a 100% customer service satisfaction level.

You can be sure of unbeatable service from the most highly qualified people at a reasonable price if you chose Hunters to sell or rent your property.

Stuart Goff is a director of Hunters, telephone 0114 2666626.