Expect to find a new home easily ? I think it will be more difficult than you expect. Yes, prices have picked up a notch or two but the NAEA (National Association of estate agents) report that the number of homes on the market is down between 25 and 80% on last year!

So many now rely on the Internet using excellent portals such as Rightmove but surely there is still a significant value in building relationships with your high-street estate agent.

One of the main issues for the eager househunter is that if they rely on the Internet for notification of a new home coming to market then they are missing out on the opportunity of receiving a phone call from the agent before the property goes live on their selected portal.

A surprising number of homes never make it on to the agent’s website, as a good agent will be in touch with his buyers and a keen seller will find a queue of people at his door before he has a chance of seeing his home on the Internet. Did you know that in 1980 around 12% of all houses in the UK changed hands each year, in 2013 just 4% did!


There are a number of factors, high prices means it’s harder to trade up. We have people living much longer and a complete change in the buy to let market with landlords purchasing investment properties for income and capital growth with no intent of disposing of their investment. Added to that, we have the thorny issue, again, of stamp duty. In 1988 there was no duty on properties with the value of less than £30,000, now the threshold is £125,000, and if you reach the heady heights of £250,000 then you pay the handsome sum of 3%. Now, if you fulfil the dream and buy a house at £1 million then you will be writing out a cheque for £50,000 to the Treasury!

So all in all, yes, it is hard to buy a house, but with a good agent you will be successful.

Happy househunting.

 Alex MM-7