Despite all the doom and gloom in the national press, Ward & Partners -Kent’s largest independent estate agents, with 44 offices across the county - have just reported a fantastic start to 2012, with double-digit growth right across the board during January compared to the same month last year.
In the west of the county, sales were no less than 66% up on January 2011, says Regional Managing Director Lee Crane. At the same time, market activity levels also showed substantial growth, he adds. “Requests for valuations went up by 23% compared to last year, while the number of new buyers registering with us rose by 33%.” With demand outstripping supply to that extent, says Lee, this may result in prices starting to rise later in the year.
Meanwhile, his opposite number for North andEast Kent, Aldo Sotgiu, tells a similar story. “Our net sales were 45% up in January compared to the same month last year,” he says. “The number of new applicants registering showed a 40% increase, as did the number of viewings, while 54%% more offers were received. In the meantime, new instructions were also over than a third up on 2011.”
What’s behind this dramatic improvement? Lee concedes that it’s partly a matter of general market sentiment. “I suspect that a lot of people, both sellers and buyers, have simply got fed up with waiting to see which way the wind is going to blow, and have just decided to get on with it. After all, house purchase is actually very affordable at the moment, and there are plenty of good mortgage deals around.”
Both men agree, however, that it’s not just down to market sentiment. “By no means all agents in Kenthave enjoyed the sort of start to the year that Ward & Partners have,” says Aldo. “The simple truth is that we are very good at what we do. Everything – from our cutting-edge marketing to our professional-quality photography - is designed not just to attract more interest from the house-buying public, but to go out there and actively generate that interest. We know this works, because of the growing numbers of online enquiries we receive. More enquiries mean more viewings, which in turn feed through into more offers - and ultimately result in the best possible price for your home!”
So, if you’re thinking of moving home in 2012, and you’re looking for an agent who can really make things happen, then Ward & Partners are the obvious choice!