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June 26, 2017

Market comment for June

“A fine balance”

Anyone with an interest in the property market generally understands the influence of supply and demand on house prices. Just like any other “commodity”, if everybody wants something that is in generally short supply, the price tends to rise. In the property sector, the media often describes a rising market good and a falling market as bad.

Indeed, as estate agents, our job is to sell our clients’ property for as much as the market will tolerate and, unlike online estate agency alternatives, we are paid in direct proportion to the price we are able to negotiate. The problem is, prices have risen to such an extent over time that the average house is now well out of reach for the average person in the street. So maybe, socially speaking, rising prices should be seen as a bad thing (although frankly we know which side our bread is buttered).

However, the supply/demand equilibrium appears to be about to change. According to Rightmove, the number of sales agreed at this time of year is the second highest for ten years, only slightly lower than the high of May 2014. So supply is clearly up and, during this time of relatively stable demand, sure enough there appears to be a corresponding dip about to happen in prices, as Rightmove goes on to report that price of property coming to market has dropped by 0.4% this month (the first fall in June since 2009 at the height of the credit crunch) and the first fall this year.

Fortunately these observations could be regarded as fine-tuning and there are no major corrections about to happen. Nevertheless, it may be that the current levels of political turmoil could possibly persuade marginally more people to sell and fewer to buy, in which case the edge could come off property values – but at least this might just free things up to the extent that anyone sitting on the fence as to whether or not to sell might feel more confident that they will indeed be able to find somewhere else suitable to buy.

Please feel free to contact one of our real local property experts on 01903 885886 if you’d like to see where your own property sits in the market. You might be pleasantly surprised!

Andrew Richardson FNAEA MARLA

Director

#propertyexperts #June #property #propertyfocus #blog #expert

May 16, 2017

“Hit The Road”

“Location, location, location” is the somewhat overused maxim applied by many as a rule of thumb when selecting a property. However, a closer look reveals that a compromise in this principle can produce significant benefits for property purchasers in the Arundel area.

Clearly, most purchasers’ idea of a dream home is one in perfect condition, with a beautiful garden, massive sunny accommodation, off street parking, and found in the best street in the area – preferably a quiet, leafy, cul-de-sac. And of course, it must be cheap!

Sadly this idyllic combination does not exist, because if the first seven criteria are satisfied, then the price is likely to be astronomical! So budgetary constraints typically force buyers to accept a degree of compromise. For many, this will mean asking the children to share a bedroom, making do with a patio rather than a garden, doing some DIY or parking the car in the street. Last on many people’s list is buying on a busy road!

Yet consider that advantages. Firstly, properties on a busy road are usually considerably cheaper than similar properties in a quiet street. This means that you can buy far more for your money. It could well mean that you will not have to compromise on those very things that contribute to an attractive property lifestyle. You might actually gain attributes such as a playroom for the children, a garage for the car, or a garden large enough to exercise the dog.

Most people who live on a main road tell us that they no longer notice it. And there is no reason to think that such a property might be a poor investment either, because just as you bought it at a discount, so you will sell it in the future – although by then it may well be in a traffic-calming zone!

Tim Wickins

Associate Director

01903 885886

 

 

May 9, 2017

Who Chooses..

“Who’s Choosing Your Home?”

An Englishman’s home may be his castle – but it is usually a woman who chooses it!

94% of estate agents polled in a recent survey* confirmed that, in most house-hunting couples or families, it is the woman who has the last word in choosing which home they buy.

Two of the most important factors that attract women in a home are a modern kitchen, and a his-and-hers en-suite bathroom, with 91% of agents questioned saying that a good kitchen is the single feature most likely to clinch a sale. 95% say it is the woman, rather than the man, who is more inclined to want a his-and-hers en-suite bathroom.

For men, almost half the estate agents polled say that a reception room or recreation room large enough for a wide-screen TV is the most important single sale-clinching feature, whilst a quarter find that a shed, workshop/outbuildings is the biggest attraction.

Both men and women (9% and 4% respectively) said that a back garden, protected from neighbours’ watchful eyes by high hedges or fencing, also featured as a strong attraction.

Whilst men and women may have different agendas as they seek their ideal home, sellers would be well-advised to consider who typically has the most influence on the buying decision.

When making improvements prior to a sale, it is therefore important to focus on those things that will mostly impress the driving force in the relationship. So whilst the garden wall may need rebuilding, perhaps the money would be better spent on improvements to the kitchen or the creation of an en-suite bathroom instead!

Remember, you are selling a home and a property lifestyle – not just bricks and mortar, so take advantage of the respective buying impulses of the most influential people in the buying decision – women!

(*Source: IOCL)

Tim Wickins

Associate Director

01903 885886

May 2, 2017

Advertising

Advertising for Results

As estate agents, our job is to sell property. Sounds obvious really! However, some people judge an agent’s ability to do the job on the amount of advertising undertaken on behalf of each client, rather than on the strategy behind their advertising policy.

Clearly, it is virtually unheard of that someone will buy a property on the strength of an advert, without actually visiting it. So the purpose of a property ad is not to sell the property, but rather to encourage a buyer to enquire further and arrange to see it.

Nevertheless research, and our experience, has shown that it is also unlikely that a buyer will go on to purchase the property about which they originally enquired from an advert. The chances are that once they have made contact with the estate agent, then that agent will begin to gain a thorough understanding of the purchaser’s wants, needs, preferences and areas of potential compromise, and can steer them towards the property that most closely fits their requirements. This can often turn out to be something quite different to the one that initially attracted the buyer.

The most important function of a property advert is to encourage buyers to contact the estate agent, so that the agent can then have the opportunity of doing their job in facilitating a successful sale.

So, when selecting the right estate agent to sell your property, don’t be too impressed with promises to advertise your property every week. This could even cause your property to become over-exposed, leading to a reduction in the likely sale price. We have found it far more effective to feature fewer but more-appealing ads, and then work really effectively with our registered buyers, leading to a happy outcome for all concerned. So often, effective estate agency is more about strategy than actual tactics!

Tim Wickins

Associate Director

01903 885886

 

April 27, 2017

Jackson-Stops Arundel Market Report – April 2017

“The Market’s Picking Up”

Analysing and understanding the UK property market is notoriously difficult. Conflicting reports and biased perspectives often confuse people who simply want a degree of reassurance that their purchase or sale is well-timed. Many people who currently have no intention of moving are also naturally curious about the value of their home, which is usually their biggest investment.

There are two angles on the property market that interest us most – property values, which are driven by the relative balance of supply and demand, and transaction volumes, which are primarily influenced by confidence levels and affordability.

The past year has been relatively unstable: we saw a massive rush to purchase buy-to-let investment properties before a change to the SDLT tax regime in March 2016. We then had the Brexit referendum, a change in Prime Minister, an American election and continuing sporadic terrorist activity. Yet through all this, the property market has remained strong in terms of prices, primarily due to lower supply levels as people “wait and see what’s going to happen”. And what usually “happens” is “not much”! Life goes on following anything other than a major crisis. And there have been no major crises in the property market for years.

The market is certainly gaining a long-awaited fluidity, with transaction volumes having risen about 21% compared to February. Any comparison with the same time last year would of course be distorted by last year’s SDLT deadline. However, the pace of house price growth continues to soften; whilst The Land Registry puts annual price growth at 5.8% there will always be a time lag in this behind asking prices. Rightmove currently reports annual asking prices up 2.3% compared with 7.6% this time last year, so we expect reported Land Registry figures to reflect this damping in the coming months.

And what of the election? The consensus is that this election is unlikely to have any major effects on the property market. Any potentially scary stuff has already happened in the past twelve months and whatever the outcome of the election there is unlikely to be any fallout that would have any significant bearing on whether people will choose to buy or sell their home. There are fewer speculative sales than ever before, with most transactions stimulated by a genuine need to move, prompted by the real stuff of life – a job change, marriage, a growing or shrinking family, debt, divorce, etc. The election is unlikely to affect any of these and it is also fortunate that polling day, on 8th June, will follow a very short campaign.

As ever, we British keep calm and carry on. So if you plan to move house, there really is nothing standing in your way and we’d be delighted to help you move. Why not contact us today for an idea of how our marketing plans could make this as profitable and painless as possible? You might be pleasantly surprised.

Tim Wickins

Associate Director

01903 885886

April 18, 2017

The Courteous Buyer

Most people move house rarely and often have little idea of the etiquette required if the stress of moving is to be minimised. Our job as progressive estate agents is to help buyers and sellers minimise this stress by seeing the world through their eyes and advising accordingly.

For example, vendors often go to great lengths to prepare for a viewing. They clean the house thoroughly, making sure everything, from cushions to children’s toys, is in its place. They might light a fire, switch on the lights, arrange fresh flowers, mow the lawn, and send their teenager out to walk the dog in anticipation of the arrival of the esteemed buyer.

The agreed viewing time comes, and goes. The seller looks anxiously out of the window. Twenty minutes passes, and the seller wonders if they have got the time wrong. So they wait. But still nothing, and the pressure in the household mounts.

When looking at property, communication and straight-talking are critical if the stress of moving is to be minimised. So if you are a buyer and you are running late, or decide you don’t like the look of the house you have arranged to view on arrival, be assured that the vendor would far rather you told them so than simply drive on.

Likewise, if the property just doesn’t feel right inside then don’t waste your time, or the vendor’s, by indulging their attempts at polite conversation. Be frank, politely, and move on.

Also, be sure to give prompt, sincere and detailed feedback to the agent following a viewing, as this will not only enable them to communicate better with the vendor, but also help them gain a more comprehensive understanding of your requirements as a buyer, possibly saving you time and hassle in the future.

Tim Wickins

Associate Director

01903 885886

 

 

April 10, 2017

Clutter Costs!

In the current market, if you are to maximise your price, it is more important than ever to ensure that your property is a highly saleable proposition, rather than one that makes another house look good by comparison.

Of course, there are several basics that should be in place. The price needs to be as attractive as the décor, and you should aim to be flexible on things like fixtures, viewing times and completion dates. You also need to be with a pro-active estate agency – not just one who simply lists your house and then waits for the market to deliver a buyer to your door.

But there are other things that you can do, which can have a significant bearing on whether a buyer will purchase your property instead of the one down the street.

A recent survey supports our own view that clutter in an otherwise charming property can thwart an early sale. Over 76% of estate agents questioned said that de-cluttering your home is among the top three most important things a seller can do, and is an inexpensive way of dramatically increasing the perception of space. 68% of agents said that a thorough interior clean was important, followed by 48% who said that the garden should be tidied.

If you have lived in your property for a while, you can become oblivious to what is clutter and what is an asset to the presentation of the property. So it’s a good idea to ask a friend to help you sort the wheat from the chaff, and we are of course happy to offer straight-talking good advice if required.

But don’t just bung your superfluous possessions it in the garage. Why not be rigorous and take a few carloads to one of our local charity shops? It can be a liberating exercise as well as a social benefit!

However, should you be thinking of selling, before doing anything, please do ask us to provide you with a marketing proposal – it’s completely free and might just give you all the pointers you need for a successful sale. After all, that’s what we do best!

Tim Wickins

Associate Director

01903 885886

March 30, 2017

Do we only sell property over £500,000? Think again…

Jackson-Stops & Staff in Chichester and Arundel have, over the years, built up an enviable reputation for selling large country houses but our success doesn’t stop there…..

 

We sold this beautifully and extensively renovated property for £445,000 in Birdham, comprising two reception rooms, a living kitchen with wood-burner, three bedrooms and an en-suite bathroom It was an extremely popular house, with 33 viewings and 6 offers.

 

 

 

We also sold this unique first floor apartment in Itchenor, situated within yards of the waterfront, Hard and Sailing Club. Finished to an exceptional standard, comprising two bedrooms, one reception room, two bathroom, garage and garden.

Again, this property attracted a good level of interest in the first week and was sold the the first applicant to view.

 

 

 

Arundel have recently sold St Mary’s Close in Littlehampton. This was a delightful modern bungalow in a peaceful residential district.

This property went under offer very quickly following two successful viewings and sold for the asking price.

 

 

Our property for sale across southern West Sussex includes many homes that are listed for less than £500,000.

Contact Hannah in our Chichester office on 01243 786316, or Stuart in our Arundel office on 01903 885886, to find out how we can effectively market your property.

Alternatively, email chichester@jackson-stops.co.uk or arundel@jackson-stops.co.uk

March 9, 2017

Government Ignores Property Crisis

Budget Comment from Andrew Richardson FNAEA

Wednesday’s budget was noticeable for the absence of any mention of the housing market.

This oversight was met with derision from almost every organisation with an interest in the property sector. There has been a succession of housing ministers over recent years, each of which has introduced several, mostly ill-considered, policies which have effectively damaged the sector by tinkering with it, rather than by providing serious reform.

Of course, if you’re a regular homeowner you could be forgiven for asking “what’s the problem?”

The British housing market has proven to be a secure and profitable investment that has withstood considerable economic stresses and has consistently outperformed many other investment sectors, whilst simultaneously providing a roof over our heads.

However, the problem lies in the very success of the market itself. As estate agents, we share our clients’ delight in securing another record price in a street; but how sustainable is this continual growth? And what are the social implications?

The plight of the first time buyer, priced out of the market in many areas, must be addressed, but the government seems to be doing little to help. On the contrary, it’s banning of tenants’ referencing fees, combined with a massive hike in SDLT on buy-to-let investments, as well as the phased withdrawal of tax relief on mortgage interest for landlords, all conspire to disincentivise landlords from buying, thereby reducing stock and pushing up rents. What is being done to help the younger generation?

Nationally, transaction levels are already some 25% down on this time last year (fortunately at Jackson-Stops we have been able to buck this trend) and this will have a knock-on effect on the economy – not least from the home improvement spending that usually accompanies a purchase.

Despite this fall, the government’s SDLT revenues from residential sales in 2016/17 is expected to be some 13.6% higher than last year at a whopping £8.3 billion, due to the new way in which SDLT is charged. Could the government not have done something constructive in the sector from which it takes so much? And to apparently ignore the problem by not even acknowledging it or mentioning it in the budget is an insult to a generation.

Andrew Richardson FNAEA
01903 885886

February 6, 2017

The ultimate investment: a waterside property

February 7th 2017

Director Andrew Richardson at our Arundel branch provides his expert update on the waterside homes market.  

With the days getting longer and the weather improving, we see an increasing number of people entering the property market spurred on by the desire for change. Spring is an ideal time to purchase a waterside home in order to take advantage of everything the lifestyle has to offer; from atmospheric al fresco dining, to water sports and leisurely sailing.

Properties on the coast, estuaries and lakes have always been highly coveted and in short supply. The competition for this limited type of home is now fiercer than ever – exacerbated by the general shortage of homes this country is experiencing. We are seeing buyers forced to wait a number of months, or even years, until they find the right waterside home in the right location.

The Boathouse is on the market with our Arundel Office for £1,000,000

http://www.jackson-stops.co.uk/cgi-bin/properties/summary-details.pl?propID=72206

Waterside development tends to be very strictly controlled and aside from gaining planning approval, developers may also need to seek approval from other bodies. In some areas, the harbourmaster (whose role it is to enforce the regulations of a particular harbour or port) is also consulted and design as well as density is hugely important. This means new waterside developments are rare gems as there are rigorous criteria to be met before they can get off the ground.

This also means that waterside homes come at a premium, something which buyers should be prepared for when considering their budget. It is impossible to talk in generalities here so one excellent example of this premium is a home in Bosham, a coastal village in West Sussex. In 1992 buyers might have expected to pay around £500,000 for a house on Shore Road in Bosham, which is located near to the Bosham Sailing Club and the estuary. Today that same property could expect to achieve £4 million or more. Waterside homes are a solid investment. For example, properties located on the beach are much more likely to hold their value than cheaper alternatives away from the sea.

Green Cottage, Langstone is on the market with our Chichester Office at £1,500,000

http://www.jackson-stops.co.uk/cgi-bin/properties/coastal-waterside-property-chichester.pl

A large proportion of our buyers are London based, and are either looking to invest in a second home or alternatively they are making a full time lifestyle move from the Capital. Inland, beyond areas easily commutable to London, there tends to be a smaller pool of purchasers looking to buy at a price of above £2 million, on the coast the number is much higher. It’s also not uncommon to find buyers who are happy to pay in the millions for a plot of land with a fifties bungalow, only to knock it down and undertake a labour of love, building the home of their dreams.

It is important for any buyer considering the purchase of a waterside home to do thorough research. A waterside home can be an incredibly wise investment with property prices performing beautifully over time, however buyers must think carefully about any additional responsibilities that come with such a property and whether it also meets their broader criteria for a perfect home.