“Austerity rather than prosperity” drives sales at Jackson-Stops & Staff
Jackson-Stops & Staff, reports a significant increase in sales, with the highest number of sales in one month since June 2009 reflecting austerity rather than prosperity, according to director Tim Dansie.

The mid-market has shown the greatest concentration of sales, with buyers downsizing to pay the school fees, pay off the mortgage and reduce living costs, representing an interesting trend for Jackson-Stops & Staff, which celebrated its centenary last year, and is renowned for its stunning properties in the country house market. In June, sales across the 43 offices of Jackson-Stops & Staff were up by 12.5% on June 2010.

The number of properties under offer was also up by 15%, with an increase in new applicants of 11%. The total number of instructions increased by 26%, suggesting an excess of supply over demand. The best performing area in the Jackson-Stops & Staff stable was Winchester, with the highest number of sales. Central and the East of England also performed well, with a strong performance by the Ipswich office of Jackson-Stops & Staff. The Northampton office of Jackson-Stops & Staff also enjoyed a strong sales rate in June.

Elsewhere, the Cotswolds offices in Burford, Chipping Campden and Cirencester, a favourite for second homes and retirees, enjoyed good sales, as did offices in the North-west in Chester, Wilmslow and Hale. In the South West, the tourists have gone and only the serious buyers remain, according to the eight Jackson-Stops & Staff offices in the region.

Tim Dansie, director of the Ipswich office, said: Austerity rather than prosperity has definitely influenced our buyers. Downsizing from the large house to a more manageable property, cutting costs to afford the school fees and people who have moved out of the country and into town to make life easier have all been common themes among people looking to buy. Activity is returning to the market and we anticipate that this will start to have an effect on the higher end properties. We have seen an increase in the number of instructions and Junes figures indicate that people are now willing to commit to a sale.

Quentin Jackson-Stops, partner of the Northampton office, said: People fear that interest rates will rise and are buying a smaller, mid-market property and paying off their mortgages. We are fortunate that we do handle delightful, attractive homes in good locations, often with a fascinating history, yet still within the mid-market price band. Sales in Winchester have been driven by the traditional allure of a better quality life.

Phillip Blanchard, director of the Winchester office, said: Winchester is in the magic hour from London and our mid-market buyers have been young professionals and young families moving out of London for schools and more space.

The Kent branches of Jackson-Stops & Staff had a buoyant June, led by the Sevenoaks office, backed by a good performance from the three new offices established by Jackson-Stops & Staff in Kent since 2009: in Oxted on the Kent/Surrey borders; Tunbridge Wells and Canterbury earlier this year. With branches in Sevenoaks and Cranbrook, it now has a substantial presence in the county with five offices in total, the only agent to expand in the county during this period. The new offices are headed by former directors of Knight Frank, DTZ and Cluttons, with excellent local knowledge and contacts in Kent.

Alastair Hancock, director of Jackson-Stops & Staffs Sevenoaks office, said: We now have an unrivalled presence in Kent, with a very talented and highly experienced team of property experts in each of our five offices.