Property market falters with less sales and lower prices
Despite bullish noises from many agents, as we hit the midpoint of the year, the volume of agreed sales is down, and it is definitely turning into a ‘buyers’ market. Correctly priced housing stock is coming to the market and receiving offers in the first two weeks of listing, vendors flying kites are seeing no viewings.
In some ways with property prices having jumped 23% in 24-months, it was inevitable that there would be a slowdown in house sale prices, the biggest question is will the present patchy market turn into a full blown rout, fuelled by ever increasing mortgage rate costs?
Analysis seems to indicate that completions this year will be around 1.15M, down 18% from last year which was an exceptionally high figure, topping the usual 1.2M mark. But there are other factors at play which may see the property market in the doldrums for two or more years.
The most obvious is that the Bank of England are likely to push lending rates to 5.25% by the autumn, which means that fixed rate deals could be hovering around 6.8% for some buyers, and landlords with commercial mortgages are already facing cripplingly high rates, which means some will exit rather than finance property with only a fractional return on profit.
Despite all that the government is stating, inflation will remain high, headline inflation may fall, but the cost of food and the cost of goods and services, until the Ukrainian war and the aftershock of Brexit works its way through means there is not enough money flowing around.
On the political front too, the Government is now moribund, Gove is left trying to keep possible conservative general election voters happy, by allowing their Nibbyism, which in turn is frustrating the government’s national homebuilders who will sit on their hands unable to build.
Add in the decimation in the new home sector caused by the ending of Help-to-buy, and the fact that first time buyers are now priced out of the property nexus with affordability and mortgages in the mix too, it may well be that a sharp price correction may follow.
At present it is asking prices that are getting a haircut, rather than property being sold at a lower figure this year than last. But if the trend continues, inflationary forces, lack of cheap money to buy homes may start a housing market rout similar to 2008.
As we approach the start of the holiday season, the biggest challenge for home sellers will be if in September the housing market comes roaring back after the usual July to August hiatus, or will a couple of Bank of England rate rises dampen down the appetite for property and the market enters a stagnant period, where well priced property in key areas sells, and overpriced inventory of a problematic nature just does not sell.
4Corners says company branding is all for Proptechs
Phil Priest co-founder of 4Corners, feels that many property technology companies would get far better traction and more users and paying clients if they had a strong brand, backed by a simple strapline which captures the essence of the business.
He feels that whilst development and execution of a service is vital, equally as important is establishing an identity, so that new customers will be tempted to start using the service and can understand its value.
As Phil Priest puts it, ‘For anyone that owns and runs a business, you set out to create a product or provide a service that improves on what you have experienced prior wanting to better the world we live in and be proud of what you have achieved.
We all consider our business, one that we have created, nurtured, fed, and watered on a daily basis, shedding blood, sweat and tears, as our ‘baby’. We spend hours working at the business, evenings spent working on the business and nights thinking about the business, it becomes more than a job, but an addiction.
I am no different. When I get asked if I am working, the honest answer is ‘always working’, not as a badge of honour and not always chained to my laptop, but the mental strain and constant demand doesn’t ever allow you to switch off. So, who better to know and explain my business and what problems we solve than myself? And yes, give me the 60-seconds to go through my elevator pitch then it is well rehearsed and easy to do.
But ask me to create that all important strapline and it is not so easy. If we look at some super brands who have spent millions on this; something that hits home, is sticky and sums everything up, we get without stating their company names, straplines or slogans we can easily identify;
- Just Do It
- Every Little Helps
- Think Different
For a business like 4Corners Property where we solve the headaches of conveyancing for Estate Agents and Mortgage Brokers, provide detailed weekly updates to add transparency to the transaction and reduce time to completion to 79-days with zero fall throughs, what few words would encapsulate this?
Here are some of the words that we played around with, and as you can see, it is really hard to describe the benefit, feature and the service in a very few words.
- Protect & increase revenue for estate agents and mortgage brokers
- Dont gamble your client on low odds services
- Punch above your weight in a crowded market
- Stand out service for stand out agents!
- Exceptional service levels for standard property services
- Future property services for todays market, protect and increase revenue daily
- We ensure your pipeline doesn’t fall apart
- Close your pipeline quicker, protect and increased revenue for agents and brokers!
- Conveyancing made convenient.
- Move in Sooner
- Putting the magic back in to moving home
So to anyone reading this, who is a property technology founder, do you have a strapline that manages to convey what you are all about. And if you are a reader and you can help sum up 4Corners in seven words or less please get in contact, as all suggestions will be warmly recieved’
Proptech and Property News in association with Estate Agent Networking.
Andrew Stanton is the founder and CEO of Proptech-PR, a consultancy for Founders of Proptechs looking to grow and exit, using his influence from decades of industry experience. Separately he is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations. He is also the founder and editor of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.