If you’re preparing to sell your Fife property in the New Year, then you might be feeling a little overwhelmed at the amount of work your Fife home requires before taking it to market. But don’t fret; we’re here with a list of top tips to help get you ready to show off your Fife home.
With around 1 in 2 Fife house sellers actually selling their home in the last month, Fife sellers and buyers will need to continue to be pragmatic if the surprisingly strong current levels of activity in the Fife property market are to be sustained.
To start, we had the once in a lifetime event of the credit crunch in 2008, we then had another once in a lifetime event with the Brexit vote in 2016 and now the mother of all ‘once in a lifetime’ events, Coronavirus in 2020 – three once in a lifetime events in the space of 3 Olympic Games!
The doom-mongers forecast that the British property market would drop like a lead balloon on the scale of the 1989 housing crash (where property values dropped by 30.87% in a couple of years) but would be nothing compared to the tsunami that was Covid. Yet in the first 75 days of the property market coming out of lockdown, behavioural and economic changes mean that many Fife homebuyers are now even more dedicated to moving home and the Fife property market is doing quite well.
Going into lockdown, the effect on activity in the Fife property market during those three months was expectable and predictable as it was placed in suspended animation during April, May and June. When the Fife property market re-opened in late June, nobody predicted what happened next. Of course, many of us in the property industry estimated some release of pent-up demand from the Boris Bounce, yet nobody anticipated such a ricochet in activity in the Fife property market.
This is particularly interesting when one considers GDP dropped by 20.4% in Q2 2020 (fascinating when compared to notable historic times when it dropped by 13.8% in WW2 and 16.7% in WW1), yet amidst the largest contraction in the UK economy ever in a single quarter, what wasn’t expected was an increase of potential property buyers and sellers wanting to move post-lockdown.
Some have cited this boost to the property market on a number of factors. Firstly, we have had the Stamp Duty Holiday, others have pointed at the never seen before 0.1% Bank of England base rates making mortgages cheap, then we had the furlough scheme which protected so many jobs and finally, the pent-up demand from the Boris Bounce.
Yet, when one actually talks with Fife buyers and sellers, whilst all of them cite one or two of the above reasons, all of them mention and talk about how the lockdown has made them re-evaluate and reconsider how they want to live, their work-life balance and where they want to live. This is also reflected with tenants changing their requirements when looking for a property to rent (so Fife landlords – be aware of this).
Demand for apartments in the centre of Fife has eased off, whilst demand for property with a good-sized garden or other outside space has increased. One question we get asked all the time is also the broadband speeds, although they are quite decent in Fife (the average broadband in our local Council area being 41.0 Mbps download and 7.9 Mbps upload).
So, with record numbers of Fife properties coming on to the market – is it boom time for Fife homeowners?
Of the 901 properties that have come onto the market in Fife over the last month, 420 of them have agreed a sale
(a percentage of 46.6%)
That means around 1 in 2 Fife people that have placed their property onto the market have not found a buyer yet.
Yes, the Fife property market is good, yet the number of people who have placed their property on the market has also gone up. Fife estate agents have never been so busy putting property on the market and I feel sorry for the chap who is putting up all the for-sale boards – his wife hasn’t seen him in daylight for weeks!
But that does mean you are in competition with so many other properties on the market (the number of properties coming on to the market typically at this time of the year is about a third to half less). The Stamp Duty boost ends in March 2021, so that means you need to have found a buyer by November at the very latest. By over egging your asking price, to test the market, might mean you will lose out on this hiatus and could end up missing the boat!
The prices being achieved for the Fife properties that have been selling have been fair and realistic and have stood up much better than many were originally predicting.
Yet as the country looks forward, given the ambiguous nature of the outlook for the British economy and the possibility that Covid-19 may be with us for a little while yet, I must implore Fife property sellers to be realistic with their asking price so a greater number of you who want to make the move, are able to do so.
For many of us, when we decide to move to a new home there will be many factors to consider, which can range from new work commitments, to growing family needs or simply the need for better quality of life. A new survey from Broadband Choices has discovered the five key reasons as to why people select a location for their new home, which could form a useful list for current house-hunters. Continue reading The 5 Most Important Factors When Buying A Home In Fife! (4 min read)
SPRING SELLING TIPS for 2020: How to prepare and present your home for prime selling season
Spring is usually the time of year when the largest numbers of buyers start registering with estate agents to find their next home. And with two long school holiday periods on the horizon – Easter and Summer – family friendly locations like Dunfermline, Glenrothes, Leven, Cupar, Kirkcaldy, East Neuk and St Andrews see a lot of property market activity. Continue reading SPRING SELLING TIPS for 2020 in FIFE
For a lot of older homeowners today, downsizing can be a great way to have a good clear out after your kids have left home, but also a fantastic way to free up some equity from your home. This financial boost will most likely come with the added bonus of a reduction in running costs as you move to a smaller home.
While there are plenty of benefits of downsizing, moving home can still be a complex and stressful experience, so we’ve put together a quick guide on what to consider to help make your move a much smoother transition.
If you have spoken to us on this subject previously, you will know that in the three years since the referendum of the ‘B’ word (that word is banned in our household), we have proved beyond doubt that it (whose name shall remain nameless) has had no effect on the Fife property market (or the UK as a whole).
So one might ask, what does affect the property market locally? Well many things on the demand side include wages, job security, interest rates, availability of mortgages, confidence in the economy, inflation, speculative demand … the list goes on. Yet as my blog readers will note, I like to delve deeper into the numbers and I have found an interesting correlation between unemployment and the number of properties sold (i.e. transactions).
Why transaction levels and not house prices? Well just looking at Fife house prices as a bellwether has flaws. Many property market commentators and economists believe transaction numbers (the number of properties sold) give a more accurate and candid indicator of the health of the property market than just house values alone. The reason is twofold. First most people when they sell also buy, so if property values have dropped by 10% or risen by 10% on the one you are selling, it would have done the same on the one you are buying – meaning to judge the health of a property market is very one dimensional. Secondly, the act of moving is very much a human thing. Property habitually conveys a robust emotional connection with homeowners – a connection that few would attribute to their other investments like their savings or stock market investments. Moving home could be described as a human enterprise, moving from one chapter of one’s life to another. When people move home, it shows they are moving forward in their lives and so this gives a great indicator of the health of the property market.
Looking at Fife’s figures on the graph, you can see an inverse relationship between unemployment and housing transaction levels.
Property transactions in Fife dropped by 55.6%, whilst unemployment in Fife rose by 54.29% during the 2007 to 2009 Global Financial Crash
Until recently, there has clearly been a relationship between conditions in the Fife job market and the number of people who move home … interesting don’t you think?
Now I am not saying unemployment is the only factor influencing the Fife property – but it has to be said there is a link.
As a country (and indeed here in Fife) over the last 40 years, we have seen a shift in the outlook over the purpose of housing and the development of the religion of following house prices (and I appreciate the irony of me writing these articles on Fife – feeding that habit!) Yet, when did owning a home turn from buying a roof over your head to an out and out investment vehicle? I do wish people would stop fretting about their intrinsic value being associated with their Fife home. Now of course, I am not dismissing the current levels of Fife house prices – we just have to take into consideration other metrics alongside them when judging the health of the property market locally.
One final thought, looking on a broader scale in the UK, those towns and cities whose property markets bounced back after the Global Financial Crash had high levels of employment and low unemployment whilst places with high unemployment and relatively low employment have, on the other hand, typically under performed.
So, the next time you are considering a house move or buying a buy to let property in Fife … don’t make your judgement on house price growth alone.