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Richard Pickles

Richard's January Reflections

24 Feb 2017   |   0 Comments



That’s where we are at. Lessimism sums up the mood in the UK and maybe the world at the moment. It’s not outright optimism, more reduced pessimism (less pessimism, see what I’ve done there?).

It sums up the, “maybe it’s not going to be as bad as we all expected” feeling. It’s the bank of England’s most recent monthly statement, it’s the world’s markets reaction to Trump’s pro-business policies. Not the policies that make the headlines and have newspaper editors and trendy Islington socialists ranting and raving, but the promise to reduce corporate taxes and grow the economy.

I think it’s beginning to have a positive effect on our market. The signs are there that stock is starting to build in Estate Agents windows once again. Now this isn’t a scientific process. I have various searches on Rightmove etc. from previous house hunts, not just for myself, but my daughter, sister and so on, that I either haven’t deleted or don’t know how to! However the point is that after a couple of very quiet months in December and January, now all of a sudden I am getting daily emails through again. People are listing! And our volumes here in CDS-land have certainly seen an increase in the last week or so.

This is great news. I think it’s widely accepted that it has been a lack of stock that has been holding the market back. Money has never been cheaper (I know I’ve just re-mortgaged!) and prices have been held back just a little, making property a bit more affordable.

Yes, we are in the months where we generally see an increase, but I just sense a change of mood.

Lessimism, it’s a good thing.

I’ve also got great news to report on the Local Authority front. Another big reduction in TATs. This knocked another half day off the overall averages and we are now down to around 8 working days on average. Yes, there are still some areas where the TAT is unacceptable, but some of the Councils that were causing all sorts of issues this time last year now have acceptable service levels. Again my apologies for those of you who receive instructions in the West Dorset area, we are constantly talking to them but there is little sign of anything changing in the short term.

Here’s a summary of this month’s stars:

OLAS Working days        PLAS Working days      
East Devon 20 to 10 days East Lindsey   26 to 16 days  
East Lindsey 25 to 11 days   Kings Lynn 21 to 11 days
Mendip 30 to 6 days Knowsley 20 to 7 days
South Shropshire   18 to 4 days Maldon 20 to 9 days
West Devon 22 to 7 days North Herefordshire   21 to 7 days
    Oadby & Wigston 18 to 6 days
    Shrewsbury & Atcham   29 to 17 days
    South Holland 19 to 3 days
    South Shropshire 29 to 18 days
    South Staffordshire 20 to 9 days
    Weymouth & Portland 22 to 6 days
    Wrexham 22 to 12 days


So a cautiously optimistic view looking forward. My advanced apologies that this rambling waffle will be a little later next month as I will be skiing in the first week of March and I must admit I’m thoroughly looking forward to it. It’s even started snowing properly in the Alps at last. Maybe I should try the States next year?



The above represents a personal view and does not, in any way, reflect the views of Conveyancing Data Services Ltd.


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