Extending the commuter belt

21 Mar 2021

This week in five seconds

  • Extension of the commuter belt as firms go back to "hybrid working"
  • Viewing levels have increased significantly
  • Stagnant properties hard to sell - we suggest relist with a fresh agent
  • No chain sellers using stamp duty holiday to help their sale
  • Cladding crisis: what you can do if you can't sell

Extension of commuter belt

As the end of the pandemic is now in sight companies are considering returning to work. Our serviced office in Victoria, London has seen a 4 fourfold increase in occupancy in the last few weeks, but is still a fraction of the pre-pandemic levels.

The lasting impact of the pandemic on corporate office usage is likely, in our opinion, to be the introduction of hybrid working for many companies.

This will drive an increase in demand for those properties beyond the current commuter belt as part-time commuters can now put up with a 100min commute a few times a week.

The Sunday Times produced a very nice graphic to this effect (shown above), and we would expect property in these locations to see a sustained increase in demand. 

Viewing levels have increased significantly

As families settle back into some kind of routine with children back at school, we have seen viewing levels increase significantly. Both from a higher volume of buyers viewing property as well as a higher volume of sellers being able to more easily allow access to their property. In combination with the traditional Spring market this has generated high levels of activity.

During the course of the week we have seen listings start to catch up with demand thus the price sensitivity remains. With buyers having a good choice of property if you are a motivated seller make sure you are marketing at an attractive price.

Been on the market more than two months? Change agent.

Properties that have been on the market for a while are struggling and agents are having to work really hard to generate interest in them. If you are selling and have been listed for some time you might want to consider a fresh agent in order to target a different pool of buyers.

Around half of Movewise’s business is “relistings” and we sell these more frequently than the average agent achieves.

To get advice on who you should relist with contact us here.

Stamp duty saving used by no-chain sellers to make their sale more attractive

Some sellers have turned the stamp duty saving on it’s head and decided to sell their property with no onward chain. By doing this, although they don’t directly make the saving themselves on a purchase, they can offer their buyers the advantage of the stamp duty holiday and therefore make their property a more attractive prospect over one that is in a chain.

Cladding crisis: what you can do

1.5m modern homes who cannot prove their walls are safe, are currently unmortgageable, in what is known as the “cladding scandal”. This represents 6% of the UK homes market and most of the first rung of the property ladder, impacting the entire property market.

For those property owners trapped in this situation you will need an “external-wall-system” review (EWS1 form) in order to sell your property. Fire engineers typically charge “five figure sums” for the EWS1 forms.

Without an EWS1, buyers won’t achieve lending so sellers need a cash buyer and one who is prepared to take the risk on whether the building will pass or fail with the resulting liability that may come with that. Most estate agents won't list properties that fall into this category.

Large residential managing agents such as Rendall & Rittner are providing detailed updates on the crisis and the steps to resolution.

February 2021 Rendall & Rittner update

Further steps flat owners who are trying and failing to sell should take are to get in touch with and add weight to the bodies pushing the government for change at End our Cladding Scandal (EOCS) and UK Cladding Action Group (UKCAG) which you can do here:

EOCS: https://endourcladdingscandal.org/

UKCAG: https://www.facebook.com/ukcag/
Or email at ukcladdingactiongroup@gmail.com


We have also posted this information on our website here under guides here:

Sellers guide to the UK cladding Crisis

We are so sorry for those trapped in this situation, it is not right or fair. We wish to help to the extent we can so please submit ideas or thoughts to us at sales@movewise.co.uk and we will endeavour to put our weight behind the process for resolution.


Have a lovely week.

The Movewise Team

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