I was pleased to read on the BBC website that more first time buyers took out mortgages in 2017 than in any year since 2006.

In terms of actual figures that means there were 365,000 first time buyers in the UK last year, an increase of 7.4% over 2016, according to UK Finance.

Meanwhile, figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showed that the rise in price for the first time buyer market was 4.8%, which was less than the overall average house price increase of 5.2%.


I knew 15th February 2018 was a date that rang a bell with me but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then it hit me – it was twenty years to the day since Sandra Merrick first came to work for us.

 

As Christmas approaches, I look forward to one of our most popular traditions – the seasonal ghost story. Many people are unaware that we have some of the UK's most famous ghosts here amongst us in Gloucester and its environs.


I am often asked if there is a perfect method of showing prospective purchasers around a property. Each individual person and property is different, of course, but here are the three basic steps that I use:

1. Make planning the key. I always do my research well in advance as understanding the needs of the purchaser and the attributes of the property is crucial. I try and predict the questions I am going to be asked such as why the owners are selling, how long the property has been on the market and what the local schools are like. Understanding exactly what the viewers are looking for is important too so I check what other properties they have looked at. Finally I always aim to get to the property early so I can have a scout round in case anything unexpected needs to be dealt with.


At the end of October the government launched a consultation looking into ways of making the house buying and selling process faster, cheaper and less stressful.

Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, announced he wants to hear from people all across the sector including estate agents, solicitors and mortgage lenders. He said “we want to ensure that we address issues across the whole sector, from ways to tackle gazumping and reduce time wasting to increase commitment to a sale.”