Without doubt the stamp duty holiday introduced by Rishi Sunak last year has been a huge success and helped build some much needed positivity for the property sector. However, with the March deadline looming, some housebuilders are starting to report a drop off in sales as the likelihood of completion before the 31st March reduces by the day.
Many homebuyers saw the stamp duty holiday paired with the sudden need for more space due to home working as an opportunity to move. It is not surprising that most buyers are looking for a house with a garden or near a park to enjoy some much-needed outdoor space.
It is thought that more than half a million buyers are in the race against time as they try to complete before the deadline, however problems such as access issues and lack of planning have created delays and uncertainty for buyers.
The industry is pushing hard for an extension on the stamp duty holiday which experts agree is only fair for those who have done all they can to expedite their sale. Despite this, a long term extension seems unlikely, with stamp duty providing a much needed source of Government revenue, raising billions each year.
At Morrison Property Services, we are urging buyers to be prepared, ensuring you have an EPC for your property (if selling), a mortgage in place if required or access to funds. If buyers and sellers are more organised, the quicker their sale will progress. Instructing solicitors early is always advised. We advise a good tidy of the house and garden to ensure it is in a presentable condition; a full refurbishment is not always necessary.
If you are considering selling or are in need of advice, we offer a free no obligation property appraisal and, when required, valuation services. In additional to your typical residential property we specialise in more unusual instructions such houses with land, buildings, stables and property for business use.
Our office remains open and fully operational during these unprecedented times; despite some of the team working remotely they are on hand to help with all property enquiries. You can contact us via phone or email to chat about your property requirements. In the meantime we hope you are keeping safe and we look forward to hearing from you.
Sally Kendrick and Lydia Sirovica
Oakwood Valuation Surveyors
Incorporating Morrison Property Services
Our guidance for clients, tenants and contractors – COVID-19
Oakwood Valuation Surveyors and Morrison Property Services are committed to following government guidance for working safely during the pandemic.
We are working from home where possible and maintaining social distancing in the office to protect our staff, clients, tenants and contractors.
Please ensure you familiarise yourself with the guidance by following this link: Government advice on home moving during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Although our offices are open, we are discouraging office meetings at present. If there is an urgent request for an office meeting, we politely ask that this is arranged in advance as we regret that we cannot accept unannounced visits.
Contractors who are collecting keys, must contact the office in advance so we can distribute keys in a safe and controlled manner. Keys are sprayed with antibacterial spray before they leave the office and on return. May we remind contractors that when you attend properties, you must wear gloves, a mask and wipe down areas before and after the job is completed.
Initially we advise you to view our properties on our website or Rightmove.
If you would like a physical viewing and are not experiencing COVID symptoms, then this is possible and we will ask you to complete a COVID risk assessment.
If a property is tenanted, it is unlikely that we will be able to conduct a viewing at present. Vacant properties can be attended.
We are limiting viewings to two adults only, plus our viewing representative. You must make your own way to and from the property.
When viewing a property, you must sanitise your hands regularly, avoid touching any surfaces and wear a face covering. Social distancing rules must be adhered to at all times.
Please bring your own PPE to the appointment.
Offers and Tenancies
If after viewing a property you would like to make an offer or require further information, please call our office on 0161 929 8880 or 0161 941 4228 or email email@example.com
Completion of tenancy agreements will be done remotely.
We have continued to inspect residential, commercial and rural property safely throughout the pandemic but subject to a risk assessment being carried out prior to our visits.
We always wear masks and gloves and remain a safe distance when inspecting any property. It may not be possible for us to internally inspect certain types of property, especially where there are occupiers who may be vulnerable or suffering COVID symptoms. We can offer desktop and drive-by valuations in certain circumstances.
We are always happy to chat about what we can and cannot offer in the current climate, to try and help our clients in these difficult times. Please contact our team via phone or email to discuss your requirements, they are on hand to help.
Best wishes and thank you for your ongoing support.
Altrincham based chartered surveyors Oakwood Valuation Surveyors Ltd has purchased long established letting agency business Morrison Property Services, also based in the town. Morrison Property Services has been run by Jonathan Morrison, who retains a consultancy role with Oakwood to oversee the handover of clients. Morrisons was set up in Altrincham in 1875 and has established a portfolio of residential and commercial property management throughout north Cheshire, alongside a property agency.
Oakwood Managing Director, Graham Bowcock said “I set Oakwood up in 2019 to+ offer a full property advice service throughout the North West and have been seeking opportunities for acquisition. Morrison’s services complement our own and expands our client base as well as our range of services. The firm is well known locally and, like Oakwood, is professionally regulated as a firm of chartered surveyors.”
All three Morrison staff, alongside Jonathan Morrison will join the Oakwood team with immediate effect.
Jonathan said “it is a pleasure to hand over the business to a firm with a strong professional ethic and I am sure our clients will be well looked after under the Oakwood organisation. Graham has over 30 years significant property management experience and is an accomplished surveyor”.
Oakwood was advised by Butcher and Barlow of Northwich and Morrison by Slater Heelis of Sale.
Oakwood Valuation Surveyors Ltd
News Release October 2020
- What has happened since March 2020 and the Lockdown?
Estate Agents and Letting Agents were initially locked down along with most other businesses which were not “ essential services”. Property Management however, was subsequently considered an essential service and so we re-opened immediately when this became clear and maintained a skeleton crew to look after the day to day needs of our customers.
Marketing property was restricted to serving essential workers only and so in real terms, Estate Agents were limited to attending this group only. Of course, Estate Agents were working hard to maintain the deals which were active at the commencement of the lockdown. This hard work lead to around 80% of the property which was in negotiation at the start of Lockdown, proceeding to signed contracts which amazed all concerned. Solicitors and surveyors were key to this success as they too were sent home during this difficult period.
Running our business with restricted staffing and restricted sub-contractors was extremely difficult with many people concerned, either affected with CV or shielding, or just not wanting to take unnecessary risks. So we had to nurture our resources carefully. If you remember, even Toilet rolls and cleaning materials were in short supply. PPE couldn’t be found anywhere and it was generally, a very harsh trading environment while most others were furloughed at home.
- What has happened since June?
In June, the Nation was unlocked and this allowed some businesses to open in a progressive format. Retail got back to work rapidly, although with great caution. General business followed later but many companies maintained their furloughs and so some workers have never actually returned to their places of work.
Estate Agents were immediately busy with the back-log of transactions and with those who would have normally moved between March and September – traditionally the busiest time of the year. So after this long delay, it wasn’t surprising that we were all very busy. Then the Chancellor introduced the Stamp Duty holiday upon transactions up to £500,000 which further stimulated the whole housing market. This short window of opportunity, just shows, the huge effect, that Stamp Duty has on the housing market.
It remains to be seen, how the commercial property market behaves. Thousands of Businesses, have yet to re-open their offices, with many staff working from home. There remains the problem for them, to make their working environments “ safe “.
Large Retailers have been criticised for only focussing on profits and many are looking at rationalising their exposure in the High Street, and concentrating more, towards on-line sales. We have ourselves to blame for this move, by shopping too much in shopping Centres and On- Line, rather than in our local Towns. So it will be interesting to see whether small Retail bounces back in local Town centres.
We remain busy with commercial enquiries albeit, Tenants are more cautious about committing to long Leases of 10 years or more.
- The immediate Future?
Residential Property Sales and Lettings will remain busy until the Stamp duty window closes early next year. Then, there is a risk that should mass redundancies occur this Autumn, the current demand will be governed by the percentage of people who lose their jobs. ( If you have uncertain employment, are you going to move home?).
Retail will depend on the shopping trends of local people. So shop locally if you can.
Leisure now called hospitality, has been very badly affected by safety provisions and demand for these units is limited.
There remains good demand for small, light- industrial -units for modern manufacturing which will become very important after the Brexit- Exit!
Whether you own a House, Flat, Shop, Office or Warehouse, and you are planning a let or sale please give us call. The Consultancy is free.
Updated 1st June 2020
Due to the on going uncertainty surrounding Covid-19, we regret to advise that we continue to ask all clients, tenants, contractors and customers to book appointments at our office before attending. We will not allow any unannounced visits.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your cooperation.
We can be reached using the following methods:
Telephone – 0161 929 8880
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Our website – www.morrisonpropertyservices.co.uk