Posted on Tuesday, October 12, 2021

West Hampstead homeowners to be made homeless?

WEST HAMPSTEAD HOMEOWNERS TO BE MADE HOMELESS?

The number of properties for sale in West Hampstead has fallen by 12% since this time a year ago (October 2020). One of the reasons is that many West Hampstead buyers feel overwhelmed and fearful they will be made homeless if they sell their home and can’t buy another. So, I have decided to look again at the facts and give them to you in greater detail in this article.

My research has found the number of West Hampstead properties for sale started to decline last autumn (2020).

Nationally, the same story is being written as the average UK estate agency office now has around 16 properties on their books to buy, compared to 43 a couple of years ago.

So why is this an issue? Many West Hampstead homeowners are wanting to move home and are worried they will put their current home on the market, it sells quickly and then be unable to find another home to buy – thus they believe they will then be making themselves homeless.

The fact is that most West Hampstead home buyers need to sell before they can buy their next home, meaning they need to place their property on to the West Hampstead property market before they can buy their next home. 

Yet because of the low supply of properties for sale and the current high demand, there is an imbalance in the West Hampstead property market. This means some West Hampstead house sellers are nervous to put a ‘for sale’ board outside their house.

So, let me look at the West Hampstead numbers in greater detail. According to the three main property portals (Rightmove, Zoopla and On-The-Market) …

In October 2020, there were 847 properties for sale in West Hampstead. Today, there are only 748 properties for sale, a reduction of 12%.

When I break it down into bedroom numbers and type it gets even more interesting (note things like building plots and part commercial/part residential etc., won’t be in these numbers so the stats below won’t precisely match up to those above)

 

 

# Properties on the Market in Oct 2020

# Properties on the Market in Oct 2021

Percent Change

5+ Bedrooms

25

39

56%

  4 Bedrooms

52

50

-4%

  3 Bedrooms

208

157

-25%

  2 Bedrooms

372

321

-14%

  1 Bedroom

183

165

-10%

 

.. and when I looked at the type of properties ... it got even more interesting …

 

Type of Property

# Properties on the Market in Oct 2020

# Properties on the Market in Oct 2021

Percent Change

Detached

21

18

-14%

Semi

10

11

10%

Terraced

33

31

-6%

Flat

758

666

-12%

 

As you can see, there have been some interesting changes in the number of properties on the market in West Hampstead over the last year, depending on the type and the number of bedrooms.

So, if West Hampstead homeowners do sell, will they be made homeless if they can’t find their next ‘forever home’?

The answer is quite simply ... NO!

West Hampstead properties are coming on to the market all the time, yet the buyers have got to be in the game, in it to win it so to speak. If you keep looking at properties, without even having your property on the market, let alone sold (subject to contract), then you will fall into a self-fulfilling prophecy of not being able to buy another home and will always be chasing your tail.

And it’s those magic words of “subject to contract” that are your get out of jail card.

The average time taken from agreeing a sale to it being legally binding (i.e. exchange of contracts) is about 19 weeks. 

During those 19 weeks, you are ‘sold subject to contract, which means you have four or five months to find your new home and the likelihood of not finding your next forever home is very small. 

And even if you can’t find anywhere, you will never be homeless as the sale is not legally binding until you exchange contracts, so you can withdraw from the sale up to that point, without penalty. 

One final word of advice to all West Hampstead home movers. 

Around 6 in 7 West Hampstead homebuyers could have missed their ‘forever home’ in 2020/21.

Let me explain, in a study of various UK estate agents 84.8% of homebuyers were not on the estate agent's mailing list before they contacted the agent to view the home according to Denton House Research. 

Yes, 6 out of 7 buyers (84.8%) waited until the property came on to the market on one of the portals (e.g. Rightmove, Zoopla or On The Market) before asking to view it. But would it surprise you that depending on the location and type, up to one in five houses don’t actually make it on to the portals for sale.

This means if the homebuyer hadn’t registered themselves on the agents mailing list, they would’ve missed out on their ‘forever home’, because they would not have known the property was for sale until it was too late.

Quite simply, if you are serious about moving home in West Hampstead, get yourself on the mailing lists of all the agents in West Hampstead. 


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