NEWSLETTER DECEMBER: The Year in Review
The festive period begins…
Merry Christmas to you all wherever you are in the World from all at Town and Country. It is bitterly cold but sunny here in Brighton and Hove and we even had a reasonable dusting of snow, in places, a couple of days ago!
Year in review
Following two very strange years globally; 2022 has been incredibly busy for us here at Town and Country.
Rental demand has been strong for most of the year, only really tailing off in the past 3-4 weeks which is quite normal for December and the lead up. In 20 years in the industry I have never known so much demand for properties that have come available with cases of multiple applicants seeking to secure tenancies.
In many ways Covid did alter practices in our offices as we now take video walk through’s of available properties and send these out prior to agreeing physical viewings, as we had to during the pandemic. This means that generally those that book in to view are already pre-screened and quite likely to want to take the property having seen the video.
The challenges we have faced this year have been more on the management side in terms of maintenance that occurred during lock downs and a real need to catch up with inspections, that we were legally unable to do that we, and our RDA colleagues, carry out on your behalf.
Prices have increased, as I have said in an earlier newsletter, for materials and things such as fuel for contractors which they are having to take into consideration. To give just one example on the challenges re maintenance a contractor for damp proofing recently advised me that the earliest he can book works in for now is April of 2023!
As ever we have a range of qualified and exceptionally well skilled contractors, of all trades, that give our jobs priority and best price to ensure we manage your properties effectively and efficiently.
We have had staff changes this year at Town and Country with Jenny going off on maternity leave in September meaning Naomi took over this role. We took on a new member of staff, Alexia, who has joined with a real positive outlook and has already made firm friends with all. Naomi has also now tendered her notice as is going on a travelling experience with her partner meaning that we have just taken on another new staff member – Alfie. Alfie will be joining us in the New Year to have time with Naomi to learn the property management processes so we look forward to welcoming him here. I am quite excited to have come male company in the office – what with being surrounded by women; it’s a difficult life I lead!!
The year ahead
With the well reported cost of living crises in the UK it would take a better man than I to give any firm predictions but I do feel that tenants and landlords alike are starting to feel the squeeze of inflationary pressures. I have had clients contact me to advise that their mortgage rates look to be increasing in the New Year and tenants trying to negotiate recent rent increases down due to their own financial position.
I do think there will be a correction of the inflated rent prices we have seen this year but will not really know until the New Year and we see whether current available properties need further rent reductions – as we have had to do – or whether we see the usual January bounce following the quiet Christmas period. I am aware from friends in the sales market that they have seen a very sudden dip in interest on their available stocks.
I remain confident that despite global and national economic pressures that property investment in the Brighton and Hove, and surrounding areas, will always be a ‘safe’ choice. There is limited stock in the area due to geographically restrictions (the Sea and The South Downs!) meaning that, even with some corrections, the likely trend will be that property prices remain nationally high in this area.
As ever if you have any questions or queries re your properties or tenancies please do not hesitate to contact me.
From all here at Town and Country I would like to wish you a very merry Christmas and healthy and prosperous New Year for 2023.
CHRISTMAS OPENING HOURS
We will be closing the office for Christmas at 3pm on December 23rd.
The office will be open on December 28th and 29th from 10am to 1pm.
Emergency contractors will be available during the Christmas period via the usual numbers.
Normal hours will resume on January 3rd, 2023.