As 2015 starts we are seeing a number of changes in the property market, and some could have a huge impact on selling homes in the Hanover area. The tail end of last year brought in the much needed overhaul of the stamp duty thresholds. For most homeowners, this change means it is now cheaper to move home and should encourage a continuation of the thriving property market in the area. Another change is the launch of OnTheMarket.com; a new, estate agent owned property portal, designed to combat the duopoly currently existing between Zoopla and Rightmove.
While this seems like a healthy move for the property industry, the impact on consumers could be dramatic. A condition imposed on agents choosing to advertise with OnTheMarket is that they can only advertise on one other portal, and in the case of most agents in Brighton this is Rightmove. What’s the problem then? Well, while in Brighton & Hove Rightmove is the number one portal the story is different in London where Zoopla is considered the the buyers number one choice – to such an extent that London-based firms such as Chestertons have chosen Zoopla as their second portal.
Brighton is a commuter town with a housing market driven by demand from buyers emigrating from the capital. Most estate agents will talk of the need to attract ‘London buyers’ and Hanover is an area where this is particularly relevant. Hanover is perfectly positioned to offer easy access to Brighton Station, the city centre and the seafront – in short it is a desirable area to these London buyers. The impact on sellers is clear, any agent choosing to advertise with OnTheMarket will not be able to offer the same exposure as an agent that has elected to remain with Rightmove AND Zoopla AND Primelocation (alongside an unrestricted number of partner sites), and may struggle to attract those all-important ‘London buyers’.
The benefits of OnTheMarket are clear to the property industry; a chance to reduce overheads and bring some healthy competition to a closed marketplace. Many residents of Hanover will argue that anything that reduces the number of Londoners moving down and forcing up prices – and forcing out locals – would be a positive. However, if you have chosen to sell your home you want to know that everything is being done to get you the best price. Sellers have a new choice to make; not just which agent you use, but which portal your home is advertised on.
(As seen in the February edition of The Hanover Directory)