So, as we predicted earlier this year, the market for flats in Wimbledon is currently showing some encouraging signs of life, if not recovery. Transaction levels at the lower to mid end of the market are up significantly compared to six months ago. Consequently, there are very few 2 bedroom flats available on the market with an asking price of less than £270,000. The same can’t yet be said for the upper end of the market which remains dull for 2 bedroom flats with an asking price over £350,000

The frenetic activity that local estate agents in Wimbledon are reporting is converting into offers. A glance at Hawes & Co’s web site or Village office just goes to show what is happening – seven of the twelve flats they have on their books at under £300,000 are currently under offer or recently sold and the situation is similar at the other agents. 

The reality behind this activity is slightly different. Mortgage offers are invariably taking months to complete as the banks comb every transaction analysing the minutiae for reasons to stall or deny. The result is a near grid-locked market as potential buyers and sellers finally come to agree on (lower) valuations but are unable to complete their transactions for lack of funding.

What this means is that for the first time since the credit crisis materialised in mid 2007 and property values started to decline thereafter there is now a developing consensus on the new lower valuation reality. So if you are a cash buyer or a buyer requiring a mortgage with a loan to value ratio of less than 60% now could be an excellent time to be investing in a flat in Wimbledon.

In our opinion there are some very effective actions that prospective buyers can take to increase their chances of securing a purchase in the current market.

Firstly, if you require a mortgage then ought to consider using the services of a mortgage broker rather than dealing directly with the bank or building society. There are plenty of independent mortgage brokers around and they should ensure that the process is as smooth as possible, completing the various forms on your behalf and knowing when and how to push the lender along.

Secondly, there is an acute shortage of trust in the market at the moment so do everything you can to engender trust with everyone involved in the process. And who is the most important person you have to convince of your determination and ability to close the deal? The estate agent. In the current marketplace where commissions are relatively few and far between agents can’t afford to be mucked around and will therefore consider promoting an alternative offer to yours if they get the sense you may not complete.

Thirdly, communicate often. In a market with little trust, a depleted supply of properties and the consequential risk of gazumping you absolutely must work hard to keep the seller and estate agent informed of the status of your mortgage application and intention to complete. As a minimum you should be doing this twice a week.

This entry was posted on Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 at 8:49 am.
Categories: Monthly Top Listings.

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