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Under the skin of the letting market

Here we share news and views on both the local letting market in & around Oxfordshire and all planned and recent legislation.


What causes the summer letting wave?

The letting market is seasonal, with the ‘busy period’ running from May into August. The same is true every year: these months form the crest of the letting wave, with enquiries surging across these months (see graph). But why does this happen across the Oxfordshire letting market?

Enquiries 2017 – Indexed to 100


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Let on the first viewing

Letting a property on the first viewing could be negative if the let is agreed with the first person through the door simply in order for the agent to earn their commission. At Finders Keepers we can proudly say that ‘let on the first viewing’ is a positive as it is down to hard work and careful matching. Our letting team is not paid on commission. We understand that finding the right tenant works out better in the long run; fewer property management problems from tenants who were unhappy from the start and hopefully fewer tenancies for the landlord as happy tenants tend to stay longer. Over the last couple of weeks we have let several properties on the first viewing. Here are just a few examples.


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Struggling to Sell? Act now

The number of properties advertised for sale in Banbury has increased 29% year-on-year1, so it’s not surprising that the average time on the sales market has increased to 114 days1. As a result, we have seen a rise in the number of people contacting us because they are considering letting as they have failed to sell. A recent example is a 3 bedroom stone-built cottage in the popular village of Byfield.


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There’s always someone who will do it cheaper

As with many things in life, you get what you pay for and ‘cheap’ is not often associated with ‘good service’. We totally understand why a landlord would be tempted by an agent claiming to offer the same level of service for a cheaper price – we’ve been lured in by attractive pricing ourselves.


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Surfing the summer wave – don’t miss out

Quarter 2 (April, May and June) sees the annual letting wave build towards its peak of the summer months. In general terms, this means there is more variety and fewer ‘trends’ in terms of what lets best and who is renting in Oxfordshire – over the last three months we have let more than 600 properties across the county and these have ranged from 1 bedroom annexes in the grounds of the owner’s home up to 7 bedroom houses. However, there have been ripples of difference across our eight offices.


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A Smooth Sea Never Made a Skilled Sailor

Sometimes things can go wrong when letting property – it would be naïve to think it will be smooth sailing 100% of the time – but how you deal with these situations is the true measure of success. Our Abingdon team recently demonstrated their calm, decisive expertise when a tenant vacated a property without warning. The Property Manager and Letting Specialist – both based locally to the property – worked together to get the property back to standard, relist it and let it within a week.


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Diligence and flexibility are essential for success

Overall we have had a positive start to 2018, although across our eight offices it is apparent there is an overall air of caution in the market. We have been proactive in advising our clients on rent and presentation of their properties in the current market and we are still successfully letting homes across the county. As the Japanese proverb says, “The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists” and the most success has been achieved where landlords have been flexible to meet current demand.


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