Second Quarter 2011

Message from the Chairman

This last quarter appears to have been relatively busy for most of our members…at least the ones I have been speaking to. There seems to be a rush to get things completed before the summer holiday season starts when things will start to slow down again. It is expected that the summer will as normal be quite quiet and that the market will spring to life again in September for a final busy period before finally slowing down again for the Christmas and New Year period. 

The Association continues to go from strength to strength with a membership that continues to grow. This clearly illustrates the value that our members and prospective members for that matter place on the professionalism that the Association represents.

Ian Lee BSc FRICS

Residential Sales

The Second Quarter has proved to be a lot more fruitful than the previous months with the combination of better weather and the usual seasonal trends bringing the more serious buyers to the forefront. Although they are willing to spend there is still a greater emphasis on good location, nice presentation and most of all realistic pricing. Buyers will often view on two or three occasions before coming forward with an opening offer and in spite of all parties being ready to agree a deal it can take seven to fourteen days before reaching that stage.

Whilst the national picture seems to be pretty bleak, the south coast does appear to buck the trend with prices holding up better than in many other parts of the country. The home buying momentum is now under way and one would anticipate that the summer period ahead looks very encouraging.

Steve Sprake FNAEA

Residential Lettings

The second quarter has been a steady following on from a busy first three months of the year, no decrease in rental values in this area, possibly slight increases in the rents for the properties more in demand, especially three bedroom middle of the range houses and two bedroom, two bathroom new builds, have had an increase in demand for professional Tenants.

There are enough properties available for prospective Tenants to have a choice, as long as the rents are pitched at the right price there is no significant delays in finding suitable Tenants, a good market still for Landlords.

Buying- to- let is also a good time, with local prices still staying low and good offers being accepted as buy-to-lets have the advantage of completing chains. It is important to liaise with a PPA letting agent before you choose your property to rent out, as they can advise you on the most popular type of properties in the areas you are looking.

Louisa Fairhall – FAIRHALLS Residential Lettings and Property Management.

Commercial

Offices

Take up in the first 6 months along the Solent corridor has been in excess of 350,000 sq ft which when compared with the average annual take up during the last 10 year of 250,000 sq ft shows very significant activity. 
However, a note of caution; the great majority of this take up has been along the M27 corridor and not in a the Cities and towns where the market is still fragile.  Several large transactions during the first half of 2011 account for most of the lettings, including Pall Europe’s move to The Raymarine building at North Harbour and several significant transactions at Lakeside, North Harbour.  Nevertheless, these moves and in particular Pall’s decision to stay in Portsmouth together with the busy series of letting at Lakeside are good news for the City.

Industrial

We are now seeing shortages of buildings in some size ranges particularly 20,000 sq ft plus.  Enquiries continue at an encouraging level but purchasers and tenants can still drive hard bargains.  Lack of speculative development is likely to lead to shortages in other size classes as the year continues.

Retail

A mixed picture; pressure on personal finance is undoubtedly affecting the retail sector and there have been several more high profile failures in recent weeks – Habitat and Karen Millen in particular.  However, the opening of a small Debenhams Department store in Fareham shows that some traders continue to navigate successfully through difficult times.

Expansion of Gunwharf

Last week there was interesting news about the medium and long term future of Gunwharf Quays.  Land Securities who own Gunwharf have bought the former Pall Europe building, Europa House, with an eye to redevelopment and we
understand that Brunel House, the empty redundant building directly opposite the entrance to Gunwharf is also close to being sold and will probably be demolished for redevelopment.  These are clear indication that the stakeholders at Gunwharf are moving ahead with ambitious plans to improve and develop the whole environment around The Hard and the Historic Dockyard. 

Roger Sherliker BA (Hons) FRICS

Legal

It was a busy summer for completions. Some views are that it has tailed off slightly in the last month but if properties are priced correctly then they are still selling. There have also been quite a few transactions set up recently with people keen to move before the Christmas season is upon us. A new conveyancing Quality Scheme was launched by the Law Society earlier in the year with the focus on agreed good practice documents and standards by member firms and this should see more efficient sales and purchases if all parties use firms who have signed up. This helps build on the good communication that has traditionally existed using local firms and members of the PPA. The First Time Buyer incentive is still currently in place until March 2012 so for buyers who qualify they will be exempt from stamp duty land tax on purchases up to £250,000.00 – now may be the time for first time buyers keen to get on the ladder to look for their first home to ensure they take advantage of the tax relief available.

Dawn Brogan Solicitor

Ian Lee : McAndrew Martin