Blog Book a Property Valuation


If you’re considering moving house this year, if you’re currently house-hunting or thinking about selling a property, it’s worth doing your ‘home-work’ and knowing what’s happening in the market right now…

Looking back at the end of last year and Boxing Day, which is usually one of the busiest days for activity on the major portals. Historically, the end of the year is a quieter month for new homes coming to the market, so once the Christmas festivities are out of the way, we often see an increase in activity.

Rightmove Property expert, Tim Bannister, recently reported that “Boxing Day is traditionally the start of activity ramping up into January and the spring selling season after Christmas, as people return to their search or consider a New Year move. We’ve seen some promising activity and familiar patterns over the festive period this year, which are good signs for the year ahead.”

Signals are showing that buyers will have more choice in 2023 as Boxing Day 2022 saw a record number of houses coming to the market, almost 50% MORE than the previous year. This means that many homeowners were preparing in 2022 for a move this year. They wanted to get a ‘head-start’ on the New Year, New Home movers.

Over the past couple of years, the supply and demand for houses has been in the favour of sellers, with fewer homes for buyers to choose from, pushing prices to an all-time high.

However, with more choice currently available, this may mean that houses are on the market for slightly longer than before, as buyers have more choice and more time to ‘shop around.’ Rightmove’s Tim Bannister has commented, “After such frenetic market conditions over the last few years, this year’s calmer market will better suit measured movers who prefer to take their time to find the right property”.

Property prices in 2022 were at a record-high and although the forecast is that prices will fall by 2% (coming in-line with a pre-pandemic, calmer market), there are still plenty of buyers ready to launch their homes to the market this year.

If we compare the week of Christmas to the week of Boxing Day, there was a 20% increase in views of homes for sale on Rightmove.

“The jump in number of views of properties for sale pre- and post-Christmas is another good sign that the new choice available is getting a lot of attention from future buyers. After a pause for the festivities, those wanting to buy this year will be ready to get back to their plans and assess where they’d like to live and what they can afford”, says Tim.

Whilst the NATIONAL average house price is expected to reduce slightly, this could differ depending on where you live! Trends vary depending on the types of property on the market, the location’s desirability, and what buyers looking in that area can afford.

This means it’s more important than ever to employ the services of an expert estate agent in your area, with a proven track record of selling homes like your own and a mailing list of other potential buyers. It’s crucial to work with an agent who knows your area and its trends inside out, who can be trusted to guide you through the whole process of selling your home.

And, a good estate agent needs to be combined with good mortgage advice. Lenders have tightened their affordability criteria recently, to ensure people are still able to afford their mortgages, were their payments to increase.

But, right now, many of the deals mortgage lenders are currently offering, have already factored in the Bank of England’s recent interest rate rises, including the December rise to 3.5%, because this has been expected. This means that it is unlikely that last month’s rate rise will lead to an increase in the pricing of mortgages.

So, in summary, whilst it appears nationally that prices this year will, on average, come down by around 2% compared to the RECORD HIGHS of last year, local markets will have their own trends. There may be an increase in choice for buyers so houses may take a little longer to sell, but there are definite positives right now.

There are more people WANTING to move and so not only will you be able to find a buyer (who can get a mortgage with a lower rate than in previous months), but you will also have more choice of properties to purchase too.

So, the best way to secure your dream home, is to;

·       Get yourself in the best position. When that property comes to the market, you need to know your affordability (speak to a mortgage advisor).

·       Get ahead of the competition. If there will be more choice for homes this year, getting yours on the market first means you’re already one step ahead and most likely to get the better price. Working with a local, experienced estate agent will ensure you’re getting the best advice on price, strategy and timing.

·        Get sold to put yourself in the strongest position to negotiate on your next home.

    We are here every step of the way to guide and advise you on all things property - simply get in touch with us on 01364 652652 or email me directly




Have you set your 2023 New Year’s resolutions yet? Maybe you want to start a new hobby, get back into the gym, learn a language or even move house. New Year brings new opportunities, more happiness and moving!


Christmas can highlight many things about our homes that we may not like – are you too far away from friends and family? Did you find yourself having to travel too far to supermarkets and shops over the Christmas period? Was there not enough space to host your ever-growing family? If you answered yes to any of those questions, now is the perfect time to move.

Make sure your home is dressed to impress in the winter months and those buyers will come knocking, now they perhaps need more space after lots of new toys or want to downsize, release some equity and start their own New Year, New Chapter.

Benefits of moving in January:

Give yourself a fresh start to the year

Moving in January will not only tick off one of your New Year’s resolutions quickly, but it will set you up for the new year, in a new home, making new memories… it will also be easier to have a spring clean when the time comes!

January is usually the quietest month (socially)

Use your free time wisely and use that time to search for your perfect property, sort through all the things you don’t need any more and pack everything into boxes.

There is less competition

January is usually a quiet time for selling houses, meaning there will be less competition for you. If there is less choice for buyers, it usually means you can get the best price from the buyer in the best position.

Enjoy summer in your new home

Whilst everyone is panicking (and sweating), packing and moving this summer, you can sit back and relax in your new home. Maybe that means you will have to host the BBQ’s this year!

Thinking January is the perfect time for your move? Here at Sawdye & Harris we’re here to help! We’ve been selling homes in this area for over 175 years and so, we know how to achieve the best price for your home in the New Year!

Want some expert advice on how to dress your home to sell? Need our opinion on de-cluttering and decorating? Want to get ahead of the competition and launch your home to the market before the Spring rush?

Email us with the subject ‘New Year New Home’ and we’ll be in touch.


Even in a competitive market, buyers remain highly selective when it comes to choosing a new home. So, when it comes to getting ready for viewings it is important to show potential buyers why your home is so special.  Few buyers will be turned off by a house that looks homely, but there is a fine line between homely and cluttered. To maximise the appeal of your home, prospective buyers need to be able to envision living in the home and a vast accumulation of personal items could be clouding that vision. Before viewings, go through your home and remove any excess keepsakes, photographs and ornaments which take away from the visual appeal. This makes the space more welcoming to buyers, as they will feel as though they are viewing a potential new asset, and not intruding on someone else’s home. 

Read on to find out the top thirteen ways to attract buyers to your home.

  1. First Impression Counts

This stands for a lot of things but no more so when it comes to selling your property! Within just a few minutes, prospective buyers can make a judgment on your home. There's a lot that you can do to make your property more appealing.  Below are some tips and ideas to help you present your home in the best possible way. Some may seem blindingly obvious but you may just find the inspiration you need to help those prospective buyers connect with your home, thus enabling you to get moving! 


  1. Kerb Appeal

Before prospective buyers have even stepped foot into your property, their impressions have already started upon their approach to your property.  A little landscaping can be transformative, so get your gardening gloves on, spruce up any pathways, fencing or hedging and add some potted plants to ‘dress’ the area. Make sure your windows are clean and give any paintwork attention and especially look at the front door! 


  1. Hallway

As soon as the prospective buyer walks through the door, it should be an immediate 'welcome'. Even the smallest of hallways will benefit from decluttering, a neutral coat of paint and nice lighting. Maybe add a mirror to help reflect light and if you need to add a pop of colour consider adding rug or accessories, but take note, less is more. 


  1. Depersonalise and declutter

Prospective buyers need to be able to imagine themselves in your property and see that it suits their lifestyle. If you have clutter in your property, this will only cloud their vision so make sure you remove all the excess bits and pieces. Bulky furniture will make rooms feel cramped too so take a look at what you have in each room. Think about recycling or selling items you no longer need and boxing up and packing away the things you want to take with you when you move on. If you don’t have loft space, short term storage may be an option.


  1. A fresh lick of paint

Décor and colour are such personal choices, so it's important to try and give potential buyers a blank canvas to work with.....insofar as you can allow! Paint  with more neutral tones as it will make spaces feel cleaner, lighter and airier Keeping a little personality is fine, just don’t make it overwhelming! A lot of potential buyers want to move into a property without lots of redecorating work to do.


  1. Make minor repairs

Remember those little jobs that you're ‘planning to get around to’ but haven't yet? Now is the time to tackle them.  Broken door knobs, a cupboard door that needs rehanging, cracked tiles, tired carpets Little things like this can be off-putting and make a home look tired for potential buyers.


  1. The big clean-up

Dirt is a no-no. This is a big must. We know we're stating the obvious but it goes without saying that your home needs to be sparkling clean and fresh. Keep on top of the housework so that your property can be very quickly viewer-ready with a quick hoover and minimal tidying. Eliminate any odours, open the windows to aerate, give carpets a clean and in particular, ensure kitchens and bathrooms are immaculate. Get rid of limescale, clean or replace discoloured grout, wax or polish floors.


  1. Give each room a purpose

Potential buyers will want to know how you use each room. Use furniture and accessories to define a room and give it a purpose so that you can use keywords in your property description.  It can be as easy as bringing in a desk and a chair to upgrade a spare room into a home office. Also a note that empty rooms tend to look smaller online so bring in some furniture to add depth perception in your listing photos. 


  1. Green Areas

If you've got it, flaunt it! A garden that is! Well-maintained lawns, fencing and hedging will make it appear low-maintenance, and why not dress the space with garden furniture, lighting and a few pots and outdoors accessories? 


  1. Put the furry friends away

Not everyone is an animal lover; some people have allergies and when it comes to viewings, pets can be a big distraction. If possible, remove pets from the home altogether or at least ensure that they are safely ‘contained’ when potential buyers visit. Remove pet odours and hair with thorough, regular cleaning and be sure to put away feed bowls, toys, beds and of course, litter trays.


  1. Do your homework

It can be helpful for potential buyers to have information about both your property and the surrounding area. Such as the running costs for your property, utilities, your council tax band etc. And be ready to ‘sell’ the location to buyers with information to suit about transport, local schools, shops and amenities, the community etc.


  1. Be ‘on point’ online!

The internet is typically our first ‘go-to’ for property searches these days, so make sure your home has great online presence. Photography is important; well-lit rooms and quality images can present your property at its best and floorplans are very useful for buyers considering layouts and living spaces that will work for them. 


  1. Point out potential

You may have already maximised your home’s potential with an extension, loft or garage conversion or through the addition of a conservatory, orangery or garden room. If not, and there’s scope to do so, be sure to highlight these possibilities to potential buyers. 


If you've been considering making a move, now might be a good time. Just get in touch and we will be here to help. SImply email or give us a call on 01364 652652.





We often get asked what is going to happen to local house prices.

Many things affect house prices, and it comes down to simple supply and demand.

On the supply side of the equation, in the short term, the number of people wanting to sell their property at any one time has a massive effect on house prices.

In 2007, the number of properties that came onto the market in TQ13 jumped drastically. In January 2007, 34 properties were available for sale in TQ13 and by October of the same year, that had risen to 75 properties.

This flooded the local market with houses to buy whilst, at the same time, the banks almost stopped lending money because of the Credit Crunch, thus causing the house price crash of 2008.

Also, on the supply side of the equation is the total number of houses in the whole country (irrespective of whether they are on the market or not). This is an essential factor in house prices, although that has a longer-term effect. Governments can control the number of properties being built with changes in planning regulations, incentives for builders, and the buyer schemes such as the Help to Buy plan.

On the demand side of the equation, property values typically rise if homeowners believe they will be wealthier in the future.

This often occurs when the whole country’s economy is performing well as more Brits are at work and salaries are higher. The opposite is also the case when the economy goes into recession; people tighten their spending, lose their jobs, and thus, house prices drop. Inflation will affect British household budgets (because if more of the household budget is going on increased bills, there is less available for mortgage payments).

Another factor on the demand side for housing is when the population increases (through people living longer or increasing net migration) or when the divorce rate increases (making one family household into two single-person households). As always, rising demand typically means higher house prices.

One aspect of the demand side of housing that the Government can control is the taxation of moving home. In the late spring of 2020, the Government vastly reduced the tax (Stamp Duty) paid to buy a house, saving many home buyers thousands of pounds.

Also, on the demand side, property values usually increase if more homebuyers can borrow more money with a mortgage to buy their home.

The more banks and building societies can offer mortgages, the more homebuyers can buy their future home, thus raising house prices.

However, the constraint is the amount a home buyer can borrow on a mortgage.

What someone can borrow depends on what they earn and if they can afford the monthly mortgage payments. The level of mortgage payments is dependent on three things.

1.     How much you borrow

2.     The interest rate charged

3.     The length of the mortgage

The lower the interest rates are, the lower the cost of borrowing to pay for your house is and thus more people can afford to borrow money with a mortgage to buy a home, meaning house prices tend to go up.

TQ13 house prices have risen by 69.46% between 2010 and today, mainly fuelled by low-interest rates.

So, looking at everything above, apart from Stamp Duty and the incentives for buyers (which historically have made a minimal difference), the Government in the short-term, irrespective of who the Prime Minister is, makes little difference directly to house prices.

The most significant short-term factor which directly affects house prices is interest rates.

However, the Bank of England (not the Government) sets the interest rate for the UK economy. That means the Government (and Rishi as PM) cannot directly make any differences in house prices (apart from the points raised above).

Yet, indirectly, as seen with the Liz Truss / Kwasi Kwarteng Mini-Budget catastrophe only a few weeks ago, what the Prime Minister (and their Government) does can make a massive difference to interest rates and, thus, the property market and house prices.


Since December 2021, the Bank of England has been slowly raising interest rates to combat inflation. Unfortunately, the downside is that it increases the mortgage rates homebuyers must pay if they are on a variable-rate mortgage or coming off a fixed-rate deal secured a few years ago.


As 17 out of 20 homebuyers have a fixed-rate mortgage, when a bank or building society calculates a 5-year or 10-year fixed-rate deal, they consider what the Bank of England interest rate is today, but they also consider something equally important, something called the 'swap rate'.


As a local homeowner and landlord, it is vital you should be aware of the swap rates as they are based on what the global money markets think future UK interest rates will be.


If the swap rate rises, then mortgage lenders will increase their rates on the mortgages they offer, and by doing so, (as discussed previously in this article), increased mortgage rates will affect affordability and, thus, house prices.


So, what affects UK swap rates? Mainly one thing, the price of government debt in the form of gilt yields.


Given the vast increase of planned government debt originally announced in that mini-budget by Truss/Kwarteng, the money markets who would be lending the Government the billions of pounds to fund those tax cuts got worried the Government wouldn’t be able to pay back such a rise in borrowing, so wanted a higher rate of return on the money they were lending the Government. 


That return is measured in the 'gilt yield rate', and the gilt yield rate directly drives the 'swap rate.'


That rise in the gilt yield rate/swap rate was the main reason mortgage rates rocketed after the mini-budget and helped in the collapse of Liz Truss's Prime Ministership.


So, what can local homeowners expect in the coming weeks and months with gilt/swap rates?


Rishi Sunak’s first job was to re-establish confidence in the money markets for UK plc. During the summer, the 5-year gilt rate rose steadily from 1.6% to 3.5%, in line with the general rise in Bank of England base rates. Yet when the mini-budget was delivered on the 23rd of September 2022, that rose almost straight away to 4.6%.


That meant every mortgage rate jumped in price by 1 to 1.5% almost overnight.


At the time of writing, the 5-year British gilt yield has dropped to 3.5%, and the others have either dropped below their pre-mini-budget rate or were moving in that direction, depending on the gilt type.


The gilt rate (which directly affects the swap rate, which in turn, directly affects mortgage interest rates) could drop further, subject to what Rishi Sunak and his Chancellor Jeremy Hunt have planned in the budget (and supplementary report from the Office for Budget Responsibility) on the 17th of November 2022.


A drop in the gilt/swap rate is vital for any TQ13 homebuyer buying a house or local homeowner re-mortgaging to a new mortgage deal. Why? Because...


with the average TQ13 home worth £345,293 (a rise of 3.5% over the past year), each 1% extra in the mortgage rate would cost every local homeowner an additional £287.74 per month.


So, what does this all mean for local house prices, then?


Greater certainty will keep the volume of housing transactions ticking over, yet not inescapably TQ13 house prices.


In my recent blog articles on the local property market, I believe TQ13 house prices will be lower in 12 months, and I expect these prices to return to where they were in the late spring/early summer of 2021, in the not too distant future.


And why is that? Unlike the 2008 Credit Crunch house price crash, today, the country has very low levels of unemployment and very well-capitalised banks (because the Bank of England subsequently forced them to keep lots of cash in their banks to cover downturns). Therefore, I don’t anticipate the kind of double-digit house price decreases seen 14 years ago.


If you would like to pick my brains about the local property market, be you a potential first-time buyer, a local homeowner looking at your options on re-mortgaging or selling, or, in fact, anyone with questions, don't hesitate to drop me a line. I will gladly share my thoughts and opinions without cost or obligation.


Best wishes











House hunting can be tricky at the best of times. There are so many things to consider when looking to buy your ‘forever home’, there will be so many questions in your mind such as “is there enough space for everybody? Can we make it our own? Does it have all the restaurants, bars, amenities and entertainment I might need close by?”.


Choosing your forever home can be overwhelming, but so exciting. To help you on your search, here are our top tips for finding your ideal forever home.



When you’re thinking about your forever home it’s a good idea to start with the end in mind. If this really is your forever home, purchase one with a floor plan that allows for growth and flexibility. Think wedding bells, nurseries, home offices, extensions etc.



Having a budget in mind will allow you to search for homes, but depending on what you find, it’s always important to keep money aside for sprucing up the interior and for future extensions. It gives you a good guideline as to what you can realistically afford and what you need to compromise on. Don't stretch so far that it impacts your lifestyle. 



Usually, the first aspect a homebuyer will consider when finding a ‘forever home’ is the location. Make sure the location is ideal for you. Location will impact your day-to-day life. School runs, supermarkets, walks, commutes, employment opportunities etc. Whether the home is within a town near restaurants and shops—or in a quiet village with only a few local shops close by—if you love the location, then this is a huge plus. 


Decide which location features are non-negotiable, such as good accessibility to public transport links.



It can be a challenge to move into a new home that needs repairs. You can expect to put your own stamp on properties cosmetically but if you're not looking to replace a kitchen or a bathroom any time soon then make sure everything is in order in this respect.  



It’s also a good idea to consider if the property has potential to be extended in the future, providing you with further space that will help to raise the value of your home. Increasing the space in your home with an extension can be a great investment for your family.  It is worth looking into the legal jargon to make sure it can be legally extended and dimensions for any potential works before saying yes, so you can have an idea of what you can do with the property in future.



When you’re standing in the bedroom, can you see yourself waking up there? Can you imagine yourself coming back there after your honeymoon, preparing your kids for their first day in school? 



It’s a good idea to make two lists – wants / needs. Your wants should be the things you don’t want to compromise, and the needs should be the things you simply can’t compromise on. Finding a balance between the two lists will eliminate the possibility of buyer’s remorse down the track. Homeowners are constantly changing their homes, so it’s unrealistic to think you’re going to find something perfect right away.



Your gut feeling is always there isn't it. You will know if a property feels right or not or if you're unsure. If you're unsure, go back to your future goals and what your needs are in a home.  




Get in touch today to help find your forever home with us. We are here to help guide you all along the way to ensure you find your ideal forever home. If you've been considering making a move, now might be a good time. Just get in touch and we will be here to help. SImply email or give us a call on 01364 652652.



Check mortgage eligibility online