There isn’t a single person in North Somerset who wasn’t glad to see the back of 2020. Many loved ones were lost, and for those thousands of people lost during the pandemic, we still grieve. For the rest, we lost our liberty and many of the things that made life worth living. At the time of writing, we are in the third lockdown in England and we are missing simple pleasures—social interaction with our families and friends, eating out, going to the cinema theatre and live gigs, having parties. The list goes on. For many of us being in lockdown meant a re-evaluation of our priorities—especially our living spaces. Suddenly outdoor space became a priority. Working from home a possibility. And we recognised that we no longer needed to work in the city. Consequently, homes with gardens and office space in rural settings became attractive to homebuyers looking to find a better way of living. And House Fox we are ready to help.
Stamp duty holiday provides stimulus.
When the property market opened again in April, North Somerset found itself the ideal location for people who wanted to be nearer the coast. And for those who wanted more bang for their buck. Housing in rural areas has always been cheaper than in the city. People moving out of Bristol found they could afford much more space in North Somerset than in Bristol. And with the Chancellor putting stamp duty on hold pent-up levels of demand saw the market flourish.
House Fox top estate agency in North Somerset
During the year we helped over 670 people find homes better suited to their lifestyles in North Somerset, and a similar number of people to sell their homes and move on*. We listed and sold over 293 properties—more than any single estate agent in the county, traditional, hybrid, or online. And every seller was treated to a full level of service from House Fox including free market appraisals, accompanied viewings and professional photography at no extra cost. And we did this following our philosophy of transparent and fairer fees for all. On average, sellers in North Somerset saved over £4,000 in fees† compared to other local estate agents. And with no loss of service. House Fox do it all, from valuation to completion.
In 2020 we were recognised for our customer service at the ESTAS awards (sponsored by Zoopla). We were awarded Best in County for Somerset, and a silver for Best Estate Agency in the South West region, which included Bristol, Dorset and Somerset. We were also featured in the Best Estate Agency Guide as ‘Excellent’ for the second year running—putting House Fox in the top 5% of the best agencies in the whole of the UK. We are very proud of these awards as when we imagined House Fox, just over two years ago, customer service was top of our list.
We also grew in 2020 with James Cole joining us as Regional Partner for Burnham-on-Sea and the surrounding villages and towns. Jake McCabe, took over Portishead, Clevedon, Nailsea and Backwell at our brand new Portishead office. Dave Williams expanded our coverage to take in Winscombe, Congresbury, Banwell and Churchill, and Paul Gass, a highly experienced estate agent, joined James to expand the Burnham-on-Sea team to three with over 100 years’ experience between them.
What does 2021 hold for properties in North Somerset?
With 2021 just weeks old at the time of writing, the year is showing signs of recovery with a path back to normal life being offered by the government vaccination program. Predictions for house prices vary with mortgage lender Halifax predicting a fall of between -2% and -5% in the early part of the year. Most other forecasters are predicting a rise of between 1% and 1.5%, while Rightmove are more bullish predicting a 4% rise by the end of the year.
England’s third lockdown is hitting people harder than the first so we expect movers’ priorities to be focused on houses with gardens and office space. Energy-efficient homes remain attractive to the market, especially among younger buyers—up 136% on 2019 figures.
Whatever the market holds for us in the coming year, we at House Fox will continue offering exemplary customer service for our transparent fees as we look to expand to cover other North Somerset towns. If you are thinking of selling, call us on 01934 314 242 (Weston-Super-Mare and surrounding villages), 01275 404601 (Portishead, Clevedon Nailsea & Backwell Areas), or 01278 557700 (Bridgewater, Burnham-On-Sea, Highbridge and surrounding villages. Valuations are free with no obligation to instruct a sale.
* Based on average household size of 2.3 people. Source: statista.com
† Average House price in North Somerset in 2020 £309,150. Average estate agency commission 1.3%. Source Rightmove