Friday, 28 October 2011

Bobbing for apps

I am told there are 280 buying agents in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea alone. On some days, it feels that there are more buying agents than selling agents; which is indicative of the abundance of money over time in some parts of our market.

As half term runs into its second week, the effect of holiday’s this year has not been insignificant. This was particularly evident in April as Easter gave way to the Royal Wedding celebrations. When I moved out of London 12 years ago, the market has distinct seasons. Post 9/11 two changes have been an increase in holiday entitlements taken with a general lack of seasonality otherwise. The result had been a market that is more affected by the school holidays than it is the weather. This was borne out earlier this year when we were busier during the disruption of the snow in February than the usual watershed of Easter.

The last week in October is also the final week of the financial half year for many businesses. We are working hard to get our clients sales completed before the clocks go back. Monday is Halloween, a sixteenth century Scottish variant of All-Hallows-Even , the night before All Hallows Day. However, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, (originally pronounced sow-an or sow-in) meaning "summer's end". Whilst the warmth is fading in the air as the sun no longer rises to its summer zenith, the magic of autumn is now in full flow. As the tree opposite my office turns burning shades of amber, in market terms it is not the weather that makes the difference rather that families are together over half term. The autumn brings fresh challenges in marketing campaigns; clients are asked to keep lawns free of leaves and photographers chase the sun, which like early season pheasants is reluctant to gain altitude.

The market has some really high quality buyers, ready, willing and able to make a Christmas move. Yet the choice is limited. As the countryside offers everything from field sports to long walks, Hampshire firesides are a special retreat from the rigors of the city. Despite European financial turmoil, interest rates are pegged at record low rates and the FTSE seems as resilient as ever. What better a time to buy or sell a Hampshire home? Demand is still high, supply is low and the countryside becomes even more magical as autumn gives way to winter. Hibernating wildlife cram for winter, yet I cannot help thinking we have not seen the best of this season and our harvest festival could turn into a winter of contentment.

Next Saturday is bonfire night. As fires and fireworks are enjoyed throughout the country in remembrance of the events of 5 November 1605, the cold becomes a welcome visitor. Whether bobbing for apples or enjoying all that a gunpowder plot of your own can bring, spare a thought because everything makes this time of year special is unaffected by headlines and a market that is frustrated.

We launched our new Carter Jonas iPhone app this week which is now available from the App Store for iPod Touch and Apple iPhone.

The last twelve hours have seen the app downloaded as far afield as China, the former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia, Slovakia and the United States. A recent review read; “Quick and easy to use - I like this app as it is straightforward, easy to use and I found it very quick too. Great descriptions and photos and easy link to the map for location too”

The Carter Jonas property app will allow you to search for the latest residential sales and lettings from Carter Jonas.

The functionality includes a shortlist property for later review, search for properties near you based on your GPS position, alternatively search for properties based on your desired town, county, city or postcode, email and telephone the branch directly from your iPhone, view photos and read about the key features of the property, find a Carter Jonas office near you, quickly search for new properties based on your previous search criteria and email your favourite properties to your friends and family.

Matthew Hallett

Head of Residential Sales, Winchester

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