Q&A – How do we work?

January 22nd, 2023


If you have any more questions please ask!!

1. Do you have an office?

Answer: Yes we do, I have a lovely home office. My sun room is set up as an office, with three desks, swivel chairs, printer, files and 2 white boards!

2. Why does this work so well?

Answer: This gives me flexibility with my life style as well as my clients. My office is always reaching distance should I be needed for out of hours offers or issues with viewing appointments. You don’t need a high street office, who goes into a branch to get paper print off’s? everyone searches online these days.

3. Who is eXp?

Answer: I am the business owner, I run my business the way I have always wished to run an Estate Agency. eXp provide me with everything I need to run a efficient compliant business, this includes my software, website, IT support etc. eXp provide worldwide support to my business.

4. Who is your Team?

Answer: This is where my business thrives. Ailsa has been my best friend since school, she also brought 3 years estate agent experience with her. We are so close, we may as well be the same person, Ailsa has the same work ethic as myself, as well as been as passionate about my business as I am. I also have Sue. Sue is an invaluable member of staff. She is my dedicated Sales Progressor. Sue has worked in solicitors conveyancers offices most of her life therefore brings so much experience to get sales from been agreed all the way through to completion stage. I am so lucky to have such a great team!

5. Why do you call your self a ‘Personal Bespoke’ Estate Agent?

Answer: This is easy. I tailor our service to individual needs. I really listen on our first meet and tailor our marketing to individual needs. This maybe someone after a very quick sale, someone looking to dip their toe in the market and don’t want to feel rushed or any pressure. Or the more sensitive situations of deceased estates and splits. Some clients want to be really involved in every step and others would prefer us to take the reins and only let them know when it’s something important. We aim to make your selling/buying experience as least stressful as possible and tailored to YOU.

Any burning questions?? I will be happy to answer!!!

Kirsty x

Property Market Update: What’s Happening in the UK Property Market 

January 8th, 2023

A picture containing text, cup, coffee

Description automatically generated

As Christmas is now in the distance, it’s time to plan for 2023..

Interest rates rise again

In some bad news for borrowers, the Bank of England has raised interest rates to their highest level in 14 years. 

The increase has taken the rate from 3% to 3.5% – the ninth consecutive increase and the forecast for 2023 is that rates will continue to rise, with analysts predicting a peak of 4.5%.

The latest increase means that homeowners with tracker mortgages will face extra repayments of £49 per month on average, while those with variable mortgages will be paying an extra £31 per month.

House prices see biggest drop in 14 years

Figures released by major lender, Halifax, have shown a 2.3% fall in house prices in November – the biggest fall since 2008. With a 1.5% drop in December 2022.  Things seem to be predicted to stabalise a little in January 2023.

While the fall might sound concerning for some homeowners looking to sell, the rapid rise in asking prices over the past few years means that annual growth in property prices is still 4.7%, with prices having increased £46,403 on average since March 2020 when the Covid pandemic began.

Mortgage lenders pledge to help borrowers

In some positive news for homeowners struggling with the cost of living squeeze, mortgage providers have promised to do more to help.

This follows a meeting between major lenders with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, the chair of the FCA and MoneySavingExpert’s Martin Lewis.

The help will include allowing borrowers who are up to date with their payments to switch to a new mortgage deal without having to do another affordability test, letting customers switch to an interest-only mortgage for a set period of time, and increasing the mortgage term to lower the monthly repayments.

Lenders have also pledged to provide more tailored support for individuals, with highly trained staff on hand to help those struggling.

Why now is the perfect time to sell

There are plenty of reasons why it could be a great time to sell, starting with the Boxing Day boom.   This has proved to give the market a boost and buyers and seller are increased confidence and are ready to make there move in 2023.

According to leading property portal, Rightmove, the day after the big one is their busiest day of the year for website traffic, with last year’s figures increasing by 21% compared to Boxing Day 2020, which itself saw a huge 54% increase from the previous year.

And it’s not just Boxing Day that sees all the action – the website reported 51 million visits between 26th December and the first working day of the new year in 2021, so having your property on sale over the festive period could lead to a quicker sale than you think.

The 10 Happiest Places to Live Revealed

A survey by Rightmove has revealed the UK’s top 10 happiest places to live, with St Ives in Cornwall taking the top spot for the second time in three years.  Knocking Hexham off last year’s top spot!!

Average asking prices in the pretty coastal town St Ives are the highest on the list, at £523,731, while second-placed Galshiels in Scotland has the lowest asking prices, at £153,546. Compared to Hexham with average asking price of 262,265.

Last year’s winner, Hexham, has dropped to the fourth spot and is one of six English towns on the list, which also includes three Scottish towns and one in Wales.

Check out the full top 10

I would like to wish you all a very happy 2023, we are here to help with all your moving needs… 

For more property news and updates and a more detailed overview of the Tyne Valley area, get in touch with Kirsty Hodgson Bespoke Estate Agent based in Prudhoe.   We are your local property experts. Call or text us on 07787573390 or email info@kirstyhodgson.co.uk

67% more Prudhoe homes are on the market today than a year ago

December 15th, 2022

More Prudhoe homes are now coming up for sale.

This is excellent news for Prudhoe homebuyers and Prudhoe landlords because as properties are no longer flying off the shelf as they did last year, the number of properties available to buy is beginning to return to long-term averages.

This means there is greater choice for Prudhoe buyers and this will reduce the pressure on Prudhoe house prices and return us to a more normal Prudhoe housing market for buyers (and sellers).

The average UK estate agency now has 25 homes for sale, the highest level of properties on the market since December 2021

(when it was 21 homes for sale). 

However, properties per estate agency brand is not the best judge of the property market.

Let’s look at the actual Prudhoe stats, which tell a slightly different story. 

  • Prudhoe Detached Homes – Dec 2021, 8 available and today, 17 available – a rise of 113%
  • Prudhoe Semi-Detached Homes – Dec 2021, 5 available and today, 15 available – a rise of 200%
  • Prudhoe Terraced/Town Houses – Dec 2021, 7 available and today, 9 available – a rise of 29%
  • Prudhoe Apartments – Dec 2021, 5 available and today, 4 available – a fall of 20%

Overall, an increase of 67% – year on year.

(The data for Prudhoe is calculated by looking at all properties and plots for sale within a 1-mile radius of the centre of Prudhoe).

This growth in properties for sale has been seen across all areas of the British Isles. This is important because when there is a more significant availability of homes for sale, this diminishes the increasing pressure on house prices.

So how does a low number of properties for sale make such a huge difference?

Coming into the early spring of 2022, the levels of properties for sale were low (as seen from the low December 2021 stats above). It was ‘Hobson’s choice’ for buyers, so they had to pay top dollar to secure their Prudhoe home.

The value of Prudhoe properties that had their sale agreed upon in the early spring of 2022 (and completed their sale in September 2022) is 15.2% higher than those Prudhoe properties that had a sale agreed upon in the spring of 2021.

The number of properties estate agents have to offer buyers is increasing; this will boost the choice for Prudhoe buyers, meaning we will move into a more balanced Prudhoe housing market. 

Nevertheless, it’s vital that Prudhoe sellers place their properties, when they go onto the market, in line with what Prudhoe homebuyers are prepared to pay, given the current hit to their buying power initiated by higher interest rates.

Prudhoe house prices are not expected to crash in 2023,

yet they will be lower than in 2022.

If you are buying and selling in the same property market, it doesn’t matter what happens to property prices.

Also, some might say waiting for Prudhoe house prices to drop will enable them to grab a bargain.

Well, sorry to ‘rain on your parade’, but you should read my recent article that discusses what would happen if Prudhoe first-time buyers waited for Prudhoe house prices to drop. If they waited, because interest rates are rising, the extra mortgage payments would cost them a lot more than the savings made on the purchase price. (Send me a message if you want a copy of it).

What has an effect on the value of your Prudhoe home is the number of properties for sale at any one time compared to the number of buyers. When there is an over-supply of homes for sale, prices go down, and with reduced demand, house prices will go down. So how do the stock levels of properties for sale compare to the past?

If you recall at the start of the article, I stated the average UK estate agency had 25 properties on their books now. In 2018/9, that average was 36 properties for sale (and for added comparison, the long-term average, since records began in 2016, is 49 homes for sale).

As you can see, whilst stock levels have grown, we are a long way off the long-term average.

A great way to determine what will happen to the property market is by measuring that stock level (i.e. the number of properties for sale). Check once a month and see how many properties are for sale. Let me break that down for Prudhoe specifically and how you can judge the market from your sofa.

There are 45 properties for sale in Prudhoe now. To give context, the long-term 16-year average is 167 properties for sale, yet in the credit crunch of 2008, it reached 363 properties and plots for sale at one point.

I envisage some component of scarcity to persist in the Prudhoe property market, meaning whilst the house prices that were being achieved in the spring of 2022 won’t be replicated in 2023, it also won’t fall dramatically next year. 

The incentives and impetuses to move home have changed in the last six months and will continue to do so into 2023. 

As I have written before, there are a larger number of mature homeowners in their 60s and 70s downsizing to help with heating bills, whilst the desire for more space means younger families will continue to look for new homes to live in, in 2023. 

If younger 20-somethings can access the Bank of Mum and Dad for mortgage deposits, they will also carry on buying. This is especially true because double-digit rental inflation makes renting quite expensive compared to buying (even with the increased interest rates).

These are my thoughts on the Prudhoe property market this week. Do put in the comments (or send me a message) your thoughts on the matter discussed and any other property-related topic you want some advice and opinion on.

Thank you in advance …

June Property News

July 1st, 2022

Monthly Update – April 2022

April 18th, 2022

January Property Market Update

January 13th, 2022

News Article – A PRUDHOE estate agent has scooped up a prestigious award.

December 30th, 2021

Kirsty Hodgson, originally of Hexham, only launched her own business in lockdown.

But she has now taken home the trophy for ‘Agent of the Year 2021’ presented by an industry leader.

Kirsty has over 20 years experience of property and says she is now the leading Prudhoe agent with the most sales and listings for 2021.

The mum of two runs her agency from home. It is powered by eXp – an American company that launched in the UK at the end of 2019 and is a modern way of allowing experienced estate agents to launch on their own without large, upfront costs.

“Customer service has always being my focus”, said Kirsty. “Being helpful and nice always goes a long way.

“I am now the most positively reviewed Prudhoe agent with most of my business coming from recommendations.”

She added: “Having a network of other business owners across the UK to offer support and advice is amazing. We are like one big family!

“Running your own business is stressful and eXp has a support network that are on hand to support running a successful agency. There are now over 250 eXp agents in the UK and eXp is the fastest growing estate agency brand, ever!”

In 2020, Kirsty was able to take on long-term friend and experienced assistant Ailsa Coulson.

“I also have a strong social media presence with serious buyers following my Facebook business page looking out for my unique marketing techniques with ‘sneak peeks’ of properties before launching to the property portals and my popular, personally presented, virtual tour videos and market update videos”, added Kirsty, who has previously worked for local, independent and corporate agents in Prudhoe, Hexham and Blaydon and Purple Bricks.

Winner!!! Agent of the Year 2021

December 12th, 2021

I am ecstatic to receive my first award eXp ‘AGENT OF THE YEAR 2021’

It makes all the blood sweat and tears all worth while. Starting a new business in a pandemic isn’t easy and all whilst being a mum and juggling those balls!

There are over 250 exceptional eXp Estate Agents running there own businesses across the UK, all experienced Estate Agents changing the industry bringing priority to customer service with a personal bespoke service.

To be nominated and winning the prestigious Agent of Year Award is truly mind blowing!!!!!!

Looking forward to what 2022 will bring!!!!

#customerfocused #determined #awardwinningagent

15 Million Mile Stone!!!!

November 14th, 2021

THANK YOU!!!!!!! 🙏

16 months since I launched on my own and wowser just hit 15 million of property sales!!! This is completed, (sold) with another 9 million currently under offer!!

Wanted to take the opportunity to thank all my customers for putting there trust in me to sell their homes and go on the journey with them.

November Property Market Update

November 12th, 2021