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Earth Month

Updated: Apr 3

As we welcome April, derived from "aperire", signifiying flowers and buds opening, we're excited that the weather is slowly getting better and the lighter nights are coming!


Did you know that April is Earth month? This month is a time to reflect on our relationship with our incredible planet. At sortstyleandstage, we play our part. How do you do that, we hear you ask? Well, all of our well cared furniture and accessories that we use on our client's staging projects is recycled from one client project to another. When our inventory becomes old or damaged, we upcycle or donate or sell these on. This way our inventory has as long a life as possible.





Let's take a look at some of our projects and the latest housing news.


Staging


Migh, we've been super busy staging our client's properties.


We've worked on two bedroomed apartments right through to 7 bedroom homes in Bucks and across London (in Twickenham and Richmond). We've had some incredible results too. Here's one such example ...


Long Term Family Home - Sold 4 Days!


Our client had been trying unsuccessfully to sell their long term family home for nearly a year. They had limited interest and certainly no offers. They were keen to take a different approach but did not know how to get their property sale ready. Our client reached out for help.


The moment we set our eyes on this incredible home, we knew it had incredible potential but was just not showing at its best. We recommended a series of repairs, then actioned these over a week and then we style and staged this home. It went under offer within 4 days! Learn more here.




Our client, Amanda, is very happy with the result. Take a look below for yourselves:


"We tried to sell our family home since the spring of 2023 with no success. We asked Ceri to help. The moment I met her, I knew I was in safe hands.
She and her team repaired, sorted and staged our home.
The best part was that she took care of everything! I didn’t have to be available for questions or help moving anything.
Ceri is incredibly capable and just rolls up her sleeves and transforms your home. What an incredible difference . We've accepted an offer within 4 days of them finishing up.
Highly recommend."

As most of our clients don't really know anything about home staging, how to prepare their home for sale, how to sell quickly and for more and what adds value so your home sells quickly, we produce case studies. These set out what we did and the results we achieved. Take a look at your leisure at here.


Home Office Becomes Snug


What a fabulous project this was to work on!


Our client brief was to turn a home office into a welcoming snug - the key priority was to make use of a blank wall which had prevoiusly housed an old fire surround and mantle and built in cupboard. Take a look ... there's Lucy measuring up!



We designed a faux chimney breast as the centre piece. As our client wanted this to have character, we clad it in chalk coloured brick slips, added a rustic mantle, inserted an electric log fire, laid a marble slab on the floor. We also added a super large TV and soundbar too to make it a room for chilling out and watching movies!


On each side of the chimney, we designed and built a bespoke floor to ceiling storage unit (and on the right maxed out the shelving by using the deep recess). Rather than painted shelves, our client requested oak, so we added laminated oak shelving.


In addition. we:


  • addressed a damp wall

  • changed out a modern white radiator with a Victorian style coloured radiator

  • boxed piping

  • upgraded the pendant

  • added new sockets

  • laid new wooden flooring

  • added new skirting

  • prepared and decorated the room in a calming green (matching the colour in the bespoke built ins

  • changed out the broken door handle

  • added feet to a bespoke side cabinet

  • recommended and supplied furniture pieces and accessories and blended these in with existing client pieces


Take a look at this incredible interiors transformation!




Our client, Katie, says:


"We hired Ceri and the team to revamp and redesign our front room. We had gorgeous shelving built by Jon, which helped us utilise the space perfectly.
Ceri was so consultative and really helped bring my vision to life - with the right amount of advice and practical suggestions.
We are now looking at more rooms to update and refresh - can't do it quick enough!
Thanks Ceri!"

Housing News


Rightmove


Rightmove report that prices of properties coming to market have risen by 1.5% on average nationally. This is equivalent to an average sale price of £368,118. This is considerably higher than the usual March rise of 1.0%. This is also the biggest month-on-month increase Rightmove have seen in 10 months.


Buyer demand is up by 8% compared to the same time in 2023. The number of sales agreed is 13% higher.


Tim Bannister, says:

“March is typically a strong month for asking price growth, as both buyer and seller activity levels rise and the spring selling season gets underway. However, the stronger than usual price growth this March indicates that new sellers are feeling much more confident, with some perhaps being over-optimistic, that there is enough buyer activity and affordability in their local market to achieve a higher price.”
This increased activity is a positive sign for the property market, and paves the way for a higher number of transactions to take place in 2024. But buyers are still very price sensitive, and are taking their time to find a home that’s right for them, especially with the backdrop of higher mortgage rates, and affordability continuing to be stretched. This is all translating to homes being on the market for longer periods on average, and the time it takes to sell is the longest it’s been at this time of year since 2019 (71 days)."

Source: Rightmove


The five year asking price trend over 5 years below makes interesting reading - clearly showing the impact of the slow down in prices given the economic factors which have affected us all during the latter part of 2023. The increase in trend for 2024 is great to see.


Source: Rightmove


Read more here.


Zoopla


The number of sales agreed is currently +9% higher than 12 months ago. Over the first quarter of 2024, there were +7% more sales compared to the same period in 2023.


Zoopla have reported that all parts of the country are recording higher house price inflation compared to 6 months ago. Sales volumes are recovering and pricing levels are firming up. They expect these trends to continue in the second half of 2024 as prices continue to adjust to higher mortgage rates and reduced buying power.



Source: Zoopla


The average mortgage rate for a 75% loan-to-value ratio on a 5-year fixed rate has fallen to 4.4%. This is more than 1% down when compared with the rate of 5.8% in June 2023.


Despite rising confidence and market activity, Zoopla report that buyers remain price sensitive and continue to negotiate on price. This means that 41% of sales agreed in March 2024 were at least 5% below the asking price. Over the last three months, this figure was closer to half of all sales. This is high compared with historical standards.


Learn more here.


Mortgage News


UK mortgage approvals beat expectations in February and hit their highest in 17 months - this reflects the fall in borrowing costs since the middle of 2023. Their latest Money and Credit Report shows green shoots, with net mortgage approvals up by more than 4,000 to a total of 60,400 in February (up from 56,100 in January).



Halifax, the UK’s biggest mortgage lender, has cut selected two and five-year fixed rates for home purchase, remortgage and product transfer by up to 0.11%. They follow the lead of other major lenders, including Santander and HSBC, given the positive news on inflation and interest rates last month.


Mortgage interest rate cuts by the summer are looking increasingly likely, according to brokers and lenders. This will be very welcome for mortgage borrowers. As you may know, the Bank of England has held the Bank Rate at 5.25%.




Our Partners

Our clients place signficant trust in us when we work on their homes and properties. This is why we have a trusted set of partners that we work with to deliver what's needed for our clients. Learn more about our trusted partners here - they range from huge multi nationals such as Victorian Plumbing, Howdens and local independent businesses such as Inspirations , who are experts and suppliers of all things paint and materials based in Reform Road, Maidenhead and Traditional Beams who are your go to spot for mantles, shelving and much more.


Take a look at some of our partners here.


We're Here to Help


No matter what type of project you have in mind, we're here to help with:


  • home staging

  • virtual staging

  • interiors

  • landscaping


and much more.


If you need help with any property related matter, do reach out to us on info@sortstyleandstage.com.




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