Expert View: Alastair Woodgate, Rumball Sedgwick

Alastair Woodgate, Rumball Sedgwick

Alastair Woodgate, Rumball Sedgwick - Credit: Archant

Alastair Woodgate, director of leading local chartered surveyors and estate agents, Rumball Sedgwick, knows where you’ll find the most informed property advice.

I’ve just been reading three different media reports on the state of the residential property market. From financial gurus to economists, everyone finds something to say. The trouble is, all three articles contradict each other! While one says the market is rising in the wake of the Brexit decision, another says that it is falling and the third that we won’t see any effect at all on property values or the levels of activity in the market.

Many of these spokespersons are neither inspecting and valuing property on a daily basis in the role of a chartered surveyor, nor working day-to-day in the front office of a local estate agent. And property statistics don’t have the immediacy of the stock market: they can take months to filter through and then distort the up-to-date truth.

In another two property articles to cross my desk last week, one states that the number one factor now influencing buyers is proximity to your place of work while the other says it is, above all else, the availability of high speed broadband.

Don’t believe everything you read about the property market. The media can be several weeks behind the market and national newspapers cannot reflect local market trends and conditions that can swing wildly from county to county and even from town to town. What’s happening in St Albans district is different from other towns in Hertfordshire, let alone what’s happening in other regions of the country.

So where should one seek out the right advice? Like most things in life, when you need someone to guide you it is best to find someone who has been that way before and knows the path well. Nobody can really be a true expert forecaster in property. But an experienced chartered surveyor is an expert in the present. He or she can uniquely deal with the market they are in and skillfully help buyers and sellers to make the best of the prevailing conditions. Chartered Surveyors and estate agents aren’t foolish enough to try to foretell the future. But at least they know what is going on in their particular marketplace from day to day.

So the property expert isn’t necessarily the TV reporter, the bank manager or the neighbour with a keen interest the housing market. The real expert is the one who is handling the valuing, buying and selling of local property every day, week in week out. If he or she doesn’t know what is really going on, no one does!

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For advice on the local property market, contact Alastair on 01727 519140 or at