Keep up to date with what’s going on at Pearsons and in our surrounding communities across Hampshire.

Going, going, gone!

  • 20 July, 2016

Why more and more savvy sellers are turning to auctions to offload property. 

When it comes to selling property, the market is often summed up in one of two ways; whether you're a buyer or a seller and who has the advantage at the time. But what if there was a scenario where the homeowner and the buyer could both be winners? Well, when you sell your property by auction that's exactly what you get - and the process couldn't be simpler, as more and more switched-on property hunters are starting to discover. 

Thanks to ever growing demand the number of properties being put up for auction in the UK is steadily increasing, with competition among cash buyers fierce for those that make it to the hallowed block. At their first auction of 2016, Pearsons' dedicated auction division smashed their previous sales record for property sold in a single auction, with a sum in excess of 2 million pounds achieved by selling only eight individual properties. 

"We sell a property at auction and the exchange takes place the same day, the completion 28 days later. Sales don't fall through at auction.It really is as simple as that."

It was an outcome that was even more rewarding for Pearsons Director of Auctions; Steve Sprake, who oversaw the auction for the first time since his appointment to the division in October 2015. Steve, who brought with him 16 years experience in residential sales for Pearsons local office in Southsea, attributes the appeal of auctions down to a simple fact - selling at auction is quick, easy and totally transparent. 

"I don't understand why everyone doesn't sell their house by auction" says Steve. "People are under the impression that to sell at auction your property needs to be dilapidated and in some state of disrepair - this is categorically not the case. 90% of the attendees our auctions attract are cash buyers with serious intent to purchase, and this could be anything from a project to a family home that's beautifully finished and ready to move into.” 

Since his move from the sales side of the business into its auction division Steve's eyes have been completely opened to the endless benefits that selling a property at auction affords. "There's no chains, no surveys, no agonising wait for completion," he continues. "We sell a property at auction and the exchange takes place the same day, the completion 28 days later. Sales don't fall through at auction. It really is as simple as that."

If recent legislation changes in the property sector have any bearing, it's likely that more and more sellers will actively shun the open market in favour of offering their property for quick sale at Auction. A fact Steve relishes "We're completely passionate at Pearsons about selling auction properties for our clients and while we always set a realistic guide price, we do everything in our power to achieve the best possible price on the day."

Selling at auction is nothing new, but it is becoming increasingly popular again as more and more sellers look to turn around their property for maximum profit and a quick exchange. If you're thinking of putting your property for sale at auction in the South coast area you can contact Steve and his team at their West End Office in Southampton on 023 8047 4274 or visit for more information. 

A taxing time ahead?

  • 13 July, 2016

As the Government plough ahead with proposed changes in buy-to-let properties, Pearsons Director Lee Turner reflects on what this really means for potential and existing landlords. 

It was a change in legislation that no one saw coming, and one that continues to leave those with a buy-to-let mortgage scratching their heads and reconsidering their options.  Because what was once a buoyant investor-friendly market has been shaken up by the announcement that from April 2017 tax relief on buy-to-let mortgages will comprise of a standard, singular, 20% flat rate. 

While those in a lower tax bracket will be, in theory, unaffected by the tax relief changes, the news has understandably angered some higher grossing landlords, who under the new law, will see their net profits plummet, as the rate of interest repayable on their buy to let mortgage does the exact opposite. 

The debate on how to counterbalance these, in some cases substantial, losses roars on, with no obvious immediate solution in sight.  With some predicted shortfalls in rental yield in excess of £1000 per annum, increases to recoup costs are an unlikely option, especially considering a high proportion of tenants are already paying what the top end of their budget affords. 

Other options, such as operating under a limited company thereby qualifying for corporation tax which would offer lower rates of repayment versus income tax, have come under scrutiny because this approach significantly narrows the choice of lenders available to prospective buyers. 

The only real way out for landlords who find themselves affected by the tax relief change is to put their property in the name of someone who is in the lowest tax paying bracket. Taking care to ensure that this doesn't put the individual at risk of entering a higher tax threshold as a result. 

Where some landlords will lose out, other prospective buyers can naturally expect to gain.  First time buyers for example can expect less competition from the investor market as the number of buy-to-let and second home buyers decreases.  Likewise, retirees whose pension pots will be unaffected by the legislation changes also stand to benefit from the decline in competition.

Where this leaves tenants is a less fortunate picture.  Fewer properties to rent naturally results in increased competition for those that do remain, and with supply short and demand high, tenants may find themselves paying over the odds to secure a roof over their heads in this reduced tax relief climate. 

If you have concerns about what the tax relief changes could mean for you as a current landlord, of if you're considering buying a property to let, please contact your local Pearsons branch for more information or visit us at

Spring into summer

  • 6 July, 2016

Now is such an exciting time in the garden, on your patio, or on your balcony.  No matter how large or small your garden, there is a lot to enjoy and to look forward to. 

Daffodils have welcomed the early spring and all but the very late cultivars have now finished flowering. Most plants have emerged in their fresh lime-green spring foliage. Many trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants are flowering to take advantage of the long summer for their fruits and seeds to ripen.  If you want a splash of a different spring colour in your garden, why not consider Toona sinensis ‘Flamingo’.  As the cultivar name suggests, it emerges a shocking bright pink in spring. With wonderful pinnate foliage it forms a large shrub or small tree.  As summer progresses it does become greener, with more chlorophyll developing in its foliage.  It has an upright habit thus is suitable for smaller gardens and can easily be pruned.  Grown for its foliage effect it is a plant you cannot miss seeing, no matter where you plant it.  It enjoys a sunny or half shady position in any good free-draining soil.  Once established it needs little looking after; removing any dead branches in the winter and giving it a good mulch each year. It can be pruned to keep it from getting too big but it is not a fast grower. 

As spring turns into summer one of the areas not be missed on a visit to the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens is the Peony Border.  Sponsored by Kelways Nursery (a specialist nursery in Somerset) this border is filled with about 70 different cultivars - both herbaceous and shrubby - of this glorious plant.  It provides both a colourful spectacle as well as inspiration for your own garden.

Peonies are amongst the most colourful and impressive late spring and early summer flowers.  The size of a large tea cup, their flowers delight with a range of colours.  Most garden peonies are herbaceous perennials which have been cultivated and bred for centuries in the Far East.  It is a clump-forming plant which is very long lived, easily reaching 30 to 50 years.  Foliage is usually about half a meter high with the flowers held above.  The buds gradually swell to the size of a ping-pong ball before finally opening to reveal the wonderful range of colours and petals. Anything from white, cream, yellow, to salmon pink, red and deep crimson is available.  The flowers may be single, anemone-form or double, with smooth or crinkled petals. 

The plants prefer a sunny position in a open soil, free-draining but not too dry in summer.  They benefit from a little support in spring to stop them from falling open and the flower stalks breaking in wind or rain. You can use a plant support or birch or hazel twigs.  Within a mixed border, neighbouring plants can give support, though be careful not to let neighbours shade out the plant. 

Besides weeding and tidying the plant for winter, there is little else to do.  Water when needed and give a thin layer of mulch or compost each year to add organic matter. 

Peonies can also be grown in pots and containers providing these are large enough to provide for a good root run and are regularly watered.

Welcome to the Spring edition of Dwell

  • 29 June, 2016

Welcome to the
Spring edition of Dwell, which heralds a transition into what is generally
regarded as the busiest period in the property calendar.  

It has certainly been an interesting and eventful first half of 2016, with the housing market having to adjust to some significant changes in legislation, which govern policy and practise in the property sector, coming into effect. The most recent of these is the Mortgage Credit Directive, which serves to regulate the information available to home buyers across the European Union, as well as setting a standard for advisory bodies being able to operate under an 'independent' status. It's created a pressing need for those seeking guidance about the mortgage products on offer to seek out the advice of a reputable agent while lenders reconsider their position. We go into more detail on what this means for prospective buyers on page 37. 

April also heralded the introduction of new rates of stamp duty, meaning that properties sold over the value of £125,000 are now subject to an additional 3% in fees. It's a change to legislation that has long been anticipated, and it will be interesting to see in the coming weeks and months what impact, if any, this has on the movement of the housing market. The race to market that was hotly tipped in 2015 never quite came into fruition with the market maintaining a stronghold throughout the latter part of the last quarter. If early indication is anything to go by, the current trend doesn't presently show any signs of slowing down. 

Our Country and Individual homes clients will again have the opportunity for their property to be marketed to the lucrative London audience as we embark on our second London Property Exhibition. This is just one of the new initiatives we introduced as part of the Country and Individual Homes service during 2015, and we were especially pleased with the response our portfolio received when we trialled this service for the first time last year. With the South of England within prime commuter belt territory, London is one of the key areas where the demographic of potential buyers looking to purchase unique character homes outside of the city reside. To be able to market our clients' properties directly to these prospective buyers, in a personable, face-to-face capacity, in our opinion affords the opportunity to sell their home quickly, and for the best possible price. Please speak to your local office if you have an interest in showcasing your property as part of the upcoming exhibitions for 2016. 

As always we have an eclectic and impressive selection of properties for sale in South Hampshire included in this edition of Dwell.  Read it here online or call into your local branch to pick up a copy.

You'll find property indexed by local office for your convenience, sitting alongside some great editorial content. If you have any questions regarding our Country and Individual Homes service please do visit our website for more information or contact a member of the team who will be all too happy to assist you. 

Mark Gilbert

Managing Director
Pearsons Estate Agents

Towan Place Exclusive Launch Event: 14th April

  • 12 April, 2016


Please join us at our Open Event on Saturday 23rd April from 2pm - 4pm.

You are invited to join us for a glass of bubbly at our Exclusive Development Launch at Towan Place, Westwood Road, Southampton
Thursday 14th April, 5.30pm - 7.30pm

Towan Place, Westwood Road is a modern development from reputed local developer Orchard Homes, ideally situated close to the City Centre, in one of Southampton's most sought-after roads.

These three bedroom / two bathroom suites are truly unique.  Each one has been planned with care to meet demands for both light and space.  The designer kitchens, bathrooms and en-suites to master bedrooms are complemented by the  luxurious standard of interior decoration throughout.  For those looking for a highly individual, contemporary home coupled with an outstanding location these suites offer an exclusive opportunity to acquire the very best of city living. 

The apartments are ready for occupation and reservations can be made on the night.

Please register your interest for the event by calling 023 8023 3288.


A view from the field: Hampshire

  • 8 October, 2015

Mark Gilbert, Sales Director at Pearsons Estate Agency in Fareham, gives a whistle stop tour of Hampshire’s property scene.

Hampshire is the largest county in south east England and the fifth most populated county in England as a whole. With its central south coast location and excellent transport links by road, rail, sea and air, Hampshire is the natural home of the British Army (in Andover) and the Royal Navy (in Portsmouth).

The area is a popular choice for many major employers, including NATS (National Air Traffic Control ) at Swanwick, the Ministry of Defence offices on Portsdown Hill and the Esso refinery at Fawley. There are also three prominent universities in the area – the University of Southampton, Solent University and the University of Portsmouth, which all play a huge role in attracting students, lecturers and researchers from around the world.

So what does all this mean for Hampshire’s property market?

With so many people coming into Hampshire to work or study, there is a relatively consistent demand for a wide range of properties both to buy and rent. Pearsons has a network of 12 branch offices covering the southern Hampshire region and at any given time our combined portfolio will include waterside homes with mooring facilities, historic and listed buildings, city centre town houses, detached and semi-detached houses and apartments ranging from basic studios to luxurious penthouses.

At the lower end of the market, the need for student accommodation is high because universities are accepting more students than ever before. Student flats and HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupancy) are in great demand and we have seen many parents investing in properties for their student children, as well as buy-to-let landlords looking for larger properties in easy reach of the main university sites that can be converted into HMOs.

The cost of property in Hampshire is steadily rising. In July 2015, the average price of a property was up 8.6% on the previous year, with the average price of property in each group standing at £401,744 for a detached home, £231,680 for a semi, £190,234 for a terraced and £144,209 for an apartment (visit the Land Registry index here for more information).

For comparison, at a national level, UK house prices increased by 5.7% in the year to June 2015, which included a rise of 7.7% across the South East region (please visit the ONS House Price Index here for further information and to search sold prices in Hampshire at, click here)

The launch of the Government’s Help to Buy Scheme has really helped to raise confidence in Hampshire’s property market. There are many more new developments in progress or planned across the county by both small, independent companies and large national corporations, signalling that developers believe the demand is there.

The Hampshire property market is buoyant and looks as if it will remain so for the foreseeable future. At Pearsons we are finding it hard to keep up with the demand and new instructions are often sold within the week to people who have already registered their interest with us. If you are looking to buy or rent a property in Hampshire, please contact one of our conveniently located offices (including high street branches in Southampton, Southsea, Romsey, Winchester, Fareham).

The state of play

  • 16 July, 2015

Post-election, Pearsons Director, Lee Turner, reflects on the property market’s collective holding of breath and its anticipated lull and looks forward to where this new majority takes us next.

In the first week of May, the market was expected to be on tenterhooks, instructions were set to experience something of an interlude and property people generally would be skipping a beat. Desisting. Marking time, if you will. There would be a mover’s moratorium and no one was going anywhere until Number 10 had been assured, one way or another.

Fast-forward a few weeks and let’s go back to reality and the realisation that nothing had apparently changed at all. There was no lull, no cessation of sealed deals, no housing hiatus whatsoever. It seemed, for all intents and purposes, that it’s been business as usual all along.

In fact, Election Day, like the week leading up to it, was much like any other day – busy. Buy-to-let investors were still making many enquiries as were first-time buyers, families with a penchant for two, three and four-bedroom homes were continuing to buoy proceedings and all Pearsons branches were reporting plenty of interest, albeit in a market that was seemingly being starved of choice.

The imbalance between demand and supply is what we’ve been talking about more than our political proclivities and that issue continues to dominate the agency agenda. All in all, the market is strong and house prices are continuing to rise steadily and sensibly – there was a positive ripple following the change in stamp duty regulations that negated the artificial pricing that the tax had spurned, but back to reality and consistency, albeit with property polarity, prevails.

Houses priced between £250,000 and £500,000 represent the value in which the most acute imbalance between demand and supply lies. Above that ceiling and the difference is more measured with reduced disparity between the number of vendors and buyers. Should owners in 2015 start considering when to make their move, a valuation of a realistic, achievable price is clearly likely to be the salient factor when it comes to bolstering strength in the market by introducing more homes to a ready and very willing audience.

If you’re thinking of selling, get in touch with your local Pearsons branch for a free property valuation.

Welcome to Darren Sherridan

  • 8 June, 2015

The busy Pearsons Denmead Office are pleased to welcome Darren Sherridan to the team. Born in Portsmouth, Darren is a keen sportsman and dancer having performed at the London Palladium and Sadlers Wells.

Darren joins Pearsons from a national estate agency group and brings a wealth of experience to the office. ‘I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to be part of this very successful office. Denmead and the surrounding area is a fantastic place to live and I am looking forward to be of service to local home owners and purchasers in their search for a new home’.    

If you are currently considering selling your property within the Denmead, Hambledon and Meon Valley area and would like expert marketing advice do not hesitate to contact Pearsons Denmead office 023 92 259151.

Pearsons Sponsor Local Cup Winning Team

  • 22 May, 2015

U14 Tyro Cup Final – Hedge End Rangers v Colden Common at Totton AFC.

Hedge End Rangers won the match 2-1. The 2 Hedge End goal scorers were: Sam Richardson and Christian Norton (who scored the 2nd and winning goal). 

An extra special treat for winners Hedge End Rangers was a team talk from Matt Le Tissier in the dressing room afterwards. The Hedge End team Manager is: Richard Matthews, Coach: David Kimber, Team Captain: Ben Kimber and their team mascot on the day was little Edward Turner (age 4). 

Copyright Laura Scottorn Photography 2015

New Pearsons team funds a new team kit

  • 5 May, 2015

Pearsons Estate Agency in West End now has a dedicated Residential Lettings Department, and the recently formed lettings team has already forged strong links in the local community by providing pupils at Berrywood School in Hedge End with a new sports kit.

Both Pearsons and Berrywood School appreciate the importance of team spirit. Last year Berrywood recruited PE teacher Nick Hutton to be their full time sports and physical development leader. Now, thanks to Nick’s hard work, pupils can enjoy netball, short tennis and multi skills in the playground, gymnastics and dance classes in the hall and after-school clubs including football, cricket, athletics, cycling and golf.

When the West End lettings team heard about Nick’s ambitions for the school – and that the pupils hope to use their sports activities to raise money for charity – they were quick to respond. Clifford Ciorra went along to present Nick with a cheque and to wish the pupils the best of luck in the many tournaments and sport festivals they will be participating in.

[Photo shows Clifford Ciorra of Pearsons Lettings West End presenting a cheque to Nick Hutton and pupils at Berrywood School].