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

Home to the Saints is also home to our most successful lettings team

  • 9 December, 2016

The residential lettings department in our flagship Southampton office enjoyed its most successful year ever in 2015. Well, in 2016 they look set to surpass that success - with September being a record breaking month in terms of fee income.

There's no doubt that the fantastic results achieved by our Lettings Manager, Marsh Stone, and his team in Southampton clearly demonstrate two things. The first is that Southampton is one of the South Coast's leading cities, a place that has it all - from high employment levels, two leading universities, a Premier League football team and first class transport connections to unrivalled shopping, leisure, entertainment and sports facilities. On top of which the city boasts its own unique maritime history and culture. 

In addition, plans have also been submitted to develop both the waterfront, and the Bargate quarter - a further investment of almost £100 million to breathe new life into the high street. 

No wonder Southampton is reckoned to benefit from some of the best rental yields outside of London.

The second factor driving the success of Marsh and his colleagues is, of course, their independence and emphasis on providing a flexible, high quality and personal service tailored to individual requirements. These all pay dividends to our landlords, tenants and business.

What's also crucial is transparency. There are no hidden costs or mark-ups. Our fees are competitive with nothing to pay 'up-front.' Our valuations are realistic and calculated to achieve results. And we understand the importance of helping our clients manage their cashflow, so the payment of rental income is always prompt.

Letting Manager Marsh Stone commented, 'In the last few years we've increased the number of rental properties on our books by some 30%, and that figure continues to rise. I believe that's due to our in-depth knowledge of local market conditions and experience but also because we provide our landlords and tenants with a 'one number to call' service. We deal with everything in-house. We take personal responsibility for every enquiry, issue and service offering. Our aim is to provide our landlords and tenants with complete peace of mind. We want them to be able to instruct us with confidence.’

He added, 'My team here has worked really hard to help achieve the results we have. We all believe in getting what we do right first time. In that way we give our clients a more relaxed time – so they can focus on more important things in their professional and personal lives.' 

To discover the various ways the Southampton Lettings team can help you, simply call 023 8023 2909 or visit 

Charity Jumble Sale in aid of the Waterside Cancer Support Centre

  • 23 November, 2016

Following a successful fund raising Jumble Sale in aid of the Waterside Cancer Support Centre, Pearsons Hythe office would like to say a " huge thank you to all the lovely people that turned up, helped and donated, to our latest jumble sale."  Although it was a very gloomy day outside there was a great atmosphere in the hall and the event raised just over £500.

The Waterside Cancer Support Centre were also very grateful for the generous donation and said "this donation will help us sustain the services we provide to anyone affected by cancer from the Waterside, New Forest, Totton and surrounding areas.  We can't thank you enough for your continued generous support."

Service Please

  • 18 November, 2016

Why, when it comes to selling a specialist property in the digital age, you still can't beat the experience and expertise of a bricks and mortar estate agent.

In this cyber-centric existence, where websites act as the new shop windows, and online browsing is firmly ingrained into the fabric of our everyday culture it's easy to turn to the internet as a first port of call when looking to sell or buy character property. But while the digital revolution has excelled at making some aspects of day-to-day life more convenient, there really is no substitute for the specialist level of service that a physical estate agency can offer. 

A character property can be defined in the simplest sense as one pertaining the 'wow' factor and refers to any property that is unique and outstanding, be that in a quirky capacity or because of its sheer size. They are in every sense of the word ‘special properties’ and as such require an expert level of care that reflects their unique nature. 

It was this realisation and absence in the marketplace that prompted Pearsons to introduce a dedicated Country & Individual Homes division to its already extensive scope of property services. As Director of the division Jeremy Beckingsale explains "Not all houses are created equal and our intention through launching Country & Individual Homes was to offer a service that markets these unique properties with the expert approach that is not only necessary, but actually fundamental, when dealing with a home of this calibre.”

"Distinctive homes at the high end of the market or those that are unique or rich in character, require a more tailored service, which focuses not only on local buyers but those from further afield. That’s what the team we’ve created here at Pearsons are experts at and what our Country & Individual facility can offer a potential seller.”

While the internet is one such avenue the team enlist in their enhanced marketing approach for these unique character properties, it's just one aspect of a wider strategy that includes exposure in the agents' own quarterly publication available at all of its local offices. It's a trump card that sets Pearsons apart from the competition, and cements its position as a leader in a fluctuating market that has seen the agency flourish and thrive for more than a century.  

What's more, the agency market your property on a dedicated Country & Individual Homes website, for the duration of the sale, giving it elevated exposure through banner ads on the landing page, and a thorough and comprehensive sales spec. All totally free of charge.

If you're interested in learning more about the Country & Individual Homes portfolio at Pearsons, or if you're looking to sell a home you think could benefit from this service, visit countryandindividualhomes for more information. 

Going, going… Property Auctions team going from strength to strength

  • 10 November, 2016

Pearsons Property Auctions department has continued to thrive in a year that has seen some potentially unsettling changes for the property market, from the 3% Stamp Duty rate on properties over £125,000 to Brexit.  

Our auctions have become a regular and renowned feature of the Hampshire property market scene with the mid-week events we hold at the Hilton Hotel at the Ageas Bowl County Cricket Ground, West End, always well attended.

Our sales feature properties and land from all across the county, including the Isle of Wight. These include residential homes – such as houses, bungalows and flats – investments and buy-to-let opportunities plus commercial facilities. Note that auctions are not just for dilapidated properties, those that will be renovated or demolished and developed. No, more and more 'ready to move into' homes are making it onto our lists. That's because both sellers and buyers appreciate the benefits of doing business in this way, including the fact that contracts are exchanged at the auction and the sale has to be completed within 20 business days of that. This avoids the usual risk of chains, sales falling through and wasted time, money and hassle.

Having only launched our auction service in 2010, Pearsons already sells more properties on the Hampshire mainland than the majority of our competitors. What's more, while the national average for the number of lots actually sold on the day of an auction is around 70 – 75% of the list, our August sale resulted in 87% of the properties listed being sold, raising over £2,200.000.

Part of our auction team's success is due to them being keen to think outside the box to bring sellers and buyers together.

Steve Sprake, Director of Pearsons Property Auctions, who has over 40 years in the industry, 16 of them with Pearsons, gives an excellent example of this philosophy in practice, 'On 27th July we sold a cottage in one of the local villages at an exclusive and especially organised auction at a nearby public house. This was the only property for sale. But that didn't prevent more than 50 motivated buyers attending after well over 100 viewings prior to the event. We set the guide price at £475,000 but actually achieved £579,000 on the day. We were obviously delighted, the seller was delighted and the pub landlord was delighted having over 50 extra customers on a quiet mid-week, Wednesday morning with the bar just opened and lunch about to be served!’

To find out more about the benefits of selling or buying property through Pearsons Auctions, please just call 023 80 474 274 or visit

Welcome to the autumn edition of Dwell.

  • 8 November, 2016

As we get ready to help those movers looking to be in their new home for Christmas, it's a good moment to reflect on the year to date. And what a year it's been – for our profession, the property market and, indeed,the nation as a whole. Hot on the heels of the European Union's Mortgage Credit Directive and an increase of 3% in the Stamp Duty on properties over £125,000, came the referendum on the country's membership of the EU.

Despite the uncertainty these changes brought about, I'm delighted to report that the property market – particularly here in South Hampshire – has proven to be enduringly resilient. That's despite all the doom and gloom predicted. In fact, in this edition of Dwell, amongst our usual eclectic and impressive portfolio of Country and Individual homes, you'll discover further evidence of just how resilient our local area's property market has proven to be.

For example, Chris Croake, Director of our mortgage partner, Choice Financial Solutions, writes about how record low interest rates have helped to drive mortgage lending to hit its highest August level since before the financial crash - being around 15% up on the same time last year.

You can also read an article by Marsh Stone, the Lettings Manager in our Southampton office, who describes how his team is having a very successful year, as this historic port city with its fantastic shopping, sport, leisure and entertainment facilities, continues to draw renters.

In addition, Steve Sprake our Property Auctioneer, provides some insight into why his expert and specialist team are going from strength to strength in selling properties and land from all across the county, in both rural and urban locations.

Our London Exhibitions have also demonstrated South Hampshire's enduring appeal to out of area buyers, those perhaps seeking a residence away from the Capital's hustle and bustle or a weekend bolt-hole. There's no doubt that we are blessed to be living where we do with cities of great character and culture, gorgeous countryside and superb coastline all here to be enjoyed.

Last but far from least, if you'd like to know more about what's happening in the market local to you, the head of each of our 13 offices has provided an update in the pages that follow. And if you need expert, experienced advice and guidance regarding any aspect of our professional property services, please visit or simply talk to a member of our team.

Mark Gilbert
Managing Director
Pearsons Estate Agents

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