2022 has started strongly. Sales volumes in January are predicted to be 10% higher than their long- term (2012–2021) average and, except for a year ago, are the strongest since 2007 (Dataloft, HMRC). Buyer demand remains steadfast, up 16% year-on-year (Rightmove). Property price growth continues to be sustained; annual price growth in the year to January was at its strongest in over 15 years (Nationwide). Rightmove reported the biggest monthly jump in the asking price of a newly listed property since 1994 and when asked, the majority of agents are still expecting price growth over the next three- and 12-month period.
At 13.0% and 11.5% respectively, annual property price growth in Wales and the West Midlands is considerably stronger than the 8.9% and 7.7% evident a year ago. The pandemic ‘search for space’ is still playing out in many markets, with prices for detached homes currently seeing the strongest growth of all property types; average prices are up by more than 15% year-on-year. With office returns and hybrid working now in place, there has been renewed interest in apartment living, and many town and city centre locations are seeing a rise in buyer demand.
Winds of change
Although the quantity of property for sale remains low, with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reporting stock levels per agent at a record low in January (barring the market closure in spring 2020), there are signs of change. New listings in January rose 11% year-on-year, with Rightmove noting a substantial rise in home valuation requests – an indication that many are looking to sell before they buy in current conditions. These should feed through to agents’ books over the coming months. Historically, March is the strongest time to sell, with the highest number of buyer enquiries per property for sale.
Stratford-on-Avon proved the fastest moving market in the West Midlands and Mid Wales over the course of 2021, with one in every 20 privately owned properties estimated to have changed hands. 2022 has started with momentum. At 39 days (West Midlands) and 46 days (Wales), the average time taken to sell a property is three weeks quicker than a year ago.
Sunshine and showers
Across the UK, governments are announcing their plans for ‘living with COVID’ and hybrid working is bedding in. With economic growth of 7.5% over the course of 2021, the UK economy is close to its pre-pandemic level. However, consumer confidence remains on edge due to the rising cost of living. Increases in the cost of food and clothing, along with rising fuel and energy prices, look set to squeeze many household incomes. Savings made during the pandemic might provide a cushion in the short term, and while interest rates may well rise from the current 0.5%, they remain low by historic standards.
Properties for sale in the West Midlands and Mid Wales
Market Drayton, Shropshire, 4 bedrooms
This sensational four-bedroom barn conversion is located in the perfect spot for watching the sun rise and set with it's stunning countryside views. The home is immaculately presented, perfectly combining old with new with a stunning entrance hallway and aak staircase, a beautiful spacious kitchen/breakfast room with separate dining area and large lounge and four double bedrooms with three benefiting from a modern stylish en suite. There is also a large enclosed rear garden and front garden with driveway parking and detached garage all located in the sought-after hamlet of Childs Ercall.
Llandrindod Wells, Wales, 3 bedrooms
This spacious and luxuriously appointed detached house, offers a large kitchen and lounge, three double bedrooms and three bath/shower rooms, set on a individual plot in a south-facing country location, with panoramic views, a third of an acre of level gardens and ample parking.
Stratford-Upon-Avon, West Midlands, 5 bedrooms
This impressive and unique family residence is located on one of Stratford's most prestigious roads, within easy walking distance of the town centre. This architecturally fascinating home dates back to around 1912 and has been occupied by the current vendors as a much loved family home, for almost 30 years. The property offers enormous potential for extension and an excellent opportunity to put one’s own stamp on things. This is a very rarely available home in this most sought after of locations, with delightful views to the front overlooking to River Avon.
As property prices and demand continue to rise, sell your property with experts in the property industry this spring. Contact your local Guild Member today.