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 13.6% and 13.0% respectively, annual property price growth in the South West and Wales is considerably stronger than the 7.9% and 8.9% 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 over 17% and 15% respectively 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.
Cotswold and Cheltenham proved the fastest-moving markets in the West of England and South Wales over the course of 2021, with more than 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 of England and South Wales
Gloucester, Gloucestershire, 6 bedrooms
This executive detached family home is tucked away in an exclusive location, commanding a corner plot looking out over open green space. Once over the threshold turn left into the hub of any successful family home, a light and spacious fully fitted kitchen diner/breakfast room, complete with large central island with stone worktops. Stepping further into the home you will find a formal living room, a snug for the children to use and a third spacious separate reception room to be used how best suits your family's needs. Spread across the back of the house is a double glazed conservatory that looks out over the garden.
This beautiful five-bedroom period property boasts charming characteristics and original features within the heart of the sought-after village of Rode, only 9 miles south of Bath. The property that was once two separate homes and previously a general store for the village is now a most wonderful and spacious family home. The main entrance hall with its original tiles has plenty of cloak room space. To the front of the property there is a good size living room with large windows that flood the room with natural light and a feature fireplace housing a Scandinavian log burner.
This well-presented and generously proportioned executive detached family residence is Georgian-style in appearance and set in attractive grounds of one third of an acre, tucked away in a private drive just off Mill Road, a short walk to Lisvane Primary School, village centre and all local amenities.
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.