West Yorkshire, Dorset and Dartmoor

Each month we visit three agents across the country to discover what is happening in their local market. This month we meet members of The Guild of Property Professionals in Ripponden, West Yorkshire, Dorset and Bovey Tracey, Dartmoor.

Ripponden - West Yorkshire - image
STATS: Average time to sell: Three weeks Average Sale Price: £350,000 Average Rent: £850pcm


Virginia Galloway Managing Director www.houses.vg imageVG ESTATE AGENT
Virginia Galloway, Managing Director

We experienced a steady start to the year with more buyers than homes available for sale. The majority of viewers still had not placed their own property on the market and we found ourselves in the classic “Chicken or Egg” situation. By the second week of March the housing market started to loosen up and potential buyers appreciated that they had to get their own homes listed on the market if they seriously intended to move this year.

The rise in the Bank of England base rate seems to be tolerated by buyers seeking mortgages, with the general opinion that there are still good deals to be had – and we appreciate the services of our efficient Mortgage Broker, Hayley Brookes of Reach4 Mortgage Solutions.

VG Estate Agent is a traditional Estate Agent specialising in residential sales and lettings in the area local to our office, which covers a wide range of property including fabulous country residences, cottages, and mill conversions, complemented by popular modern family homes on new developments. Every buyer has their own shopping list, however well-planned accommodation, gardens, garages, and parking with the bonus of a view are top of the wish list. The M62 gives access to Leeds, Manchester and beyond, making it a desirable area for the busy professional.

Parental support trend

We have also seen a trend for parents moving back to be close to family members to assist with childcare. Interestingly, we have noticed that the “Baby Boomers” generation are now future proofing their house purchasers with space for a live-in carer.

The rental market continues to be competitive with more applicants than homes. We have seen many Landlords with just one property decide to sell over the last few months as legislation and tax make it financially unviable, and this inevitably has a detrimental result for available property and as a result, rents have increased.

As ever, we are dedicated to working with our Sellers and Buyers to deliver their dreams in 2023.

Featured property: Deerstones House – £650,000.

Dorset property image
STATS: Average price of a DOMVS property in Wareham: £700,000 Average number of transactions in the last month: 8 Average rents for properties marketed: £1,270


Alison Owens, Associate Director

The 2023 property market has started very actively, following a quieter few months at the tail end of 2022. Our Wareham office has 58% more buyers registered on our database compared with a year ago, and twice as many available properties for sale. This shows that the market is very active, despite the newspaper headlines. The reality is, people still need a home and those who need to buy or sell are not being held back by the interest rate rises, the cost of living crisis and an economy teetering on the edge of a recession. They are prepared to take a long-term view for their family home.

The number of buyers registered for each available property has marginally declined, with the ratio falling from 34 buyers to 27 buyers in the past year. That said, every new instruction is attracting a healthy amount of interest and most properties are being agreed within a few weeks and meeting our 13-week average conveyancing period.

The three Ds

We have busy diaries with plenty of market valuations booked for the coming weeks. There are many sellers who are motivated to get their property on the market as soon as possible. The three Ds – divorce, debt and death – and of course those needing to trade-up to accommodate a growing family, will always represent a good proportion of the market. Interestingly however, we are seeing an increase in the number of long-term landlords now making the decision to exit the private rental sector as well as an increase in investors leaving the holiday-let market. Having had their margins squeezed in recent years, and with the impending changes to Capital Gains Tax, both long- and short-term landlords are choosing to cash in their property-chips. Despite this, our sales team are still registering plenty of buy-to-let investors, which makes us confident that a large percentage of these sold rental properties will be replaced with new opportunities for tenants. These potential landlords are seeking a safe investment class in a market that has seen a 4.4% rent increase (in the year to December 2022 in Southwest England, according to the ONS) and an even higher annual capital growth.

Featured property: West Lulworth – Guide price £875,000.

Dartmoor property image
STATS: Average house price: £376,203 Increase in instructions compared to same period in 2022: 61% Properties have remained on market for over 12 weeks: 341


Sue Vincent - Complete Estate Agents - imageCOMPLETE ESTATE AGENTS
Sue Vincent, Branch Manager

Following a disappointing 2022 the property market has remained somewhat cautious for the first part of 2023.

Our area covers small market towns, villages and The Dartmoor National Park and we have a healthy number of people looking to move into these areas, from the Southeast, many wanting a lifestyle change, or to be nearer family. Of course, with many employees still able to work from home, it has meant that many buyers are able to move sooner than originally planned, infrequently having to visit the office. The local market is mainly those wanting to downsize, with very few wanting to upsize and interestingly, the wave of new applicants registering are mainly purchasers wanting to find a property before they sell, or even market their own home, still feeling they have the upper hand.

Although the market remains cautious, we have seen an increase in sales with purchasers keen to purchase a new home. With the increase in the number of new properties coming to the market, adding to the number of those properties that have remained available for a few months, it seems much calmer, having become more of a buyer’s market than the previous sellers’ market. We are finding more than ever, purchasers are being reserved in their attitude, mainly due to the uncertain economic climater.

Homes taking longer to sell

It is interesting to note that in the area there are currently a high volume of 341 properties that have remained on the market for more than 12 weeks, proving that homes are taking longer to sell, contrary to what many sellers believe. However, with realistic pricing we are achieving a good number of sales, although resulting in an average house price of £376,203, lower than 2022’s average price of £454,079, which, combined with the number of new homes being listed and the time that many properties are remaining for sale, I feel we are returning to a pre-Covid market. Sales are still vulnerable due to the prolonged amount of time it is taking for the conveyancing process to reach completion. I feel it is up to estate agents to liaise with their clients to ensure a clear understanding of the process and help vendors to get one step ahead, by working with their solicitor to complete and return paperwork whilst they are on the market and prior to agreeing their sale.

Featured property: Bovey Tracey – sold at asking price of £575,000.

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