Gemma Povey – Area Manager
Parrys Sales & Lettings
The County Town of old Monmouthshire is everything one would expect of Georgian market town at the convergence of the rivers Wye and Monnow. Monmouth is popular for its attractive architecture, good shops such as Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Lidl, and the exceptional schools include the Haberdashers for Boys and Girls, and a highly-respected comprehensive.
Excellent transport links
The A40 provides a useful bypass to the town as well as fast connections south to the M4, Bristol and Cardiff; and north to the M5 in the West Midlands. While the amenities and transport links are excellent, Monmouth is surrounded by countryside including the Wye Valley, The Black Mountains and the Forest of Dean, which creates the overwhelming urge to move to Monmouth.
Prices have admittedly jumped by up to 10 per cent this year but it still makes Monmouth highly affordable in comparison to neighbouring towns and cities such as Cheltenham and Bristol, let alone London. £1million will buy anything in the town and almost anything in the surrounding county and one hardly needs to spend half that to get a highly respectable home. No wonder buyers are flocking to an area they call ‘Wales light’.
In the last three months 84 properties have been sold in Monmouth, with the average price for property in the area at £340,945 in November 2020. According to Zoopla, the average price has increased by 2.87 per cent in the last three months. In terms of lettings, the average rental in Monmouth is around £872 pcm with the median rental at approximately £770 pcm.
Pictured property: Hereford Road, Monmouth – Guide price £450,000
Adam Sanders – Director
Shepherds Property Sales and Lettings
With our area of work being in commutable distance to London, due to fantastic road and rail links, we are very familiar with the natural progression of families from the City into the towns and villages we operate in. However, we saw a stark increase in counter-urbanization after the first lock down in the second quarter of this year, possibly due to an increased belief that the ‘work from home’ movement will out-live the current epidemic.
The lettings picture
In our rentals division, there have been several legislation changes which has made landlords reconsider whether they want to continue renting properties. This is not a surprise in a worldwide pandemic. Landlords losing jobs and coming into financial hardship, tenants defaulting etc. With courts not opening until next year, the situation for landlords and tenants is not likely to change.
It is true to say that we have much the same within our sales division. The first being the EWS1 form. The demographic mentioned above, that is now flooding to our semi-rural area of operation, are largely selling, re-mortgaging or trying to get let to buy mortgages on their apartments in London, most of which are of a similar value to the average three-bedroom homes here.
But they can’t sell or re-finance due to a variety of reasons, especially when the seller lives in a high-rise leasehold property.
Covid anger flows through the chain process, not helped by the additional workload on conveyancers with increased sales pushing to complete to beat lockdowns and the Stamp Duty holiday. We are seeing greater threats of ‘I’m going to pull out’ approach, which is now a reality and no longer an empty threat – The Perfect Storm.
We see no end to any of the challenges above, as it looks like the knock-on effects of the current climate are here to stay for a while yet. But we are still able to work and people are still able to move.
Pictured property: Saunder Close, Cheshunt – £675,000
Melfyn Williams – Managing Director
Williams & Goodwin
I’m an agent – no need to get me out of here!
As I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here fever hits North Wales this month putting some extra focus on the area, the castle the programme has chosen is just one of the many homes people could make their own castle. One could argue that now, more than ever the importance of a home is at the forefront of many people’s minds.
Locally in Anglesey and Gwynedd average sale price varies across our offices producing an average of £220,502 on sale agreed properties in the month (variance of average sale price of £91,750 to £277,734 between the departments). Great also to see local first-time buyers taking a good share of properties being bought.
Online auction success
Our recent online auction was again another 100 per cent success and whilst interest had been expressed from buyers locally and further afield, all lots were eventually sold to local investors. Perhaps this could be one side-effect of the pandemic – people choosing to invest in property – locally?
Selling time from sale agreed to exchange is now averaging around 91 days and this highlights the importance of using a professional agent to manage the transaction through from finding the buyer to a successful completion. Our fall-through rate remains well below the 30 per cent or so industry average at 7.5 per cent.
On the residential lettings front, average rents have now risen to £672 per month in October in our area (compared to a Welsh average of £662). Tenant demand remains positive with typically several applicants interested in quality accommodation in good locations – interestingly with off-road parking or garage becoming a popular request.
So, despite everything going on (or not at times!) your home remains your castle and naturally in our view a sound investment. It’s a role we all love here at Williams & Goodwin – helping people find their home and for now, we enjoy that so much – we’ve no plans to get out of here looking forward to the future and looking forward to looking back at 2020.
Pictured property: Llanfaelog, Anglesey – £875,000