SOLIHULL, WEST MIDLANDS
Samantha Dunne, Sales Negotiator
As we enter the final month of quarter one in 2021, we continue to experience a high demand in buyer activity after seeing a significant rise at the start of the year that appears to be building a strong momentum going into Spring! Contributing factors are the £500,000 Stamp Duty nil rate band deadline, as well as low interest rates for borrowing. Traditionally there has always been a good level of demand to buy in the North of Solihull, which is likely due to the area being more affordable for most, in line with UK average house prices, and in comparison, to the price of property in the South of the Solihull borough. Now more than ever we are prioritising and working continuously in acutely prospecting for new stock to satisfy demand, whilst at the same providing support to sellers preparing to sell as confidence returns following previous events of last year.
Currently we are working on an average of 7-14 days instruction to under offer, which could be less in most cases, however, we look to allow as many proceedable buyers in to view as possible ensuring maximum value potential is achieved. This also allows the time required to pre-qualify buyers prior to the viewing – a policy which has proven successful in terms of booking high quality viewings.
North Solihull and East Birmingham are key areas of interest to both home movers and investors due to the excellent facilities available locally. Most commonly known is the ongoing construction of the new HS2 line and the HS2 Interchange Station based in North Solihull. Already our area is known for its selection of transport services namely Birmingham International Airport, the West Coast Railway Service and Major Motorway networks around us making it a keen choice for those looking to live in the suburbs yet require commuting to London, Birmingham or overseas by air.
During all the activity we have seen so far this year, in February we were nominated in The Guild of Property Professionals Annual Conference, being awarded Gold for both Sales and Lettings for the West Midlands Region and receiving Overall Winner in Sales for the whole Country! We are extremely proud of our achievement which is a true reflection on the hard work and care undertaken by our staff daily.
Pictured property: 11 Fardon Avenue – £400,000 OIEO
Ian Harris, Residential Sales Customer Services Manager, Watsons Property
At Watsons we use the leverage of our first-class reputation, six connected offices across our region, and our relationship with the Guild of Property Professionals, to maintain our position as one of Norfolk’s leading property firms. We are a multi-disciplinary firm offering an extensive range of property services in addition to our estate agency. The breadth of our knowledge and the crossovers between our departments have helped our clients time and again.
Over recent months we have seen a growing supply and demand imbalance. Lowering stock levels and demand raised as we come out of lockdown have seen a 46% increase in demand for available stock. Looking ahead to the next few months the government’s ambitions to change ‘Generation Rent’ into ‘Generation Buy’ has potential to drive this imbalance further, although it is hoped that would-be sellers will be encouraged to list and redress this balance.
However, we think the overall outlook for the property market in the East remains positive. The current market climate has put sellers in a strong position in terms of pricing – at £302,624 the average price of a property in the East of England is £13,700 more expensive than it was a year ago. Since the Government’s Stamp Duty holiday extension was announced on 3 March, we have seen activity start to increase. In the last few days there has also been news that nearly half of the adult population have had their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and that cases in our area are dropping quickly also increasing seller confidence.
Over the last year, a proportion of the population have been setting savings aside that would have typically been spent on holidays. This, combined with Covid-19 stimulus activities and the incentives surrounding 5% mortgages, may give increased buying power to people looking to move to a home that ticks the boxes on their ‘new normal’ wish list. Norfolk is famous for its big skies, sandy beaches, and lively market towns. As such, it has been a popular retirement and lifestyle destination. The developing trend has been the influx of traditional city dwellers looking for a place in the country or coast.
Pictured property: Kerdiston Road, Reepham – £495,000
Art O’Hagan, Managing Director
As MD of CPS Property for the past 34 years with our five branches across the province, we are well placed to understand the marketplace from all angles, and I can confirm the market is stable and quite buoyant in the first quarter of 2021.
The residential market has increased in both quantity of sales and market values, new homes are selling between six and eight months ahead of building programmes, plus the second homes market is selling on average within two to six weeks. Property prices are up between 4-8% across the board in the past 12 months depending on location. A new turnkey 1,050 sq ft semi-detached is selling at circa £155,000 in provincial towns in Northern Ireland, the same property is getting £220,000 in greater Belfast, 850 sq ft apartments in Belfast City Centre are selling for £230,000. Larger homes in the countryside are selling for £100.00 per square foot in general depending on distance from Belfast and the M1 motorway, which stretches across the province.
Properties to rent has been a massive part of the marketplace, in high demand due to families shielding due to work commitments and couples settling down together as opposed to moving in with family. Average rent is £650.00 per month for a three-bed property rising to £1,200 for an impressive apartment in Belfast.
The property market has been extremely buoyant as expected. Our homes have become our place of work, school for our children, the last remaining place of solace in a constantly changing world.
The fact that the family cannot go on holidays, dine out or socialise, the home budget is not as strained, lenders are still very much in the marketplace and interest rates are still at an all-time low. My view is that the property market will continue to be buoyant, with a growth of 4-7% increase over the next 6-12 months. This pandemic bill will be analysed and then paid for over the next 5-50 years – and we are financially liable.
Keep safe and support your local community and retailers.
Pictured property: Saintfield Road, Belfast – £395,000