Kelvin Francis FRICS, Director
The residential property market in Cardiff has remained buoyant throughout 2021 and the early signs are that this is continuing in 2022. Large numbers of requests for valuations and instructions are being received after the festive period, indicating continuing optimism and confidence in the market. Values for the most attractive properties have proved strong, with large numbers of viewings leading to several offers, often having to go to sealed bids, which on average are five to ten per cent over the asking prices.
The complexity and complications arising during the progression of sales is the main factor slowing transaction times and this has been exacerbated by some conveyancers either working part time or from home, resulting in sales taking 10 to 15 weeks to complete.
Relocations from England
The average house price in Cardiff for 2021 is £289,596 showing an average annual change of 16.5 per cent increase. Demand is particularly strong in the popular 2 bed starter homes and traditional three bed semi-detached dwellings, where continued pent-up demand has led to a record level of viewings for most listings. Over 60 per cent of our sales are achieved to buyers coming from outside the area, from over the Prince of Wales Bridge from Bath and Bristol areas, relocating to Cardiff where homes offer better value for money and a safe family environment, bearing in mind that Cardiff is rated as one of the most desirable cities in the UK to reside.
In the rental market, rents have increased on average by 20 per cent, which has encouraged many established landlords to increase their portfolio, competing with would-be first-time buyers in the sales market, adding fuel to demand and house price increases. Many housing analysts are predicting a five per cent increase in house prices for 2022, however we feel that in 2021, house prices increased on average by 15+ per cent plus, which cannot be sustained, so our view is that house prices for 2022 will stabilise and at best increase marginally by one or two per cent.
At the present time we are pleased to note that Kelvin Francis are market leaders for new stock, and for sales agreed in Cardiff North.
Featured property: 5 Gwern Rhuddi Road, Cardiff, £375,000
JOHN BRAY ESTATE AGENTS
Colin Darbyshire, Sales & Marketing Manager
As we move into spring, buyer demand remains strong in Hastings and the surrounding areas. Being experts in both sales & lettings, we cover areas such as Hastings, where our office is located, through to St Leonards, Bexhill, Battle, Fairlight, Westfield Village, Sedlescombe and even Rye. With stock levels still relatively low across, it remains a seller’s market and the likelihood is that house prices will remain high throughout 2022. Numbers of valuations and in turn new sales are back on the increase as people come out of Christmas and into a New Year of resolutions and desires to move and make changes. This should be at a much steadier and more considered pre-pandemic pace.
The end of the Stamp Duty holiday in 2021 predicted a drop off in homebuyer demand. While there was a drop off over from Mid-December until the new year, demand has been steady and is picking up pace again. Predictions are that property prices will increase nationally by 2.2 per cent. However, given our coastal and country location within East Sussex, demand from an influx of new buyers continues to push house prices.
Improving quality of life
With Covid now accepted as part of our daily lives, the general public are continuing to move further afield, get more for their money and perhaps a better quality of life. The ‘working from home’ initiative remains and provides the opportunity for a better work/life balance for many. As such, the demand for properties in and around Hastings is high, with buyers from the likes of Brighton and London renting short term to get a feel for the area, with an aim to buying when there is a greater selection of properties available for sale. This has pushed the prices of rental properties up significantly.
Our statistics and diaries show that there has been increased interest in seaside towns and villages such as Hastings as desirable places to live, with Hastings identified as one of the top house price hotspots, with the average asking price now up to £310,182 in January. Whilst the train line into London, or at least the section running into Tunbridge Wells has never been great, people are prepared to take the hit on a slow journey to work.
Featured property: Godwin Road, asking price – £1,398,000
SURREY, SUSSEX, KENT
(Robert Leech Estate Agency Group)
Paul Dixon, FCIM AssocRICS FNAVA JP
I am fortunate enough to handle the sale and purchase of country houses and estates across Surrey, Sussex and Kent, but like Sir David Attenborough I will go anywhere. The average price is £2.5M – £3M, although there are ‘off market’ opportunities at £30M and beyond. There is currently an increased level of enquiries for estates which have not been broken up, at the very top end of the market.
I have just completed the sale of a 12,000 sq ft country house in Felcourt, West Sussex which was previously a wedding venue. The property was on the market for over a year before a ‘marriage’ between buyer and seller. Continued demand in this sector has seen a marked reduction in average sales periods, down to just two to three months.
Whilst some of us thought Omicron was a local bus service, none of us know the final outcome of the pandemic. There can be no doubt it has increased demand for Ocado delivery slots and fuelled the UK property market, with many understandably re-evaluating their lifestyle. We have seen an increase in values of circa 10 pr cent over the last year.
We all know this is a ‘people’ business and it’s the characters that can make life fun. I respect, however, the privacy of buyers and sellers, who would be horrified if exposed to the ‘mass mob’ of social media. There are always exceptions. Working with Peter Andre when he was selling his country house in a private park, he gave me a part in his TV series ‘Peter Andre – My Life’. Needless to say, the documentary is no longer on the air!
The most prolific estate I have sold to date, now some years ago, was Rockwood, near Guildford. There was a main stone-built mansion, coach house, cottages, all in 350 acres which included two farms. The story went that the previous owner was banned from the local pub and so built a replica in the basement. Unfortunately, there was no beer on tap for viewings. Part of the estate is back on the market at £19m.
A good deal of my time has always been spent acquiring country property for clients. I see this as a growth area, as houses coming to the open market are likely to be at a low level for some time.
Featured property: Felcourt, West Sussex: asking price £3 million.