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%, annual property price growth in the South West is considerably stronger than the 7.9% 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% 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.
East Devon and South Hams proved the fastest-moving markets in Devon and Cornwall 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 38 days, the average time taken to sell a property in the South West is over 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 South West
This wonderful Grade II Listed cottage is set in the heart of this thriving village community with its shops, school and pubs, offering wellproportioned accommodation, delightful gardens and currently set up for multi-generational living having a ground floor bedroom and bathroom.
This incredible family home has been vastly improved and extended by the current vendor to include modern and eco features with wonderful landscaped gardens, a sunny elevated position and a convenient location just on the edge of the town. On the front there is a large south facing sun deck incorporating wonderful views over roof tops towards the boating lake and Gannel Estuary. The attractive double fronted period style property has a freshly painted smart front door in the centre, this leads into a beautifully tiled vestibule and then via inner door into the main hallway.
St. Leonards, Exeter, 4 bedrooms
A wonderful opportunity to purchase this individually designed and built contemporary home, enjoying one of Exeter's most prestigious St. Leonards location's. The house was constructed approximately 10 years ago, finished to a high specification throughout with a fabulous, flowing, open plan layout. A short walk takes you to the River Exe and its historic Quayside and canal which is also bustling with eateries and cafes.
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.