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Firstly, thank you for taking the time to read this article. As a sweeping trend, we find ourselves in un-chartered territory in comparison to the post-pandemic property market.
As an agency, we are consistently working hard to keep our finger on the pulse of understanding national trends that cause an impact on our local market which I would like to highlight below.
The freeze in energy prices announced by the Prime Minister is welcomed news for households and businesses and is expected to curb inflation by up to 5%. An average of independent forecasts published in August expects the rate of inflation to lower over 2023 and by 2024 to have dipped back to below the Bank of England 2% target.
While the Bank Rate is still expected to rise to over 2% by the end of the year, it is not predicted to rise much above 3%, which is still low by historic standards. The current economic situation is unchartered territory for many homeowners, particularly those too young to remember the prolonged periods of double-digit inflation and high interest rates in the 1970s and 1980s. Mortgage lending regulation also means the housing market is in a different state to the Global Financial Crisis.
The first half of the year has been remarkably busy, with sales activity expected to moderate as we enter the colder months. Reports show that over 100,000 sales have taken place each month to date in 2022, a feat achieved only twice in the last fifteen years. While demand remains higher than pre-pandemic times, mortgage approvals, which are considered a forerunner for demand, have eased back in recent months. In July, 63,770 mortgages were approved, a 5% fall on the pre-pandemic average.
While the cost of living is surging across almost every aspect of our lives, house prices continue to defy expectations, with property prices continuing to rise in most regions, albeit the pace of annual price growth has moderated. After significant price rises across the market in the last two years, 12-month expectations for price growth have eased from a net balance of +78% of agents in February to +30% in July. Price growth over the course of 2022 is predicted to be around 7%, with the supply/demand imbalance which has underpinned growth set to ease over the coming months.
At 8.0%, annual property price growth in the South West has moderated from 11.3% at the start of the year. However, in many areas in the West of England, annual property price growth remains in double digits. Price growth is currently strongest in Sedgemoor and Somerset West and Taunton.
According to Rightmove, homes continue to go under offer quickly, taking an average of just 29 days to sell (Rightmove). Conversely, across the UK housing market the time taken to complete a sale has risen, now in the region of four months, as conveyancing delays remain a significant issue. For buyers seeking to move in by Christmas, the clock is ticking.
With sales volumes less frenetic, levels of private stock turnover, while remaining higher than historic averages, are beginning to moderate. Across the region the proportion of homes changing hands is lower than the 4.3% UK average. In several of the region’s sought-after markets, average prices exceed the current South West average of £322,329.
Whilst the media continue to highlight all the above, I am pleased to share that it is not all doom and gloom. Here at David Plaister, we are still seeing sales being agreed and viewings continue, despite the uncertainty.
I am pleased to show you our latest EZINE (a digital magazine), displaying our current portfolio of properties for sale. The Ezine forms part of our holistic marketing approach and is sent to our extensive database, contacts, and partner agents via The Guild of Property professionals (800 + partner agents).
To view our ezine, please click HERE
David Plaister Ltd
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Looking at the newspapers with their doom and gloom headlines, you would think that the Weston-super-Mare property market (and the British property market) would be on its knees.
Yet ring some Weston-super-Mare Estate Agents for a viewing or free valuation, and if you can get an appointment within a week to ten days, you are doing well!
British properties continue to sell in good numbers.
In July and August 2022, sales have been agreed on an average of 25,476 UK properties per week.
Interesting when compared to the averages of 27,351 sales agreed per week in 2021 and 26,382 sales agreed per week year to date in 2022.
So why is the Weston-super-Mare property market defying all expectations?
It is because there is an absolute shortage of properties to buy on the books of Weston-super-Mare estate agents, meaning Weston-super-Mare house prices are being kept buoyant (as demand exceeds supply)
Today, there are 350 properties available to buy in Weston-super-Mare. Roll the clock back to October 2007, the month before the last house price crash, and it was 796
That’s 56% fewer properties to buy today in Weston-super-Mare than the month before the property crash.
Notwithstanding suggestions that the Bank of England’s higher interest rates would peter out British house price growth, the continued limited supply of properties coming onto the market has helped Weston-super-Mare house prices climb.
Weston-super-Mare house prices are 15.2% higher today than a year ago.
Nevertheless, there is evidence that the insane demand for property has started to ease, and supply is increasing, which means that the direction of the Weston-super-Mare housing market is beginning to change in the coming months.
This can be seen in several ways.
Back in January and February (2022), 8,094 UK properties per week were reducing their asking prices, whilst this July and August had risen to an average of 13,115 UK properties per week. This is significant as some 'optimistic' homeowners who placed their properties on the market in the Spring and early Summer have had to reduce their 'optimistic’ asking prices to attract buyers.
Also, the number of UK house sales falling through (i.e. when the sale is agreed yet the sale falls through before the legal paperwork is completed) is starting to creep upwards from an average of 5,558 properties a week in the Spring of 2022 to 6,854 per week in July and August 2022.
Weston-super-Mare house prices have risen over recent times; the most recent figures are based on what was selling in the late Winter /early Spring of this year and subsequently completing the sale in the early Summer.
The prices obtained by the Estate Agents on properties achieving a sale in Weston-super-Mare today (i.e. in the Autumn of 2022) are slightly lower than what was obtained nine months ago. This means the house statistics published in early Spring 2023 will slightly reduce. Nothing to worry about – we want to give you a heads up and not to be concerned. The simple fact is:
We are returning to a more normal Weston-super-Mare housing market this Autumn, compared to the crazy last 30 months since the end of lockdown one.
With UK inflation standing at 9.9%, this brings an interesting scenario for Weston-super-Mare property values.
Reducing ‘real’ wages will hit first-time buyers and existing homeowners’ disposable income, while the same high inflation will make the Bank of England increase interest rates.
These things will significantly reduce homebuyers' capacity to afford their mortgages as the fewer people who can take out a mortgage; the fewer buyers will buy homes.
The Bank of England base rate currently stands at 2.25%, yet forecasts suggest it could end the year between 2.75% and 3%. Yet lets us not forget the long-term average over the last 50 years has been between 7.1% and 7.2%, and many mature Weston-super-Mare homeowners will remember Bank of England Base Rates of 17% in 1979, so these sorts of increases are still of a low base.
During these Autumn months, though, the lack of properties on the market and available to buy still support Weston-super-Mare house prices. The newspapers compete for attention and use Clickbait titles to generate more interest in the publications.
The simple fact is that unless something seismically happens in the world to change things materially, the Weston-super-Mare and British property markets will continue to harden slowly and will face some different challenges compared to the last 30 months, but fundamentally Weston-super-Mare house prices will remain broadly neutral over the next 12 to 18 months.
These are our thoughts; what are yours?
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City life vs country life - which is right for you? These two opposites bring with them two different ways of living. When looking at potential properties, it’s vital to consider where they’re located and if the location suits your individual preferences, tastes and needs. The hustle and bustle of the city contrasts greatly with the quiet retreat of the countryside, so this is not a decision that should be taken lightly!
What are the main differences between city life and country life?
When it comes to deciding between city life vs country life there are a number of things to consider. The two contrasting lifestyles offer varying levels of appeal to different people. For those that like to be in arms reach of places and people, the city is the place to be. Whereas some may prefer to escape to the comfort of the countryside, it all comes down to personal preference.
One of the most notable differences between city life and country life is the environment. City life is an extremely different environment to the rural living countryside, and those moving from a big city can often find themselves a little culture-shocked to say the least, and vice versa. Crowded and more fast-paced the city exudes excitement, whereas life in the countryside moves at a much slower peaceful pace.
Distance to places
Living in the city means that everything is on your doorstep, from supermarkets, shops, pharmacies you name it. Everywhere is at a walking distance, encouraging people to exercise and reduce their carbon footprint. Whereas the country, in its secluded nature and rural areas, typically requires a car in order to get anywhere.
Proximity to other people
Cities are densely populated meaning that you are constantly surrounded by people, and properties tend to be smaller, at no small cost, with limited garden space. However, with huge numbers of people opting for the city lifestyle there is a chance you're near to friends and family, making organising plans much easier. The countryside however offers larger rural properties and more extensive outdoor space, but may be nearly an hour away from friends and family.
The levels of noise in the city and country also greatly vary. It’s safe to say that if you prefer peace and quiet, then big cities and they city life is not for you. The hustle and bustle of the city with it’s 24/7 traffic, chitter chatter in the street and busy restaurants may be comforting to some, but not everyone. Others may crave the luxury of peace and quiet and the fresh rural air that comes with country living.
Let's compare living in the city to living in the country
When it comes to looking at properties, and you’re faced with the choice of living in the city or countryside, it can be hard to know where to start. Some crave the vibrancy and energy of city life, whereas others long for the peace and tranquility of country living. We’ve collated both the pros and cons of city living and country life to help you decide which one is best suited to you.
City life, renowned for its liveliness and non-stop nature, overflowing with opportunity is some peoples ideal lifestyle.
- Shops, Restaurants and Other Facilities
Opting for urban living means that you’ll be surrounded by a diverse and extensive range of shops, restaurants, the city centre and other facilities. So one thing is for certain, you’ll never be bored or at a loss for things to do.
- Transport Links
Being centrally located offers accessibility to extremely well connected transport links that run from the early hours. This can also save the need, both environmentally and financially, for a car, which is one expense you could go without.
- Employment Opportunities
With a higher concentration of jobs, the city offers a range of employment opportunities. They also offer the chance to create a large network of contacts, making it a great place to excel in your career.
City living comes at a much higher price when it comes to both renting or buying a property, as there is high demand for limited living spaces. The lifestyle is also on the pricier side, shopping and eating out… they’ll all come with a heftier price tag.
- Pollution And Litter
It’s inevitable that heavily populated areas are going to suffer from greater amounts of pollution and litter. Air pollution, water pollution, sound pollution, you name it, the city has it!
More people means more cars and busier public transport. Congestion is a given when living in busy and heavily populated cities. Standstill traffic at rush hour and overcrowded public transport are the norm, so the quickest way you get places sometimes is by foot!
Find yourself daydreaming of rolling hills? For some the thought of living in the countryside is a dream come true, and a welcomed escape from the busy nature of urban life. However the remote and tranquil country lifestyle is not for everyone.
- Less Pollution And Litter
The country is renowned for having less pollution, fewer cars and smaller numbers of factories than the city. You may get stuck behind a tractor or a herd of cows, but there won’t be any tedious rush hour traffic in the countryside. Making it a ‘breath of fresh air’ in comparison to the high pollution and little levels and standstill traffic in the city.
The crowded nature of the city can sometimes make it hard to feel any sense of community. However with a lower population and a slower pace of life everyone seems to have time to get to know everyone in the countryside. You’ll be able to get your groceries from local businesses, fresh bread, fresh fruit and veg, you name it!
One of the undeniable benefits of living in the countryside is its beauty! You’ll be surrounded by an abundance of idyllic scenery and stunning country walks to explore on the weekends. This enhanced countryside living, and the slow pace of life that accompanies it, can have a positive impact on wellbeing, improving your overall quality of life.
- More Spacious
The countryside is sparsely populated compared to the city meaning properties and people are far more spaced out. This means that houses tend to be bigger with much larger gardens, making them perfect for those raising families.
- Poor Transport Links
Unless you work nearby you’ll need to be prepared for long daily commutes to work and/or school. A car is also pretty much a necessity for those living out in the countryside, because although there are usually buses and trains these may not be regular and the train stop or bus shelter may be a drive away from your house. It’s beneficial to consider that although property prices, along with country lifestyle may be cheaper, you may end up spending this on your commute to work and driving to the supermarket.
- Limited Facilities
Unlike the city, the country has a far more limited selection of facilities. Although there will be a supermarket and some local shops in a nearby village, they will be very limited and you may need to travel into the city to get certain things. If you don’t live in or near a village there’s a high chance that you’ll need to drive in order to get to any sort of shop.
- Poor Signal
Living remotely comes with the issue of having poor signal. Poor phone connection and internet connection are a given, unlike in the city where you get 4G or wifi no matter where you are.
Here at David Plaister Ltd we offer a variety of properties, both in the city and in the countryside. Get in touch if you'd like to discuss selling your current home or finding your new one.
01934 815 053
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Spring is here! With the new season comes longer, brighter days after a cold and gloomy winter, prompting many people to start thinking about selling their homes.
Statistics suggest that the best time to sell your house is from mid-February until the end of June. This season brings all sorts of home décor possibilities, from bright colour palettes to florals, to simply the natural sunlight returning and brightening up your space. Here are some ideas for you to optimise the space in your home to add appeal to potential homebuyers:
A good old spring clean
A deep clean to help sell your property might be an obvious tip, but it’s an effective and affordable one that can be overlooked during the sales process. It is a classic tradition that involves cleaning your home from top to bottom, including in the little nooks and crannies that don’t get a frequent clean. Don’t forget the windows, mirrors and the hard-to-reach corners. A clean and clear home could make all the difference in a buyer’s mind.
A fresh lick of paint
Now that your home is clean, you have the perfect opportunity to freshen up the space with a lick of paint. Whites and creams are great for a crisp and clean feel, while pops of colour can add personality with minimal effort required. You could also add a new lease of life to the garden fence, garden shed or front door.
Add fresh spring scents
Make sure your home doesn’t smell of fresh paint. The warmer (or at least milder) months are the perfect time to air out the house. Candles or air fresheners are great, too. Remember, when hosting a property viewing, opt for milder, inoffensive scents to not overpower the space as not everyone has the same preferences.
Placing a vase of flowers in a room is an excellent way of bringing the outside in and adding fragrant floral scents and vibrant colour into the home. Seeing a bunch of beautiful flowers as you are viewing a home is sure to make you smile and associate the home positively with hand-picked spring flowers.
Speaking of spring flowers, don’t forget about the garden! After a long, cold winter, the garden probably needs some attention. The front of the house and garden are the first things a buyer will see, so you’ll want them to be greeted by a lawn and shrubs that are neatly trimmed and a well-maintained pathway taking you to the front door. Even if you just have a modest lawn, it will make all the difference to have it cared for and looking its best. A prospective buyer will want to be greeted by gleaming windows and doors with frames that have no cracked paint or dirt.
Adding flowers in hanging baskets, window boxes or in a flower bed outside the home can add value to your property with minimal effort or cost.
Light it up
As the natural light returns with slightly longer days in spring, your home will look and stay brighter. Consider adding layers of lighting to change the atmosphere of a space. Bulbs with a more yellow light will give a cosy feeling to the space. Overhead lights should be whiter to add an illusion of more daylight but avoid harsh fluorescent overhead lighting. Consider simple light shades that can be easily matched to different home décor styles.
Embrace the colours of spring with your interior design
The natural colours of spring are a great inspiration and patterns such as florals, geometric shapes or stripes are a great addition against a simple base colour to add some personality. Natural hues of green or sky blue, accompanied by bright pops of colour, such as pink, orange or yellow, can breathe life into the simplest of spaces. On a backdrop of crisp white, the natural colours of spring feel fresh, lively and exciting to the eye.
Add some homely touches
It’s all about balance. You want to avoid clutter in the house, whilst maintaining a lived-in aesthetic. You want the buyer to envision living in the space without being distracted by mismatched décor or clutter. Accessorise with colourful or textured cushions, scented candles and simple artwork to tie your decor together, or a mirror to add an illusion of more space.
Contact us today!