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% and 12.6% respectively, annual property price growth in the South West and South East is considerably stronger than the 7.9% and 5.1% 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% and 16% respectively 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.
Hart and East Hampshire proved the fastest-moving markets in the Southern region 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 (South West) and 44 days (South East), the average time taken to sell a property 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 Southern region
Newport, Isle of Wight, 5 bedrooms
Dating back to the 1700's a rare opportunity to purchase, a traditional stone farmhouse in the pretty village of Shalfleet. Sitting in its own plot that measures 1.45 acres with several outbuildings and an idyllic countryside backdrop. The main property has been extended over the years and now accommodates five bedrooms, boasts many original features and fireplaces, including an Inglenook to the sitting room. Willow trees overhang a pond which is overlooked from the patio and, the stone barn is practical, ideal for a family gathering such as a wedding or prime for development subject to the usual consents.
Winchester, Hampshire, 4 bedrooms
The property is a particularly fine Grade II listed Regency style villa, built mid-19th century with an attractive street scene of a series of semi-detached villas. The house is stuccoed and colour washed white with inset sash and casement windows under a slate roof; it offers charm and character both internally and externally. The house lies in the heart of the city between St. James Lane and Compton Road on the western side of the northern end of the St. Cross Road. The house is therefore within walking distance of the High Street, a varied range of restaurants, the theatre, cinema, and there are wonderful walks around the Cathedral, the College, and the Water Meadows along the banks of the River Itchen.
Chaldon Herring, Dorset, 3 bedrooms
Nestled at the edge of a rural village, close to the local pub and surrounded by farmland, this pretty, Grade II Listed property is idyllic. From the attractive thatched roof with the sloping 'cat slide' and the pretty, natural garden, to the wonderful original features inside, this lovely home is full of charm. The large natural garden wraps itself around the house and is full of wild flowers and pretty cottage garden flowers and herbs. There is a vegetable patch, a pond and terrace for sitting outside and taking in the peace and tranquility, apart from the bleeting of the sheep in the next field.
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.