As we all know, during and after the recent lockdowns we have seen a huge demand for property in the West Country. A number of families have relocated from towns and cities to a quieter life in the countryside, and in turn, many already living here are looking for a larger home with more outside space, often with outbuildings or spot for a home office.

Increased demand

This increased demand for property is in excess of the number of properties coming to the market. We have seen a number of properties being sold just days after being launched, with many attracting multiple offers in their desire to purchase their dream home.

It really is what can be described as a ‘seller’s market’ with the vendor being in a strong position during the process – although with that comes the impact for them when they are buying their next property. There have been some cases of buyers renting a property back to the seller as the seller has been unable to find another property to move to in time.

Brand new homes in the South West are also seeing a boom. Developers have seen off-plan sales soar and many house builders are looking for land to help satisfy longer term demand.

What is the effect on property prices?

Property prices have risen due to this increased demand and, of course, there has been the ‘Stamp Duty Holiday’ extension causing an extra impetus to get deals over the line. This upwards movement in price became apparent after the first lockdown when the property industry came to standstill for almost three months. When it reopened the market boomed and the pent-up demand saw house prices within more rural areas of the country rocketing.

Rightmove reported that this month (May 2021) has seen a new national record for the price of property coming to market, hitting an average of a third of a million pounds (£333,564). That is 1.8% (+£5,767) above the previous all-time high recorded a month ago. While the level of new properties coming up for sale is at a similar level to the long-term average, demand continues to massively exceed supply. In previous market upturns London has generally led the way, but the capital’s rate of price increase since pre-lockdown March 2020 is now at a virtual standstill (+0.2%) compared to double digit price growth in other areas. In the South West, the average price of property is £342,077, a monthly uplift of 2.2% and a mighty 9.2% increase versus March 2020.

These facts have certainly been borne out in our corner of the country. Richard Stubbert, Residential Manager in our Sherborne office notes: “We are finding demand for property is far outstripping supply. This has led to some interesting stats in the last six weeks. For example, 35% of Sherborne’s properties have achieved in excess of the guide price and 55% of properties have sold within seven days of marketing. Demand for one property led to best and final offers and a sale being agreed at 118% of the guide price.”

What does the near future hold?

With restrictions continuing to ease, will we see a reduction in demand and prices starting to fall? Jonathan Gudge our Yeovil Residential Sales Manager in Yeovil doesn’t think that will happen any time soon. He notes: “No, I feel the West Country property market is at a high and I do not feel it is going to come down quickly, even after the Stamp Duty Holiday ends. The desire for property here will remain strong and many homes will continue to sell at a fast rate. The trick is pricing keenly to attract as much attention to your property as possible, which can lead to multiple offers and some above the guide price.”

If you are interested to know more about the market near you, get in touch with one of our experienced agents via www.gth.net/contact. They will be pleased to discuss your options and provide a no obligation market appraisal to give you a realistic view of the value of your home.