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 13.0% and 10.2% respectively, annual property price growth in Wales and the North West is stronger than the 8.9% and 10.0% 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 15% and 14% 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.
Cheshire East proved the fastestmoving market in the North West and North Wales 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 45 days (North West) and 46 days (Wales), the average time taken to sell a property is around 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 North West and North Wales
Widnes, Cheshire, 5 bedrooms
This substantial detached executive home occupies one of the largest plots by Redrow and located in an exclusive cul-de-sac. The superbly presented property has been much improved by the current owners and is excellently appointed and with the addition of a large conservatory. Features include welcoming entrance hall, cloaks/wc, lounge, superb kitchen/diner/family room, dining room and conservatory to the ground floor. Landing, five bedrooms, ensuite facilities and dressing area to master, further en-suite and family bathroom to the first floor.
Deganwy, Conwy, 4 bedrooms
Towering over the top of Deganwy is the iconic Vardre, one of the many breath-taking spectacles along the North Wales coastline. At the base of this iconic landmark is Sunny Mead, a traditional style Edwardian masterpiece offering a quiet haven within one of the most highly sought after locations in the Conwy area. From the beautifully landscaped garden – both at the front and rear- to the spacious and versatile accommodation internally, there is a lot to like about this stylish, classical property.
Cockermouth, Cumbria, 6 bedrooms
Wood Farm presents a rare opportunity to purchase an established lifestyle business with plenty of potential for growth, located within the beautiful western side of the Lake District. Nestled into the foothills with frequent visits from the red squirrel population, well located for the lovely Gem town of Cockermouth and with easy access to Loweswater, Crummock Water and Ennerdale.
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.