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Worcester, Droitwich and Malvern Market Update – April 2020

Market Updates  

March 31, 2020 | Jack Whittington

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LOCAL MARKET ROUNDUP

Over the last 12 months, there have been 4,805 sales across the WR postcode area, 12% less than the previous year. In Malvern, where Nicol & Co will soon be opening their third office, activity was 14% lower with 631 sales, while in Droitwich, 613 sales reflect the resilience of the market, being only 3% down, despite the recent months of uncertainty.

Droitwich and Malvern have similar average prices, just over £249,000; however, in Worcester, where 43.8% of the sales took place, the average sales price is 9.4% lower at £225,811.

The Lettings picture is similar with the average rent achieved in Worcester lowest at £601, with Malvern 13.6% higher at £683, 4.8% above the WR postcode area average of £652. Droitwich Spa remains highest at £780, 19.6% above the postcode area average. Over the last twelve months modest rental growth of 1% has been seen in Worcester, with 2% in Droitwich Spa and 3% in Malvern.

COMMENT

Well what a difference a month makes!

Normally the clocks going forward signals the beginning of surge in activity and yet once again the brakes have been applied. The unprecedented threat from Covid -19 means that we have had to hit the pause button again. We were just beginning to see the benefit of the end of uncertainty flowing into the market place and we should not forget that.

Whilst those working in the NHS, on the front line, to save lives, beat the virus and keep the supply lines open for us are rightly taking the praise of the nation at the moment I would also like to thank the staff at Nicol & Co who have adapted so quickly and effectively to working from home. Having experienced a period of self-isolation myself I know how unsettling this can be but I also know from the messages I have personally received from our clients how grateful they are for our ability to keep things moving – where it has been safe to do so. This link will take you to a short video explaining the current situation: https://bit.ly/3dQGGR6

Obviously, viewings and physical visits, to undertake valuations, will not be happening until we get the all clear but every day we are finding new ways to help our clients be prepared for when things return to normal.

Let’s face it we’ve probably all got time to do a few of those odd jobs that we’ve been putting off that will improve the kerb appeal.

If you want to discuss your situation with our team or need advice call us on the normal office numbers below and you’ll get through to them just the same, the only difference will be they are working from home. We are also able to carry out live video valuations – and if you click this link we can show you how.

NATIONAL MARKET

The average price of a property sold in the UK in January was £231,185, 1.3% higher than a year ago, according to the latest data from the UK House Price Index. Price growth is currently stronger across regions in the North and Midlands but has eased back in the majority of UK regions compared to a year ago.

The Office for Budget Responsibility anticipate residential price growth will reach 4.3% by the end of 2020, peaking at 7.5% in the third quarter of 2021. Overall, they expect house prices to rise by 23% over the next four years, thanks to lower interest rates and stronger real household income growth. These forecasts were made pre the coronavirus pandemic.

ECONOMY

Interest rates are just 0.1%, their lowest ever level, with economists predicting the Coronavirus will create a short, sharp v-shaped economic impact on the UK as significant government intervention aims to support employment levels and businesses.

UK inflation was 1.7% in February, down from 1.8% in January and below the government’s 2% target. Falls in the price of fuel, games, toys and hobbies were the largest contributors to the fall.

The FTSE 100 rose 9% on Tuesday 24th March, it’s largest daily gain since the global financial crisis and the first significant rise since the pandemic began following the introduction of tougher social distancing measures.

LETTINGS MARKET

At present ARLA report demand is at its highest ever level while rental stock is at its lowest in seven months. Average rental values across the UK rose by 1.4% in the year to February (IPHRP), with the South West and East Midlands currently experiencing the highest levels of annual growth.

Rental values have risen by 8.7% over the past five years (January 2015 – January 2020) according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors anticipate rents will rise by 2% over 2020, with annual rental growth over 2021-2025 averaging 3% per year.

DO YOU HAVE RENT PROTECTION COVER?

With the increased threats from the Government advised lockdown and further legislation changes due to the  COVID-19 virus, as a responsible agent, Nicol & Co felt it was absolutely necessary to protect our Landlord’s rental income, as much as is possible.

Therefore, we are working alongside The Lettings Hub Ltd, an Appointed Representative of Let Insurance Services Ltd to provide Rent Guarantee and Legal Protection cover to our Landlords.  They will be covered for rent arrears, up to £25,000, and legal costs incurred in relation to repossession of your property and eviction of squatters. Landlords will also have access to additional telephone services for legal advice, domestic assistance and counselling.

This will offer reassurance and protection for both Landlords and Tenants alike in these uncertain times.  If you want to know more about Rent & Legal Protection cover, and how it may benefit you, please call 01905 675999 and speak to one of the senior members of the team.

 

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