Worcester, Droitwich & Malvern Market Update – May 2023
Professionalism and knowledge top the reasons why prospective vendors choose particular agents, irrespective of age or how experienced a seller may be.
‘Confidence in an agent’s ability to market my property’, was the most cited reason for choosing an agent, followed by ‘liked and trusted them’. With over 700 five-star google reviews to our credit, we take a keen interest in every piece of feedback using it to ensure we’re doing our best to exceed our clients’ expectations.
More than one in three vendors include ‘pleased with their valuation’ in their top 5 reasons. This was more prominent among younger and less experienced sellers. With the market stabilising, choosing an agent who understands the market conditions, and prices accordingly, is key to achieving a successful sale. Our market-leading position in Droitwich and Worcester has been achieved over nearly 14 years, during which we have seen almost every type of market, meaning you can have confidence in what we have to say and trust our experience.
The team at Nicol & Co are here to help you if you’re considering a move.
LOCAL MARKET ROUNDUP
The latest available Land Registry statistics, for the year ended 31st January 2023, reveal there were 34% fewer sales in Worcestershire than the previous 12 months, when the transaction numbers were boosted by stamp duty incentives. The actual number of transactions was 3887. Sales in Worcester were down 33% at 1728. Malvern was similarly down by 32% at 599 and Droitwich 28% at 450.
Over the last 12 months, transaction values varied across the county, but all have shown growth. Malvern’s average transaction remains highest at £307.9K up 9% with Droitwich next at £296.8K up 7%. In Worcester, where 44.5% of the sales were recorded, the average sales price increased by 9% to £256.3K.
The increases in average sales price over the last five years are shown below:
The local lettings figures vary. Across the WR postcode area, the average rent for properties let over the last 12 months has increased by 9%. However, despite significant recent growth, the average rent for properties let in Droitwich at £744 is still 7.8% below the Worcestershire average of £807. In Malvern, the average rent on homes let in the last 12 months is now 15.5% higher at £932 with Worcester closer to the average at £791.
Source: Dataloft Market Rental Analysis (rental data is limited and based on achieved rents for approximately 10-15% market share, depending on location).
Buyer demand has risen considerably since December. According to Propertymark there were 94 prospective buyers registered per branch in February compared to 70 in January and 39 in December. The number of sales agreed in March 2023 was just 1% lower than in March 2019 according to Rightmove. This represents the first time the volume of sales agreed has been back to its pre-pandemic level since September 2022.
The average house price in January stood at £288,074, down 1.1% from the previous month, but up 6.3% from the same time a year ago (UK HPI, ONS). According to the latest official forecasts by the Office of Budget Responsibility, price moderation of 6.8% is expected for the housing market over the course of 2023/24. At 4.5%, the discount on asking price to achieve a sale is the highest for 5 years (Zoopla), with many prospective sellers overly optimistic in their pricing in the current market.
The UK economy remained static in February with the effects of strike action countering a rise in construction activity. In the three months to February, the ONS reported that the economy grew by 0.1%.
At 10.1% in the year to March, the rate of inflation fell just 0.3% from February. Food prices continue to rise while fuel prices have moderated. Inflation is predicted to fall over the course of 2023.
The Bank of England has raised the base rate of interest to 4.25%, its highest rate in 14 years, with expectations that the rate will peak at 4.5% this year. The Monetary Policy Committee next meets on 11th May, so we’ll bring you further updates in the coming months.
Demand for rental properties is at a five-month high according to the latest survey by RICS. Demand continues to outpace supply with pressure on rental values continuing. Annual growth in private rental prices in the UK rose to 4.9% in the year to March, with many regions of England and Wales experiencing the strongest growth since records began. The ONS Index of Private Housing Rental Prices includes pre-existing and new lets.
The government is consulting on plans that would require homeowners to obtain planning permission before converting properties into short-term holiday lets in tourist locations. It is likely a rental period of between 30-90 days would be allowed before permission is required.
ROOTED IN OUR COMMUNITY
Saturday 10th June is the day to connect with your neighbours and make a few pounds as you declutter and create more space in your home. We’re hoping that everyone who joins our ‘Big Worcestershire Garage Sale’ day will enjoy a great sense of achievement and satisfaction from successfully planning and executing their event on their own drives and front gardens. Anyone who wants to get involved or learn how we’re supporting the ‘Big Worcestershire Garage Sale’ day should email: Community@nicolandco.co.uk and get their street signed up.
In response to the regular feedback we receive regarding the value of our Market Updates we have decided to publish more regular market insights online. We are emerging from an unprecedented period of activity at the same time as having to cope with equally unusual economic pressures; added to which there is a measure of political uncertainty fuelled by the mainstream media.
In the midst of this turbulence we believe it is important for you to hear clear, evidence based messages to help you navigate in the current market and make the right choices.
With nearly two decades of experience our MD, Matt Nicol is keen to ensure you have access to expert advice and invites you to ask him directly via our website or by following us on our social media channels.