Property Market Comment

Welcome to this autumn briefing which will hopefully be both interesting and accurate. We will cover a few topical issues, but of course you can contact us any time for further clarification.

The starkest statistic for the region is the paucity of London buyers relocating to the area, with local estate agents reporting a 50%+ reduction in their numbers.

The reasons are varied. The Welsh Assembly is guilty of scaring off some potential purchasers with increased taxation and threats of more to come. But whilst this may be true of second homeowners and the higher rate payers of LTT, this does not explain why Herefordshire and West Gloucestershire are suffering in equal proportion. It is actually the London market itself, which was hit hard by the Pandemic that is the issue. 

Having said that, London is now recovering well and the buyers will be back.  Monmouthshire and the Marches still remain some of the prettiest and most accessible places to live in the UK.

Ignore the headlines ‘House Prices Slump’ – this is sensationalism to sell newspapers. Turnover and transaction levels are down somewhat, with asking prices falling nationally about 6%, which considering their 25-30% rise in the last three years is not a catastrophe. The annual change in the UK house price index was 3.8% in the year to June. The true reality is that common sense is returning, which is a massive relief, after the rollercoaster of the last 3 years.

Examining returns from the property portals such as Rightmove, Prime Location, On the Market etc. one could despair of the amount of price reductions. However, this should not be seen as a drop in values, as they were almost certainly never priced correctly in the first place. Selling agents have to win instructions, and nearly always what potential vendors wish to hear is a high valuation. Remember the old adage that ‘an honest estate agent is bust.’

We could well find that by the end of the year house prices are down as much as 10%, but is this a disaster? Certainly not for the young trying to buy their first house and that must be a priority. Also, not for the considered, sensible, rational buyer making a long-term move.  In ten years’ time, today’s prices will look cheap.

The ever-rising interest rates are certainly causing alarm for many. In February 2022 interest rates were 0.5%, with banks and institutions expecting potential rise to 6.5% or even 7%, before returning and settling at around the 5% mark. For anyone under the age of 40, this will seem an enormous rise, although for maturer house owners they are still well below what one might consider the norm. The days of ‘cheap money’ are over and probably not before time. Salaries are rising, especially in the professions and higher echelons of the public sector, and house prices will rise accordingly.

Covid brought a shot in the arm for the country sector, which had never properly recovered from the twin blows of the 2007/2008 Financial Crisis and Brexit. The market may be suffering a hangover from this, but we all have short memories, house buyers shorter than most. With more people WFH and commuting distances significantly stretched, we expect to see London buyers returning and a pretty rosy future for the local market.

Yes, there will be bumps along the way – a potential new government, the ongoing war in Ukraine etc, but the opportunities for buyers to secure a really special home are out there.

Everyone’s circumstances are different, so please do call for an informal chat.  Stacks has 17 offices across the UK, so we can help with your property and land search either here in Monmouthshire and The Marches or around the country.

January 2022

It is simple to describe the market in 2021 in two short words – ‘on fire’. We all know that there was a plethora of buyers for every property and achieved prices were way up on expectation. The obvious reasons ranged from a rush to the countryside and cheap borrowing.

But will this continue in 2022? Unlikely. Though we are in a new virus scare, the rush for space has quietened down and the usual tales of regret and missing city life are appearing in the property supplements. Borrowing is certainly on the up and the recent interest rate rise from .1% to .25% will probably be out of date by the time this ink is dry. Other factors such as Stamp Duty/Land Transaction Tax holidays were largely red-herrings, but the increase in Wales of 1% on second homes must be factored in. Tie this in with other tax rises and one may slowly see the magic money tree wither and common-sense return to the housing market.

So, 2022 will be quieter, but properties will still be coming onto the market driven by the three D’s (ring me if you don’t know these). Pricing will be essential and you will need buying agents to sort through the smoke. Remember, the estate agent instructed almost certainly gave the lowest quote and the highest valuation. And don’t blame them, the system we have produces the adage that ‘an honest agent is bust’. Buyers should also need to take into account the rising cost of energy, green policy differences in the devolved parliaments, local development plans, new agricultural subsidy payments etc etc. I would want someone holding my hand through this process, and if you do, please ring.

What will a Stacks buying agent in Monmouthshire, South Herefordshire, South Powys and The Forest of Dean do for you?

Professional Expertise

We’ll talk with you about how you want to live, the demands of your work, and your plans. We’ll establish what you need from your next home… and why.

Finding a Property

We’ll scour the market, bend the ears of our contacts, and hound the estate agents. We’ll leave no stone unturned to find the right home for you.

Saving you Money

We’ll haggle hard and bring all that we’ve discovered to bear to agree the best terms on your behalf. Our clients enjoy preferred bidder status with estate agents. 

Trouble Free Completion

We’ll problem-bust, tackle obstacles, arrange surveys, and liaise with planners. A myriad of issues can raise their head at this point… we’ll deal with them all for you.

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Call Anto Clay to discuss what you are looking for.
Tel: +44 (0)7771 885985

How We Do It

“You showed fantastic attention to detail, anticipated all eventualities, and provided timely and practical help and guidance every step of the way.  Above all, you supported me in making my own considered decisions, and I am so grateful to you for all your help in getting me to where I am now!”

“We firmly believe that without Rachel and her skilled negotiation we would not have secured the property.”

“We felt they genuinely wanted to help.”

“Stacks’ performance on this assignment has been absolutely outstanding and more than met my expectations. Her understanding of the brief and the ‘after-find’ service set a standard of professionalism that I have not met before.”

“It is not often that one is pleased to part with money but I can truthfully say that I am on this occasion. You have earned every penny of this cheque and what is more, you have done it with great courtesy and good humour. It has been very pleasant working with you. You really did take most of the stress out of our house hunting.”

“Encouraging me to think creatively about what could work for me.”

“Finding a plot not yet on the market and persuading the developer to enter into an exclusive contract with me to build to my specification.

“I was impressed by the efficient, kind and courteous service provided by Stacks”

“Stacks were a tremendous help and we would never have found our home without them. She is a lovely person with a great sense of humour which was essential during some of our tricky negotiations

“You gave a much-valued ‘younger’ perspective on our situation, which was a real asset”

“We found the service extremely helpful and professional at all times”

“I have been delighted with the service I have received from Stacks and will not hesitate to recommend Stacks in the future.”

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