Now the year has ended, our team here at Cobb Farr would like to take the opportunity to look back over the past 12 months, consider the challenges and triumphs we’ve faced and look forward to what 2023 may bring.
When the COVID lockdowns ended and the pandemic eased, it seemed that the housing market would soon recover, and properties would sell faster than before.
No one could have predicted that in 2022, we’d be thrown into another potential crisis.
Would the high rates of inflation, the war in Ukraine, the soaring cost of living, supply and demand problems for the construction industry, and a potential recession negatively impact the UK housing market?
Despite these combined factors, we are happy to share that 2022 has been a healthy year for the property market in Bath, Somerset and Bradford on Avon as people continue to buy, sell and rent properties in the area.
It’s been a little bit slower than 2021 but nonetheless, it’s been a good year and we’ve seen plenty of footfall in both the Bath and Bradford on Avon offices and some swift transactions taking place.
Here are some of the must-know highlights of 2022 that we’d like to share with you today.
As we mentioned in our review of 2021, increasing numbers of buyers decided to improve their overall quality of life by moving from larger cities to Bath, Somerset and Bradford-on-Avon since the COVID lockdowns.
Although the worst of the pandemic seems to be behind us, these buyers continue to move to the area in search of more outdoor space, better schools, an improved work-life balance, and a lower cost of living. As a result, the high demand for properties away from London has boosted house prices in Bath to an average of around £3750 per square metre.
There has been a little bit of a slowdown in the country market as people go back to their offices, but it definitely appears that hybrid working is here to stay. As more and more people work a portion of their week at home, they need the space to do this. The Bath and Bradford on Avon markets have been buoyed by this trend during 2022.
Last year, property prices were well above the guide price, boosted by the huge demand for properties in Bath and the Southwest. However, we’ve witnessed a slight reduction in price over the final months of 2022 with house prices becoming more realistic due to the increase in mortgage rates.
Bath and Bradford on Avon have always been insulated to a certain extent because they are attractive, desirable locations. House prices are now tending to sell more at the guide price rather than above it and we are still seeing a strong market for people buying second homes in our area or relocating with their families.
Over recent months we have seen significant interest in some of the new developments we are showcasing. One such development is the Old Timber Yard in Maiden Bradley, which is selling outstandingly well, with several houses already reserved in the £800k- £1 million bracket. This is encouraging news.
For many months, we’ve seen a chronic imbalance in the supply and demand of properties which has continued to pose a problem, especially for the rental market. Whilst supply has indeed shown signs of increasing since January 2022, we are still around 10% below September 2021.
Again, the increase in mortgage rates means that many landlords are having to pass on the additional costs to new tenants who may find themselves paying more than they would have previously when signing a new tenancy agreement.
The property market is still buoyant for buy-to-let investors, especially those who want to purchase and renovate older properties or invest in new apartments.
With mortgage rates increasing, many first-time buyers have chosen to rent in the hope that property prices and interest rates will drop over the coming year. Meanwhile, our lettings department continues to thrive with a wide variety of stunning properties currently available.
As we mentioned previously, mortgage payments have increased with the hike in interest rates. Whilst many were concerned about the impact this would have on the housing market, high demand for properties in Bath, Somerset and Bradford on Avon continues to increase thanks to the cut in stamp duty and lower cost of living in these parts of the country in comparison to London and the Home Counties.
Even though the UK property market has indeed faced additional challenges throughout 2022 due to the hike in interest rates and the soaring cost of living, Bath, Somerset, and Bradford-on-Avon remain highly desirable places to live for those who want to relocate, buy a holiday property, or enjoy a better quality of life.
When it comes to 2023, we believe that the UK economy will continue to stabilise and buying a property in the Southwest will remain a shrewd option for families, individuals, and investors alike.
We would like to thank all our customers for your support during 2022 and wish you a prosperous 2023.
If you’d like help finding the right property for your family, we’d be more than happy to help. Contact us today to find out more.