Worcester Property Market

As we step into the burgeoning days of spring here in Worcestershire, the latest residential survey from RICS injects a fresh dose of optimism into the property market. Founder & Director George Pickard, lifts the lid on the market and delves into the current trends and expectations shaping the local property market landscape, drawing upon the latest insights to offer a comprehensive overview for both potential buyers and sellers in our region.

A Positive Shift in Buyer Enquiries and Listings

Continuing the momentum from the previous months, new buyer enquiries in Worcestershire, as across most of the UK, remained positive for the second consecutive month, with a +6% net balance. This sustained interest, despite the potential for mortgage rates to plateau, signals a robust appetite among buyers that's expected to persist. The steady recovery in buyer interest witnessed over the last two months is a heartening sign, reflecting a broader trend of increasing market confidence.

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However, agreed sales in February experienced a slight dip (-3% net balance), marking a pause in the more positive trends seen in January, but this is likely due to the appalling weather we have been experiencing. Despite this, the overall direction remains significantly more upbeat than the majority of the past year, highlighting a resilient sales market that's gradually finding its footing after a challenging period.

Looking Forward: Sales and Price Expectations

The near-term outlook for sales in Worcestershire, mirroring the national sentiment, is decidedly optimistic. With a +42% net balance, the expectation is for sales activity to gain further traction over the year. This sentiment extends across all UK regions, with a unanimous anticipation for an uptick in residential sales activity over both the short and long term.

One of the survey's standout revelations was the marked increase in new instructions to sell, boasting a +21% net balance—the strongest since October 2020. This uptick contrasts sharply with the negative trends that dominated much of 2023 and pushes average stock levels on estate agents' books to the highest point since February 2021. This surge in new listings, alongside an increase in market appraisals, suggests a more dynamic market poised for growth.

While house prices continue to show a downward trend nationally, the rate of decline is stabilising, and in Worcestershire, as in the rest of England and Wales, there's a growing optimism with a +36% net balance of respondents expecting price growth within the next twelve months.

Remember, many properties have been overpriced due to poorly managed expectations.  Homeowners have witenssed the successes of the market in the post COVID months and years and still hope to command similar prices, they have not always been guided honestly sadly, with many agents acting in their own interests rather than in the interests of the clients.  Thankfully, most agents have been able to guide sellers to the right advice, those properties have then been priced properly, attracted offers and gone on to sell well.

Expert Insights and Economic Implications

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at RICS, underscores the positive developments in the sales market, particularly highlighting the increase in buyer interest and new listings as promising signs for the year ahead. The recent boost from changes to Capital Gains Tax in the Budget is also expected to further energise the market.

Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, notes the paradoxical economic signals since Christmas but points to a generally upward trajectory for the housing market, influenced by prospective cuts in mortgage rates. 

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In Worcestershire, as we navigate these evolving trends, the landscape is ripe with opportunities for both buyers and sellers. Whether you're considering entering the market or looking to make your next move, the current climate presents a unique moment to take advantage of the positive shifts underway. For those pondering their next steps in Worcestershire's Teme Valley, Malvern, Worcestershire or any of the village surrounding such as Ombersley, Hallow, Kempsey, Suckley, Hartlebury or Great Witley, Chartwell Noble is here to guide you through these promising yet complex times, ensuring your decisions are informed, strategic, and tailored to your unique circumstances.