The Local Property Market – Aug 2022 Article

Article by Nick Berriman

Wow! It is not often that Wolverhampton, a city of which I am truly proud, comes near the top of a table of any sort. The latest data from one of the leading industry analysts, Rightmove, has us in second place!

As I write this, Rightmove has just released its analysis of the estate agency world for July 2022. One of the key criteria it looks at is the growth in asking prices throughout the last twelve months. In a list of the fifty biggest cities in Great Britain, together with the London Boroughs, Wolverhampton has apparently seen the second largest annual average asking price growth of all, at 14.5% which is second only to Exeter at 15.1%.

A city which is often looked at poorly by those who do not know it has, seemingly, become more desirable over the last year in percentage terms, than almost any other city in the country! Is this a good thing? That is debatable. For those of you that are living quite happily in your homes and having no intention of selling or moving, it is comforting to know that possibly your biggest asset is increasing in value quite nicely.

However, those of you wanting to buy a house can quite easily find the home of your dreams becoming out of reach. And all of this in a time that we are experiencing interest rate rises, cost of living increases and inflation on the up. I reported in the last article for this magazine that we are starting to see signs that the market is quietening, but this is only really only in terms of telephone traffic. In our Tettenhall office we had more than double the number of sales completing in July of this year than July of last year, so interest is still strong in the housing world. Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property science has been quoted as saying “Although the market remains hot, it’s moving from a boil to a simmer as we head into the second half of the year.” I have no doubt that the market will calm down soon, but apparently not quite yet!

It also remains to be seen what attitude our new prime minister takes to the housing market. At the time of writing the candidate list has been narrowed to Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss. Whilst a new PM is sought Anthony Codling, CEO of property platform Twindig has said: “If history repeats itself, the house price growth may plateau whilst a new Prime Minister is found. Many will forecast house price falls, but we expect house prices to neither move significantly up nor down while the current political storm calms down and the dust settles. It seems that house prices need a reason to move either up or down and without that reason, they take the path of least resistance and stay still.”

It will be interesting to see what new housing market policies are formed under the new leadership. The are many issues that need addressing but, so far, both candidates have kept to only very brief statements and plans with regards to housing and it remains unclear how the housing market will be treated in the new political agenda.

But, for now, business remains as usual. Whilst not quite as hot as the recent heatwaves we have experienced in the weather, there is definitely still a great deal of warmth in the market. I see no reason why prices will fall in the future, although price rises may not be as great as previously predicted. So, as ever, if you are thinking of moving, please give Berriman Eaton a call!