The importance of talking to your local estate agent and demonstrating your motivation to buy has increased. Many sales are being agreed to cash buyers on properties before they have hit the market. Internet portals are a useful research tool but if you really want to make things happen, being proactive and communicating with us means we can have you in mind before a property has been papped for the papers, let alone on the web for all to see.
Tell us about the Bath property scene in 2016?
The whole of Bath is in a mini-boom at the moment, driven by the high speed trainline commencing in 2017 and fuelled by a lack of stock. Whether an apartment or house, if it is Georgian and in the town it’s in serious demand. Locals want to be well situated for the school run whilst they face tough competition from London based buyers who are often cash ready or in the least, chain-free, if acquiring a second property.
Londoners come to see us for an entire relocation to Somerset, often wanting to move the family into a 'typical Bath house'. Some seek a pied a terre for weekends and increasingly we're seeing parents on the hunt for decadent student digs for their offspring - they often intend to live in the property later on in retirement and build a nest egg in the interim.
Where is most requested?
Villages are popular for their old fashioned charm (Poldark, War Horse and Wolfhall have been filmed locally) with south villages being the most requested. Wellow is often mentioned due to the sense of community and the natural beauty it offers. Nearby town Bradford on Avon is a favourite for anyone wanting a little more for their money without compromising on amenities or pretty views. Frome is desirable for creatives and their market day is a feast for all the senses.
Which properties are selling?
Everything is selling – we have a diverse range of applicants wanting a mix of city, village and rural. Houses which might traditionally have been more challenging to sell – for example, on a busy road or near a train line – are selling fast because the payoff is often being a walking distance from the best schools and the rail station.
Who’s buying and who isn’t?
Londoners and locals alike. People rarely leave Bath, unless it’s for somewhere like Cornwall or Devon for retirement or to release some capital. There’s always an influx. Bath students tend to make their home here or relocate after a stint in London when they realise how much they miss this Somerset city.
Where is the market at the moment?
It’s fast paced and competitive. Again, the London buyers expedite the process; they’re often chain free having rented or are acquiring a second home. First time buyers and chain free Londoners compete on both price and proceedability.
There is something of an impasse at the moment where sellers, knowing how buoyant the market is, are reluctant to launch to market until they find somewhere and believe if they wait their house price will further increase. Conversely the sellers of properties they want to buy often won’t accept any viewings unless it is a cash buyer prepared to offer an inflated asking price.
Is it enough to sit back and watch the web in this competitive market?
The importance of talking to your local estate agent and demonstrating your motivation to buy has increased. Many sales are being agreed to cash buyers on properties before they’ve hit the market. Internet portals are a useful research tool but if you really want to make things happen, being proactive and communicating with us means we can have you in mind before a property has been papped for the papers, let alone on the web for all to see.
Will the second homes tax dampen the current buoyancy?
Stock levels will remain low, there is little or no concern regarding the regarding the second homes tax as the prices are rising in Bath and anticipated to continue outstripping any additional stamp duty.
Any more trends to be aware of?
We’re seeing a trend towards affluent professionals renting. For some it’s a lifestyle choice; testing Bath life before taking the plunge to purchase. Some simply rent out their home elsewhere and rent here to enjoy a more cosmopolitan lifestyle within easy reach of the countryside. Any stigma attached to renting is a thing of the past.
Come and see us at 1 Wood Street, Bath, BA1 2JQ or call 01225 829000. More info here.