Shortage of Properties on the Market in the South West Puts Balance in Favour of the Seller
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The lack of properties on the market in the South West of England is tipping the balance in favour of sellers as increasing numbers of buyers compete for fewer properties, according to Hamptons International.  In the South West, the number of properties available for sale in January this year was 10 per cent lower than the same period in 2013.  The stock shortages in the South West are much more acute than the GB average which is down six per cent. 

In Hamptons International’s Western region - which covers Bath, Bristol and parts of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Worcestershire – agents are reporting multiple offers from the first viewing, offers over asking price, open houses generating in excess of 20 viewings and buyers booking viewings straight from a phone call with the branch rather than waiting for the property specifics to be sent to them.  Specific examples include:

■   In January we launched a fabulous detached bungalow which needed a lot of work but in a stunning location with an Open House.  We had 22 viewings and four offers over the asking price
We currently have two houses on the market which are empty and need to be renovated and both have received multiple bids

Six new properties on our books this year have received offers from the first viewings

We sold a cottage in November for £620,000.  It came back to the market in January 2014 at a guide price of £650,000 and it achieved several offers in excess of its guide price

A property we sold this week achieved 10 per cent more than the price at which it was under offer last year

This week, a property we have on the market at £550,000 went to multiple bids with the sellers receiving five separate offers with one as high as £600,000

This year, one of our speediest deals was done on a property which was due to go on the market at £1.5 million – the sale was agreed before the photos had even been taken!


However, agreeing a sale is just the start of the legal process required to formalise and contracts need to be exchanged for anything to be certain.  While the time taken to agree a price is at its lowest level in six years, capacity restraints and more stringent mortgage application processes have lengthened the time between an agreed sale and exchange, increasing from 10 weeks in 2012 to 11 today.

The net result is that time to exchange has fallen by five days to just under 21 and a half weeks in 2013 compared with 2012.

Andrew Marshall, Western Regional Director, commented on the latest market dynamics: “A combination of pent-up demand, return of confidence in the housing market and dire shortage of homes available for sale has seen activity boom in the South West so far this year.  Quality properties are being agreed within days rather than weeks and offers over asking price are becoming more commonplace than ever before.

“While this is great news for sellers, the extreme bias in the market towards sellers isn’t healthy in the long run. For a sustainable market a finer balance is required.  Thankfully we are on the cusp of the traditionally busy Spring and Summer period for the housing market which should bring more homes to the market and start to even out the supply and demand balance.”  

For media enquiries please contact:
Aisling Gray, Senior PR Manager, Hamptons International
020 7758 8422 / 07786 118634 /

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