So I had an interesting conversation with a landlord recently from the south who was looking to invest in Birmingham. Even though he has a property we manage for him in Shenstone he still calls it Birmingham so when I informed him about some mouth watering deals you could have in Walsall, he asked me where that was! Anyway, we started to talk about the local property market in Walsall and I shared with him my thoughts and why, to me at least, it makes sense.
The Land Registry have just released their latest set of figures for the Walsall Property Market, and it makes interesting reading – as average property values in Walsall rose by 0.2% in May.
This leaves average property values 9% higher than 12 months ago, meaning the annual rate of growth in various WS postcodes rose to its highest level since July 2010, bucking the national trend as most of the UK has seen property price growth ease off in the last six months. As Walsall letting agents, we’ve monitored this buck in the nationwide trend.
When we compare Walsall against the regional picture, West Midlands property values fell by 0.6%, leaving them 1.1% higher than a year ago.
This remains a far cry from the price rises we were experiencing in Walsall throughout 2014. At one point (December 2014, to be exact) property values were rising by 8.9% a year.
However, the thing that concerns me the most as a letting agent in Walsall is that the average number of properties changing hands (i.e. selling) has dropped substantially over the last 12 months in WS postcodes.
In March 2014, 126 properties sold in Walsall, but in March 2015 that figure dropped to 98.
It has been particularly noticeable to us this year, in that the normal post-Easter flood of properties coming onto the Walsall property market was not seen (the varying reasons I’ll share in a later post).
This has created an imbalance between supply and demand, with less houses coming onto the Walsall property market there is simply not as much choice of properties to buy: plus, with the population of Walsall increasing, this strengthens house price growth for the foreseeable future – further good news for property investors and private landlords in Walsall.
As an investment to provide you with income, for those with enough savings to raise a large enough deposit, buy-to-let property investment in Walsall looks particularly good, especially compared to low savings rates and stock market yo-yo’s.
As a leading property agent, I saw some Walsall property landlords struggling in the mid-noughties, when interest rates rose from 3.5% in July 2003 to 5.75% in July 2007.
That might not sound a lot, but that was the difference of making a £100 a month profit in 2003 to having to make up a shortfall in the mortgage payments of £100 per month in 2007.
It is true many property landlords in Walsall and indeed the rest of the country, were thrown a life-raft when the base rate dropped to 0.5% in March 2009. Whilst interest rates have remained there since, mark my words, they will rise again in the near future so be prepared.
However, even with the potential for costs to rise, demand for decent rental properties in Walsall remains high as there are more tenants in the Walsall property market, driving up demand and therefore, rents for the remainder of 2015 and beyond.
So, to my budding landlords, looking to set afoot for the first time, and existing landlords alike; whether you are looking to start out for the first time or add another unit to your books, one place you will find property deals and recommendations is the Walsall Property Blog. Why Walsall? I say given the above, ‘Why not!?
If you’d like to find out more about how I can help you with our property management services, letting agency services and landlord services, please feel free to get in touch with me direct on:
Phone: 0345 257 9850/ 01922 637672