“So where is the Walsall property market heading?”. “How will a recession affect the market?”. Just a couple of common questions I’ve been fielding recently. As usual, for the benefit of my Blog reading friends, here are my thoughts…
There are plenty of investors who think nothing of legally committing to buying a property ‘off plan’ before it’s built – yet over the last few weeks, it has become the norm in the resale (second-hand) Walsall property market and they have now stolen a march and bagged some property bargains.
Normally, the physical viewing is the first step of the resale house buying process … yet now it’s becoming the ‘new normal’ that some Walsall agents are carrying out semi-professional video viewings or video tours. Even homeowners are getting in on the act and managing a Facetime or Zoom video viewing by walking around their house with their mobile phone.
On the 13th May 2020 the Government announced that the Estate & Letting Agency industry could reopen meaning people could view houses, visit agents and move home be they tenants, buyers, landlords or home sellers. This is all subject to general and specific social distancing rules, specific hygiene regulations and suitable PPE being used.
So what has been happening in the last few weeks in the Walsall property market?
The average time between sale agreed and exchange/completion of contracts on a house sale (i.e. the keys and monies get sorted) is 17 to 19 weeks, which means buying today would mean you wouldn’t be getting your hands on the property until late September or October at the earliest.
Spring is the time when most properties come onto the market, yet as one would expect, the number of Walsall properties coming onto the market has been somewhat reduced since lockdown as..
Only 107 Walsall properties have been put up for sale in the last month
This reduction in supply of new properties coming onto the market, combined with this pent-up demand from both Walsall landlords and the ‘Boris-Bounce’, could in fact be good news for the Walsall property market. Allow me to explain…
Rightmove stated that people going to their website initially dropped by 40% at the start of lockdown, yet now has recovered with a near doubling of people searching for properties with gardens (for both sales and renting). For many Walsall buy to let landlords (and in fact Walsall homebuyers), now is the best time to do research into the Walsall property market. All the portals have access to 25 years of property sales with pictures, so you can compare and contrast what has happened to various different property types around Walsall to spot those under-priced bargains, meaning you can get moving quickly after lockdown.
Rather than feeling trapped or powerless, this time can be used fruitfully by Walsall buyers and Walsall sellers to get their ducks in a row
One of the biggest barriers in April was mortgage lending. In the early days of the pandemic, most mortgage lenders removed many of their best deals and enormously restricted their capacity. Currently though, we are seeing a revitalisation in the mortgage market. In May with many mortgage products becoming accessible again for borrowers, and with many mortgage companies integrating more digital processes, (including Virtual Surveyor Mortgage Valuations in some cases), the mortgage market now has plenty of options available to those who are keen to borrow.
I know there are a few doom mongers in the National Press spouting about a massive crash in the UK property market. There is a natural tendency for newspapers to latch onto the worst-case scenario in any economic forecast. Who can forget the country received similar projections in the lead-up to the 2016 Brexit vote with, HMRC itself stating that UK house values would drop by at least 10% in the first 12 months and should the UK vote for Brexit a further drop was projected to 20% in two years!
Isn’t it funny the newspapers aren’t latching on to some reports to say the property market might go in the other direction? Remember – bad news sells newspapers!
With the roller coaster of the stock market in recent months, investing one’s money into good old-fashioned bricks and mortar has started to seem a good place again.
Buying a property for investment means you have a tangible asset, something you can touch and feel (and understand). The returns from investing in property comes from both capital appreciation and income from the rent, and yes whilst property values can go up as well as down, successful buy to let landlords are inclined to take a long-term view on their property investments.
Whether you are a landlord of ours or not, call or email me for any advice and opinion on where the bargains are in Walsall. I can guide you on what (or not) to buy. I don’t charge for my advice, so I can give an impartial opinion, without any conflict of interest to our landlords.
Phone: 01922 637672
Don’t forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Walsall Property News.