It’s been a game of two halves. Carey Gilliland Director, Madison Oakley
At the risk of sounding like many a football pundit, 2019 has so far been very much a game of two halves. The beginning of the year saw a continuation of Brexit uncertainty affecting the local property market whereas the summer onwards showed significant signs of recovery.
From our in house tracking of the vital local property statistics, the two Bath postcodes survived relatively unscathed in price terms with strong signals of growth recovery at the end of the summer holidays. Local Land Registry transaction figures (completions and of course therefore really sales 3-6mths in the past) showed a spike in prices Sept-Oct which went a long way to counteract the decline in prices experienced in the early part of the year. From the latest figures, BA1 is currently 6.5% up year on year whereas the more populous BA2 is holding steady at 0.1% down (compared to 4.1% up and 2.6% down in July figures).
So that’s prices but what about how many people are moving? HMRC data suggests a 12% drop on UK transaction numbers compared to July 2018. However, in Bath, we seem to have bucked that trend somewhat with BA1 and BA2 completion numbers only 2% and 6% down respectively. “On market” stock levels have now also returned to broadly standard seasonal patterns. Average time on market/selling times are now faster than midsummer levels, further reinforcing the theory we have turned the corner towards a gentle upslope.
Beyond the raw numbers, the market atmosphere has also, at least from our experience, shifted away from caution and conservatism. Having waited so long already for any sort of resolution, the autumn market has been extremely active and there is a definite feeling in Bath property as we move towards Christmas of “lets just get on with life”.