By Charlie Higgs – Owner Village Properties
Reading property sales return to pre-pandemic levels
Along with the warmer weather and lighter nights, the local Reading property market is enjoying a Spring bounce. This month I’ve spoken to more and more people looking to make a move to a new home this Spring.
If you are considering a move this year, you will no doubt have seen much of the news about the current UK property market, from rising interest rates, to what might happen to house prices.
In this month’s Reading Property Market Update, I’ll try to make some sense of what’s really happening with the property market in and around our offices in Tilehurst and Twyford, Reading.
In last month’s market update, I talked about how the market has continued to recover as the traditionally busy spring market started to show signs of a return.
The recovery has continued to gather pace in April, which is traditionally when the spring market is at its peak, and has taken a big leap forward again this month.
The Spring Market
Historically, April has always been one of the busiest months for sellers putting their homes on the market, and despite the sometimes negative press, March has seen the number of sales agreed very nearly back to pre-pandemic levels.
Confirming our own experience of market activity in the Reading area, the property portal Rightmove recently reported that sales agreed were just 1% lower last month than in March 2019.
Comparing what’s happening today with the same period in 2019 makes sense, as it gives an indicator of what we should expect from a more ‘normal’ seasonal property market, as this was before the start of the pandemic.
The return to pre-pandemic market drivers is an important milestone, following the unprecedented market conditions of the past few years.
The Rightmove report makes a similar point, with their property data expert, Tim Bannister, writing: “The housing market is remaining surprisingly robust given the economic factors that have affected home-movers over the last six months. While the market is not moving at the exceptional pace that it has been over the last couple of years, it’s a positive sign that sales at a national level are being agreed at the same rate as the last more normal market of 2019”
Return to Urban Living
During the pandemic we noticed a significant move of urban buyers moving to the coast or more rural locations, I wrote about this at the time, and the press referred to this trend as the ‘search for space’ with many upping sticks and moving the family to far-flung places all around the country.
It seems that this trend is now in reverse with people now returning to the cities. Rightmoves data shows that much of the increase in sales agreed seen in recent weeks has been in flats, particularly in London and the South East. Across all property types, they’re up by 11% when compared to March 2019. Sales agreed on flats alone in the capital are up 23%, compared to the same period in 2019.
With the Bank of England’s continued increase in interest rates, in an attempt to control inflation, the bank interest rate rising to the highest level in 14 years. Despite this, the increase hasn’t fed through to mortgage rates recently, which have started to edge down in the past few months. The average 5-year fixed rate for a home-buyer with a 15% deposit was as high as 5.89% in October, but in March this reduced to 4.63%. Now is the time to shop around for the best mortgage deals if you’re thinking of buying a home.
Considering a move this Spring?
As the weather is warming up, so too is the property market, we are seeing an increased number of properties coming to the market and the best of the bunch always move quickly.
Here is a selection of recently listed homes –
Victoria Road, Tilehurst, Reading – Guide Price £650,000
Winser Drive, Reading – Guide Price £540,000
Rydal Avenue, Tilehurst, Reading – Guide Price £385,000
Armadale Court, Westcote Road, Reading – £240,000
If you are thinking of selling your home in Tilehurst, Twyford or the surrounding areas of Reading, please call me to arrange an informal conversation about how we might help you with this.
You can also book a Face to Face Valuation, or use our Instant Online Valuation tool.
Charlie Higgs – Village Properties Tilehurst & Twyford
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