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West Midlands: £1,000,000+ home sales outpacing the market

There has been a increase in the activity levels for properties priced over £1,000,000 both nationally and across the local area.  According to Rightmove houses with an asking price of £1million plus are taking an average of 63 days to find a buyer, which is 18 days faster than this time last year when it was 81 days.
Ross D’Aniello, Director and Head of Country Homes for Shropshire and Worcestershire based Estate Agents Nock Deighton, says that this is a positive outcome for some, but not altogether surprising; “The sub-prime and prime markets have been somewhat suppressed in recent years for a number of reasons from confidence through to the high cost of moving.  With pent-up demand being frustrated for several years coupled with the easing of pressure as a result of the Stamp Duty holiday and a change in priorities for most buyers, we are seeing a significant upsurge in activity.”
Rightmove’s Director of Property Data Tim Bannister, said: “Houses in the million pound plus market have always taken longer to find buyers than the wider market because of their higher price points, but our new analysis shows that wealthier buyers who are fortunate enough to be able to move to bigger homes have been driving this sector of the market to a pace not seen since back in 2014. Unsurprisingly, the counties seeing the biggest annual rise for sales agreed of million pound homes all benefit from beautiful coasts and countryside. Available stock in this price bracket is up around 2% compared to this time last year, which is the first time since 2018 that there’s been an annual jump, meaning there’s a little bit more choice for this group of buyers. However, given the surge in demand it’s still likely they’ll find themselves up against a lot of competition when they’re putting in offers.”
The market in the West Midlands is performing very well in general at the moment with sales being agreed across all price bands increasing by 43%, however the £1,000,000+ market in the same area has jumped by an impressive 90%.  Ross continues “the wider regional picture is echoed in all of our seven local offices.  Each office has seen an increase in new instructions at this level and indeed buyer enquiries which is pleasing to see.  With an increase in people who now work from home along with the frustrations felt during nationwide and regional lockdowns this has meant that buyers who are less concerned about mortgages or a wider economic picture are able to take advantage of opportunities.  There is an increase in house owners wishing to downsize and buyers who wish to upsize creating a healthy equilibrium in the region.”
The Stamp Duty holiday comes to an end in March and buyers of properties over £500,000 are able to make savings of £15,000 if they conclude their transaction prior to that date.  Whilst this has been welcomed Ross expresses a cautionary note: “The burden on solicitors at the moment has been intensified, the lengthy conveyancing process means that if you do not agree a sale prior to Christmas then it may be a challenge to conclude your sale before the Stamp Duty holiday deadline.  Buyers at this level may be more capable of absorbing a £15,000 Stamp Duty bill and therefore this may well have less of an impact at the higher end, however it is still something to be mindful of.  That said, we are still seeing both buyers and sellers who have plans to move house in 2021, so there is every reason why this momentum should continue well in to next year.”
The region has also seen a marked increase in the number of buyers wishing to move to the area.  “New Buyer enquiries have doubled since lockdown restrictions were eased in May,” Ross explains, “remarkably 45% of those buyers registered to purchase in the area are moving to the region from elsewhere in the country.  This is positive for our clients and for those wishing to sell their properties; buyers have seen the value and opportunities that our beautiful region brings and they want to take advantage of that fact; we must help our clients capitalise on their desire to do so.”

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