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Spring brings a strengthening demand

Spring brings a strengthening demand

Ben Stephens, Senior Property Partner, discusses the strong demand for property that Stags is experiencing and how we are best placed to advise our clients.

The 20th March marked the Vernal Equinox, the first official day of spring. Always a key time for the West Country property market, it is clear that, despite mixed reports in the media, Stags is experiencing strong demand as we move towards the longer and warmer days.

With 22 offices spanning the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset, we are perfectly placed to see emerging trends in buyer behaviour and then advise our clients accordingly, aligning them in a prime position to secure a sale at the best possible price.

The last quarter of 2022 and the beginning of 2023 saw changing market conditions with diminishing levels of new buyers and, in turn, an increasing level of available stock. However, reports from our network, both statistically and anecdotally, indicate that new buyer enquiries are improving week on week, in line with a traditional spring market and most certainly not what I would expect in a depressed market with a lack of motivation.

In the last two weeks, the number of viewings has matched and, in some instances, overtaken the figures from 2022, whilst new buyer enquiries for the month have exceeded 1000, in addition to the already existing 35,000 registered buyers. Both statistics are signs of a market that is not lacking drive or intention.

I think it is clear that we are not going to see a return to the frantic market of the last 24 months. However, the key drivers for a house purchase in the South West remain as strong as ever.

The importance of an informed pricing strategy cannot be underestimated and those properties which are correctly positioned are finding buyers within the all-important first few weeks. Vendors and agents with historic price expectations are finding it more difficult and will risk achieving a lower price in the long run.

The marketing reach of your agent has also taken on a renewed priority; gone are the days of launching onto a portal and expecting the phone to ring incessantly. Your photography and presentation must be first class and it is vital to ensure that marketing covers both traditional and digital media; they reach different target demographics and it is the first thing that is cut by some. More buyers means more viewings, more offers and a higher price being achieved, so it is important to choose an agent who will put your property in front of a large number of buyers.

A recent walk along the beach at Holywell Bay further emphasised to me why buyers will continue to flock to the West Country; you truly cannot beat the region at any time of year but the Spring and Summer months are when everything is at it’s best. All the indications are that the buying public share this view.

If you are considering a move this year, there is no better time to start preparation. Contact your local Stags office and the team will be happy to guide you through the process.