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West Country Property Market: Autumn Review

West Country Property Market: Autumn Review

Charles Hunt, Senior Partner, comments on the autumn property market and discusses how the current climate may affect it going forward.

There has probably never been a more uncertain time than now to write an autumn market comment with predictions for the end of the year. The property market has been very strong this year, on top of two very busy years since the outbreak of Covid-19. We have seen a quieter period over the summer months, but property has still been selling well at very high prices. In September, the number of sales agreed continued to be above pre-pandemic levels, despite the uncertain economic position. Following this, the new Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s budget triggered a number of negative factors, to include the fall in the value of the pound which, combined with the high inflation rates, means that the Bank of England is predicting an increase of interest rates. All the above are negative factors for house buyers and we have already seen some mortgage companies pulling mortgage deals due to this period of uncertainty.

Mr Kwarteng has, however, made attempts in his budget to boost the market by raising the Stamp Duty Land Tax thresholds. He has increased the zero-rate threshold on the purchase of residential property from £125,000 to £250,000. The threshold for first-time buyers will rise from £300,000 to £425,000 and the maximum property value for first time buyer’s relief will rise from £500,000 to £625,000. These changes came into immediate effect from 23rd September 2022 and are permanent, applying across England and Northern Ireland. The impact of these changes is unknown at this stage.

Detailed analysis of our data shows that the number of enquiries, viewings, offers and sales agreed are still at high levels and that the number of people pulling out of existing sales has not increased since the mini budget.

What happens from here is uncertain, but the early signs are that our highly popular West Country remains hugely desirable and that buyers are still keen to move here. Some of the Chancellor’s tax cuts and incentives may strengthen prices, particularly in the South East and, as we all know, the South East and London are a rich source of potential buyers for house sellers in the West Country.

If you would like information or advice on buying or selling property in the West Country, please contact your local Stags office, which can be found by visiting