Our South Hams property market predictions for the year ahead

24th January 2023

Our South Hams property market predictions for the year ahead

We all recognise that 2022 was a year of continued strong demand over supply which, towards the end of the year, started to turn into more of a buyer’s market than a seller’s. Such was the inertia in  hot spots such as the South Hams that strong demand continued despite the increasing gloom in the economy. This has been endorsed by the highly respected Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Residential Market Survey for December, just produced, which headlines “Buyer demand still falling, resulting in fewer sales being agreed; national house price balance continues to retreat; twelve-month price and sales expectations indicative of further declines in the year ahead”.

In parallel with the decline in demand a trend of a steady shift towards energy efficient and low maintenance homes was evident, and maybe for the same reason there was a steady demand for “on the button” contemporary homes. Buyers with generous funds remained available for high quality locations and projects where the buyer could create their own dream.

While there has been a general downward adjustment in buyers’ budgets, the shock wave is not as pronounced as it was at the end of 2007. At that time the collapse of Northern Rock was followed by the demise of Lehman Brothers and others involved in the US subprime mortgage crisis of 2008. We then saw a 20% drop in attained prices over 18 months.  The late 80’s to mid 90’s downturn was also very different, with prices here dropping by 30%, but over a five year period.

Buyers requiring mortgages have already reduced their budgets but continue to be active. Cash buyers continue to buy, confident in their investment being prudent for the long-term.  The positive news is that the increasing volume of properties coming onto the market provides buyers with more choice, but pricing needs to be more modest than last year to achieve success.

For many the calmer market will be less pressured and hence far more comfortable to enter than the frenetic scenario that we have experienced over the last two and a half years! This is great news for those wishing to move on, not having to compromise in their choice quite as much as over they have in recent times.

Looking forward into 2023 we are regularly questioned as to whether it is wise to invest in solar panels, air-source heat pumps, and electric car charging points, and to all of these the answer is yes! With more choice emerging there is no need to wait for the gardens to look lovely. Always remember that if you are buying and selling in the same market the fact that prices are falling is irrelevant – it is the differential that counts.

In a true “hot-spot”, and having been in the same ownership for the last 20 years, and now ready for the next generation to invest in a fabulous location, is Northshore, a stone-fronted mid-terrace house with south facing gardens, water frontage and quay. Featuring a waterside studio, garage, further parking, and landscaped gardens, the property is an exclusive position within Newton Ferrers’ Conservation Area and is on the market with Marchand Petit (01752-873311, newtonferrers@marchandpetit.co.uk) with a price guide of £2.25 million.