Bath property market update – end Sept 2014

Wow – what a fortnight we’ve just had! Following a very fruitful early September taking on lots of new instructions, we have just had two record breaking sales weeks and still have handfuls of offers left to negotiate. Our level of available stock has dropped dramatically over the last few days as homes are taken off the market in buyers favour and we have been truly surprised at the volume of viewings this late in the season (especially when many media reports are focussing on the market “stagnating” or “cooling”). Activity has been across all of our price ranges, with properties from £700,000 down to £135,000 going under offer. The mix of buyers has also been wide ranging and it has been especially pleasing to see plenty of offers from first time buyers turning into successful sales.

We are now into the home straight timescale wise for moving before Christmas. Local searches are taking so long in BANES (average 6 weeks) that you’ll need to be under offer shortly if you want to move out before the festivities begin. However, the really good news is that we have hordes of disappointed buyer who have missed out on the properties we sold over the last fortnight so we may already have your buyer on our books!

Looking wider than just our recent experience, it seems from monitoring the usual websites that the numbers of price reductions have increased  – perhaps a sign that the over enthusiastic valuing from some agents we’ve seen over the summer has finally been recognised by owners. We are also watching the numbers of sales falling through with interest as we have a theory in the office that the predilection of certain agents to run only open house viewings is causing undue pressure on buyers and thus increasing the tendency for offers to be withdrawn after the event. We have thought for a long time that open houses are not the best idea for our clients and our fallthrough rate is extremely low compared to industry average.

It may sound like a dull recurring theme as we’ve focussed on supply levels in many of our 2014 monthly updates but the number of available properties to buy in Bath remains at a historically low level. Last month has seen little recovery in these figures and, with winter approaching, we see no real hope of this trend reversing.

So, to summarise the last month for us – sensibly priced Bath property is still generating high levels of interest and multiple offers. The clock is ticking but a 2014 move is still on the cards if you act swiftly!

Total properties on the market in Bath

between 605 and 633 depending on source data (Home.co.uk, Rightmove and Zoopla)

New instructions in the last fortnight

between 83 (Home.co.uk), 107 (Zoopla) and 169 (Rightmove). We suspect the higher figures are distorted as they may include reductions and fallthroughs

Average time on market

less than 1 month = 26% (August score 24%)

less than 2 months = 44% (August score 46%)

more than 1 year = 2.4%

Union St 1

Union Street in Bath in 1905