Bath property market update – October 2014

The Empire Hotel in Bath

Our Moorland Rd office window is dressed for Halloween with spiders and pumpkins aplenty but, in between the decorating, we’ve been busy over the last fortnight with a rush of eager buyers looking in many cases to be in before Christmas. However, this activity does not seem to span all price ranges and areas – we have noticed particular October demand within the city from first time buyers and families but the village market has slowed considerably. Investment properties ( recent sales from 700k down to 135k) have been performing extremely well recently, with several examples selling on the first day of marketing (although we note similar local properties with other agents at below par yields have not seemed to attract as much attention). We can’t get enough Victorian terraces to even vaguely meet demand and the same is true for smaller flats in the centre, family semis in outer suburbs and larger townhouses in the Widcombe/Bear Flat area.

When out on valuations, we are now seeing many clients wishing to do their homework now in preparation for New Year marketing – this is eminently sensible and will allow swift launching for the crucial early weeks of 2015 when competition will be at its traditional low point. Proper research now by owners will also ensure prices are evidence based, marketing strategies discussed and agents capabilities compared.

Lettings wise, the cupboard is entirely bare at present. Recent instructions have let within days in every case, often with a string of disappointed applicants. As one example, we were asked to let a one bedroom central Georgian apartment at £950pcm and received four offers of tenancy within 48hrs of marketing.

The student letting market for September 2015 occupation is due to kick into gear next month – we will be releasing our landlord portfolio then and expect high demand as in previous years.

As always, some basic residential sales numbers below with comparisons to the previous month;


Total properties on the market in Bath

October – between 557 and 594 depending on source data (, Rightmove and Zoopla)

September – between 605 and 633

New instructions in the last fortnight

October – between 61 ( and 140 (Rightmove)

September – between 83 (, 107 (Zoopla) and 169 (Rightmove). 

We note with interest the discrepancy in above figures involving Rightmove in particular. Rightmove seems to choose to include both price reductions and sales fallen through in its “recently added” category. Compared to Zoopla figures which are seemingly more accurate in this vein (79 in Oct), this would suggest a considerable number of reductions and aborted sales across the city in the recent past. At the very least, it is interesting that 44% of Rightmove’s listings over the last 14 days purporting to be “new” in some sense may in fact not be.

Average time on market

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

less than 2 months = 43% (September score 44%, August score 46%)

more than 1 year = 4.6% (September score 2.4%)

Selling time in Bath (last 90 days)

Mean – 77 days

Median – 42 days

Madison Oakley customer feedback