Surge in residential property buyer activity in West Midlands

Published August 27th, 2013

With the UK housing market finally turning the corner, the West Midlands is enjoying the biggest boom in buyer activity.

Buyers returned to the market in their largest numbers for four year according to the latest RICS Residential Market Survey and the West Midlands and the North East – areas which have suffered more than most since the market crash – experienced the biggest increases in buyer activity in July.

During the month, the amount of potential buyers looking to enter the market grew at the fastest rate since July 2009, as a net balance of 53 per cent more chartered surveyors reported increases in demand. Since the start of the year, buyers have gradually been returning to test the market – thanks in no small part to government finance initiatives such as the Help to Buy Scheme and Funding for Lending – yet the amount of would-be buyers seen in July saw a sizeable peak.

Significantly, this growth was seen in each and every part of the UK as the recovery, initially focused in the South East, spread to regions across the country. Consequentially, prices rose in the country for the fourth consecutive month and grew at their fastest rate since the market peak of November 2006

In tandem with rising buyer confidence, more potential sellers looked to test the market and place their homes up for sale. Last month, 15 per cent more respondents reported rises rather than falls in new instructions. This reading has now been in positive territory for the last six months. However, in each of these months it has been outstripped by the change in new buyer enquires.

Looking ahead, it seems that prices across the country are going to continue to rise further, with a net balance of 35 per cent more surveyors predicting increases. Meanwhile, transaction levels are also expected to grow, as 53 per cent more respondents expect sales to rise rather than fall over the coming three months.

These results are great news for the property market as it looks like at long last a recovery could be around the corner. Growth in buyer numbers and prices have been happening in some parts of the country since the beginning of the year but this is the first time that everywhere has experienced some improvement. It is clearly good news that those parts of the property market that were struggling are at last showing some signs of life.

Sarah Reece at Berrys said it was heartening to see that areas such as the West Midlands are showing signs of making a recovery.


“Buyers are showing an interest again. We are getting more enquiries and buyers have more of an appetite to complete sales. Recently I completed a sale in six weeks with five buyers in the chain,” she said.

“Realistic pricing is key to making a swift sale. Many of the properties lingering on the market are still being marketed at too high a price and these will need to be cleared so vendors will release new stock onto the market.”

The Help to Buy scheme launched in March  is giving investors the opportunity to buy a property with a fiveper cent deposit. The government will lend 20 per cent of the property value (on new homes up to the value of £600,000) interest free for five years. Extending from the Government’s Help to Buy Scheme, those hoping to buy a property could have the opportunity to gain a state guarantee on the mortgage.

For more information contact Graham Bowcock at Northwich on 01601 818953 email; Sarah Reece  at Shrewsbury 0n 01743 271697 email or Mark Carroll at Kettering on 01536 412464 email or Marcus Blake at Towcester on 01327 356140 email

For more information...

More about Sarah Reece

Chartered Surveyor
Tel: 01743 267068
Mobile: 07770 405765

Sarah joined Berrys in 2003 having obtained an honours degree in Rural Estate Management from Seale Hayne. She was appointed partner at the Shrewsbury office in 2017 and her work focuses on property sales (farms, land and equestrian properties), valuations (for banks, lending institutions and private clients), agricultural landlord and tenant law, compulsory purchase and compensation and general rural property advice including Basic Payment Scheme applications. Away from work Sarah’s interests are horse riding, racing and farming.