I sit on a the National Advisory Counsel for the Guild of Professional Estate Agents for regular meetings held in their smart offices on Park Lane. This week I listened to several leading agents located within the M25 talking about a residential sales market which was very much warmer than the market we see locally every day. They were talking about a sales market so confident & busy that all bar very few properties were quickly selling well with prices rising almost monthly. Their big issue was the lack of properties being available and being unable to satisfy the demand. At the same time an agent based in Wakefield highlighted that his competitor in the Town had seven hundred properties available which like his were now selling after several slow years but without any massive drama or price hikes.
Here in Birmingham City Centre the market is moving & is very different to where it was eighteen months ago. There is demand and increasing market confidence from existing tenants, current lessees in smaller flats wanting to move into something larger plus demand from institutional and individual investors. The latter particularly are coming from the South East who are now seeing value in Birmingham & the opportunity to enter a market without the froth of London. There is some pressure on prices particularly those rare freeholds ,larger apartments & interesting lofts but not excessively.
We anticipate price pressure through 2014 on residential rental prices plus on new build apartments & houses. The reason is simply that of the stock coming forward. Those owners who became landlords because the market was so slow can now sell so a sector of the rental market will shrink as the buyers will quite likely be owner occupiers. The complete lack of new build in any volume coming out of the ground & the increasing popularity of Birmingham as a place to live & work ,helped by the likes of the Deutsche Bank relocation which can only increase the overall pressure. The builders will catch up but probably not for another year or two.
Interesting times !
Philip Jackson is founding director of Maguire Jackson Estate Agents