Is Bath a Buyers or Sellers Market?

Is Bath a buyers or sellers market? And what is the future of the property market

Trying to navigate the property market in Bath can be confusing. Market dynamics are constantly evolving and understanding that dynamic is essential. Whether you are looking to buy your dream home or sell a cherished property. Recent Data has revealed a fascinating surge in property transactions across the UK, and Bath is included in this bustling activity.

The property market is currently a robust market, with property sales and listings both increasing significantly as of April 2024. However, what does this mean for you? Is Bath a buyer’s market, favored by those looking to purchase, or a seller’s market, giving an edge on those wishing to sell?

As of Sunday 21st April 2024, the number of UK homes that went under offer (STC) was 10.3% higher than that same period during 2023, with 377,217 homes sale agreed on YTD in 2024, compared to 341,271 YTD in 2023.  Interestingly, this is also higher than average seen in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Every UK region has seen an increase in the number of properties selling STC, but even more interesting is that this is pretty much a uniform growth across ALL regions of the country.

Leading the growth charge is the inner London area with a huge rise of 21%. Closer to home the Southwest saw an increase of 16%.

This increase in the number of properties for sale is good news for buyers as it is giving them a far greater choice of homes.

Alongside this, prospective buyers and sellers are witnessing a rise in confidence. Mortgage rates have begun to decline recently, after a sharp climb last year. Inflation stands at 3.8%, a steep fall since the high of October 2022. Average mortgage rates have settled and many banks and building societies now are offering decent rates.

Despite these positive signs, Bath’s property price levels are expected to hold steady. The market is also expected to remain buyer-friendly due to mortgage affordability issues. The easing of mortgage costs will have sparked interest and dealings in the property market. This revitalisation in the market is anticipated to boost the volume of homes sold after its 11-year low last year.

This is the time to be realistic about pricing your home if you want to bring your property to market. The measurement of whether a market is a buyer or seller’s market is based on the proportion of properties market at ‘Sold STC’ or ‘Under Offer’, compared to the total number of properties on the market. The weight of this percentage cannot be overstated. They directly impact everything from listing prices to negotiation leverage.

  • Extreme Buyers’ Market (0%-20%)
  • Buyers’ Market (21%-29%)
  • Balanced Market (30%-40%)
  • Sellers’ Market (41%-49%)
  • Hot Sellers’ Market (50%-59%)
  • Extreme Sellers’ Market (60%+)

So where does Bath fit within these brackets?

April’s most recent findings show that between the summer of 2018 to April of 2024, the postcode districts of BA1/2 combined indicated an extreme sellers’ market at 70% in the summer of 2022, then throughout 2023 it dropped to the mid-50 % range showing a hot sellers’ market. Now, since February of 2024, the figure stands at 52%.

So, for Baths sellers, we are moving to a market where sellers need to be more strategic, flexible, and patient. Sellers need to be prepared for their home to be on the market for longer with an extended marketing period.

Here at Reside, this extended marketing period is a stage of the selling process we want to make as valuable as possible.

Marketing strategy for property sales has evolved. We now are looking to employ high-quality virtual tours on all our properties and create targeted marketing campaigns with the home being listed on multiple social media channels to gain interest across the local area and across all client bases. All clients have different needs when it comes to viewing and finding properties. Some want to search the more modern media channels, the likes of Instagram and TikTok and are content with virtual viewings on our YouTube channels. Whereas others want to locate their next property via the more traditional methods, on our website or via a Rightmove listing and then view the property multiple times in person, not via a screen.

So, for Bath buyers, you should expect intense competition if you are after highly sought-after properties. Securing a mortgage pre-approval can put you ahead of other prospective buyers. However, Bath buyers also have more leverage in this market. There is the ability to negotiate and put your offer ahead of other offers.

Looking forward, this year we have a general election on the horizon. This inevitably will affect the market, as we expect everything to go on ice three or four weeks before the election itself. There will be plenty of challenges and opportunities for buyers and sellers alike. Staying flexible and informed is vital, remember that buying a home is as much about the journey as it is the destination.