Dorset Property Market Update – March 2023
By Grant Brooks – MD Edwards Estate Agents
Dorset Housing Market continues recovery with Spring market
Despite the continued rather negative reporting of much of the mainstream media, the property market in Dorset is increasingly active, and along with the longer days and the brightening, if sometimes damp, weather, we are seeing a good number of both new buyers and sellers looking to take advantage of the Spring market.
The traditional springtime market has not been evident in recent years, what with the Covid lockdowns in 2020/21 and the frenzied markets of the last couple of years, so this year it’s been good to see the return of more normal times.
From early March we have seen a steady increase in the number of first-time buyers looking to get a foot on the property ladder, this trend is mirrored in this month’s House Price Index from property portal Rightmove which confirms that the market is continuing its recovery.
A key metric of the index is how property prices are holding up, the report confirms that the average asking price of property coming to the market is up by 0.8% on the previous month. Whilst this is only a small increase, it does show that despite the often negative media predictions, the property market, as well as the economy as a whole, is a good deal more resilient than we are often led to believe.
First-time buyers leading the way
The Index confirms our own experience locally with first-time buyer properties showing the strongest recovery in the run-up to the spring market. Rightmove’s stats show the average asking price of first-time buyer properties are only £500 lower than last year’s record high.
It is the first-time buyer market that underpins the market as a whole, and as sales agreed in the first-time buyer sector recover faster than expected, this will, over the coming weeks, have a knock-on effect for the rest of the market.
Although the Bank of England’s decision to increase interest rates last week was disappointing, the general economic signs are more optimistic, with many predicting that this is likely to be the last interest rate rise, certainly for now, and the hope is that in the not too distant future rates may begin to lower.
Confidence in the property market is key to the continued recovery, a significant influencer is the stability within the mortgage markets. Prior to the rate rise, average mortgage rates have fallen back from their peak last year, with the average rate for a 15% deposit five-year fixed mortgage having been 4.65%, down from last month’s 4.75%, and October’s 5.89%.
The impact of the recent increase is likely to see the above averages increase, although, with stiff competition within the mortgage markets, rates are likely to remain under 5%, which should help to maintain confidence for would-be home movers.
The Spring Market
As we approach what has historically been the busiest time in the property market calendar, and with confidence and a degree of stability returning from the turbulence of late 2022, it is encouraging to see the return of more civilised times within the property market.
The incredibly fast-paced market of the previous couple of years was unsustainable, and as with all booms, they are inevitably followed by a period of market correction. During these previous times, many would-be home movers were unable to move as they simply couldn’t compete with the frenetic bidding wars of immediately proceedable buyers.
Today’s market moves at a more civilised pace compared to those times, allowing local homeowners time to look around and plan their next move without the fear of losing out.
Here are a selection of recently listed homes –
Bournemouth – Guide Price £600,000
Holtwood, Holt, Wimborne – Guide Price £1,500,000
Church Street, Sturminster Marshall, Wimborne – Offers Over £600,000
Badgers Walk, Ferndown – OIRO £1,200,000
Knobcrook Road, Wimborne – Guide Price £1,300,000
Considering a move this Spring?
If you would like some help or advice, please feel free to give me a call at our Ferndown Office anytime.
Until next month, happy house hunting.
Thanks for reading
Grant Brooks – Edwards Estate Agents
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