2nd January 2019

Prime country market trends - Dorset and Wiltshire

2018 was a year where quality and value rose to the top, and anything else sank. The prevailing shortage of available property is continuing into this year.

My patch is beyond the general influence of London and outside of commuter land - sellers tend to be discretionary and older, and supply has become really constricted. Buyers have become focused on purchasing the best property, with anything else tending to be ignored. We’ve had more contested situations than in a long time, with competitive bids on a private basis not unheard of. This is likely to happen more and more.

2018 was a good year in which I bought several really lovely houses for clients, including a Grade I-listed property dating back to the fourteenth century, where I used to play as a child. The property market in Devon has been really quiet at the top end, and all my work recently has focused on Wiltshire and Dorset, with the spotlight really from Andover to Taunton along the A303 and not much beyond.

This year, I can see buyers being cautious unless they are convinced they are buying the right property at the right price. Sellers won’t sell unless they have to. We are seeing chains developing for the first time in ages – I spoke to one seller who has five people wanting to buy her house but they are all from London and all have their own house to sell. We haven’t seen much of that in a long time.

The market is more sober and the gap between buyers’ and sellers’ expectations is widening. The more bad news we have, increasingly buyers feel they should get more value for money and sellers want a good price or they won’t sell. Advice is all the more critical in these tricky market conditions and access to information is key.