15/03/2024

2023 was a challenging year for the Staffordshire and Cheshire property markets with ever-increasing interest rates, a ‘technical recession’ and the cost of living crisis continuing to curb people’s dreams of moving or owning their own homes.

The premium end of the market managed to remain buoyant, with resilience perhaps coming from less reliance on mortgage borrowing, but confidence elsewhere definitely took a hit.

The budget might not have produced the much hoped-for stamp duty land tax cut for downsizers, but there are still signs of green shoots emerging as spring approaches. January saw positive GDP growth and many are still anticipating a Bank of England base rate cut.

The good news is that we are definitely starting to see more properties coming onto the market in Staffordshire and Cheshire.

Perhaps people are feeling more confident that recovery is around the corner and interest rates will continue to be pushed down. When combined with possible frustration at being forced to put home buying and selling plans on hold, many are deciding to take the plunge.

The cost of renting continues to spiral and is highly likely to be a factor motivating people to take that first step onto the housing ladder. We have also seen something of an upsurge in the purchasing of student properties by those with cash in the bank, often for their own children. Again, with rental charges so high, investing in a property for children at university can be a cost-effective solution.

While, for those at the older end of the market, downsizing or moving area to maximise their equity has proved to be an attractive prospect.

House prices across the region have been relatively stable through 2023 and this year house price growth is predicted across the northwest and midlands, unlike London and the south.

To conclude, I’d say that confidence is growing and the Staffordshire and Cheshire property markets look likely to experience something of a recovery through spring and summer.

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