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Midlands market towns benefit from the London exodus

The property market is booming with house prices increasing across the country. But for once, London isn’t at the heart of the action. The Midlands is one of the areas that is booming. So we've asked the online estate agent Strike where the region's hotspots are and what local buyers and sellers need to know.

4 minute read

Strike estate agents

There’s no doubt that it’s been an exciting year in the property market. Nationwide has shown that house prices have grown at an annual rate of over 10%. And yet Zoopla reports that London, normally the beating heart of the housing market, only saw a 5.22% increase in the last 12 months.

That’s because the market is booming all over the country — and for once, London isn’t at the heart of the action. One area that has seen extraordinary growth is the Midlands, with house prices in some areas going up by over 18%. And it’s no surprise. The region has a lot to offer. Alongside being the home to the second largest city, Birmingham, and with great transport links around the country, it’s also a favourite with homeowners looking for charming towns and beautiful rural villages.

Strike — the estate agent who will sell your home for free — has just expanded its offer into the Midlands area this month. So we’ve asked them to tell us what types of properties are in demand and give us the lowdown on local hotspots.

Space is king 

There are two things local Strike estate agents keep hearing; that house prices are going up and that people are looking for more space. But some places are more in demand than others. Here are some of the winners:

  • In Gloucester, flats only went up in price by 0.2% between May 2020 and May 2021 — but detached houses increased at 17 times that rate. 
  • In Birmingham, flats increased by 7.4%, but detached houses went up by 10.5% over the same time period. 

Interestingly, although there was a big divide between flats and houses, there was far less variation between types of houses. While a lot of news reports have us imagining that people are running off to rural estates surrounded by acres of land, that’s not really the case. Terraced homes seem to be as popular as detached — and in places like Derby, Gloucester, Birmingham, and Coventry, their prices went up by more than their detached counterparts. 

What does this mean for buyers and sellers?

In short, it’s a great time for sellers. And it’s an especially good time for downsizers — in a hot market with rising prices, you can sell your current home at a great price. It’s also a particularly good time if you’re the owner of a large property, because demand is high. If you’re a buyer looking for a large home, be aware that competition is hot, so you may need to move fast. Set a property alert (or a few) and make sure to keep an eye on what’s coming on the market. 

All sellers can benefit from this buzzy market — and Strike can help homeowners make the most of it. Not only does Strike provide a full estate agency service for free — complete with listing, marketing, and professional offer negotiation — they also have a handy app where you can manage viewings and offers in a click. And you can save big. Based on the average UK house price of £256,000, Strike saves homeowners almost £4,000 in commission fees compared to most agents — that’s £1,000 more than the average stamp duty holiday saving

Market towns out-performing large cities

Has our new world of remote working changed everything? If you live in Walsall or Dudley, the answer might be yes. In an interesting twist, house prices in both of these market towns out-stripped larger cities. Walsall prices went up by an incredible 18.8% and Dudley by 13.1%, easily outpacing the likes of Birmingham and Coventry. 

Gloucester saw the lower price growth of any area Strike looked at, with only a 2.8% increase on average — something that may not be notable in a normal year, but definitely doesn’t stand up to the 2020-2021 increase. Still, as the area around it grows, that may mean Gloucester is a savvy investment opportunity right now — where you can get a taste of that small city living, without the huge price jumps that have been seen in its neighbours. 

How to sell your West Midlands home – for free 

In summary, it’s a sellers market in the West Midlands. So if you’re looking to sell, you’ll want to find an estate agent that can deliver on your priorities, whether it’s securing the best sale price, selling quickly, or both. And of course, Strike promises to sell your home for free.

So whether you’re looking to sell a flat in Coventry or a terraced house in Dudley, find out more about Strike, from their handy app, customer online hub and virtual viewings, by visiting their website.

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