Cheshire housing market holding firm during the national slowdown

By Rich Wilcock

10th Mar 2023 | Housing

The Cheshire housing market is performing well despite the economic slowdown nationally (Image - Stephenson Browne)
The Cheshire housing market is performing well despite the economic slowdown nationally (Image - Stephenson Browne)

In the first of a regular series, Cheshire Business Nub and Stephenson Browne look at Cheshire's housing market and what it could mean for house buyers and sellers.

The Average house price in the UK slid to an average of £257,406 according to the latest report by Nationwide. That's 3.7% lower than its peak in August 2022.

However, Cheshire is holding up remarkably well according to Craig Whitney, sales director at Stephenson Browne.

"We're certainly feeling optimistic that 2023 will currently work out a lot better than what the general public may understandably be thinking", says Craig.

Stephenson Browne has reason to be cheerful.

Average house prices in the key Cheshire East towns have all risen on average since the same time last year.

Congleton and Sandbach saw their house prices rise by 6%, whilst Alsager saw house prices rise by 10% and an average sale price of £283,821.

Alsager High Street - Alsager house prices rose by 10% compared to the same time last year (Image - Wikimedia Commons)

The two largest towns, Crewe, and Macclesfield both had smaller growth in average price with both showing only a modest 1% rise.

This buoyancy in the Cheshire market is reflected in how busy Stephenson Browne has been so far this year with listings on the market 23% higher than at the same time last year.

This is not a surprise to Craig who said: "Rightly or wrongly, I take the media speculation with a pinch of salt."

Average house prices were largely stagnant over the year in Macclesfield, alongside Cheshire East's other large town, Crewe (Image - Wikimedia Commons)

He added: "The increase in mortgage rates has no doubt affected certain buyers' decision-making, whilst we haven't sold as many houses just yet, our activity levels across our branches is strong."

Alongside the news on the housing market slump nationally, was the news that mortgage markets were also contracting, but according to Amanda Nutt, mortgage manager at Franklyn, which covers the Cheshire market, there were several reasons for this.

Amanda said: "Recent changes in the mortgage industry have been significant.

"Following last September's "mini-budget" interest rates skyrocketed due to sterling volatility, market unpredictability, and a variety of other external market factors, including the cost of living."

However, certainly, for the Cheshire market, the fears of a prolonged downturn are unlikely to happen as business begins to pick back up again, according to Amanda.

"The lenders are reviewing their products regularly and the good news is, they are still lending. Mortgage rates have now started to settle and decrease which provides some welcome reassurance across the sector.''

As 2023 continues, selling your home in Cheshire is still a viable opportunity for many and whilst interest rates may rise a little higher as we head into summer, the county's housing market as a whole is continuing to show flexibility and resilience.

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