A major shortage of homes in two of Birmingham’s prime postcodes has been caused by a “perfect storm” of market factors, according to one of the city’s top estate agents.
Ben Davidson, managing director of Davidson Estates, said the scarcity of residential properties to buy has hit the B15 area of Edgbaston – including the much sought-after Calthorpe Estate area – and the B17 area of Harborne.
He explained that the lack of homes available was due to a combination of property chain bottle-necks, worries over COVID-19 and significant over-pricing.
Mr Davidson, whose estate agency has offices in Edgbaston and Birmingham city centre, said: “There are long queues of potential buyers for homes in the B15 and B17 post-codes, due to the large and distinctive properties in those areas and their convenient, premier locations.
“However, there’s never been such a shortage of properties available, a situation that’s been caused by a ‘perfect storm’ of market conditions.
“To start with, people living in these lovely areas are finding it difficult to find anywhere as attractive to move to, either in the Midlands or even in some cases in the south-west and London area.
“They just love the pleasant environment they live in, with its easy connections to a major city and transport links, close to great educational, health and leisure facilities, and cannot find properties available anywhere else that equals that.
“This ‘stay-put’ mood has been exacerbated by COVID-19, with home-owners in the prime Edgbaston and Harborne areas feeling they have benefited from what are often huge gardens.
“They know they have been lucky to have such great outside spaces to safely relax in during the last year, and they are nervous about giving those up for smaller yards in, say, London, where they might feel trapped in potential future lockdowns.
“The third reason for the B15 and B17 shortages is overpricing, a factor partly caused by those first two factors.
“We have a saying here at Davidson Estates that if a B15 or B17 property for sale is still on the market after two weeks it’s because it’s overpriced, and we’re seeing that a lot in recent months.”
Despite the property shortages, Mr Davidson said he had still handled more business in the last 12 months across wider Birmingham and the city centre, which meant Davidson Estates was growing and taking on more staff.
He said: “Although there was around a ten-week long hiatus of property moves during the first lockdown, we’ve still seen a growth in our year-on-year statistics, albeit with a marked trend towards more lettings than sales.
“Some of this activity has been driven by property lettings for key workers who needed to stay in specific locations, such as near hospitals, and in those cases we’ve almost been giving properties away to support the battle against the pandemic.”
Mr Davidson added: “The main message is that for homeowners in the B15 and B17 areas considering a move, there is a ready market of keen buyers out there for you.
“And for buyers wanting to move into those prime post-codes, here at Davidson Estates we know exactly what’s on offer at all times – whether it’s properties for sale or providing a premium letting in the short-term while waiting for the right home to buy.”