Market Update (and a West Midlands List)

Here's the spin and my down-to-earth thoughts after Rightmove released their latest price index on Monday.

Market Update (and a West Midlands List)
One of my favourite canalside cottages in Amington (not for sale)

Today I thought I'd give you a little market update. Rightmove released their January price index on Monday, and it was probably the most confusing one I've ever seen. Rightmove does have a sneaky habit of putting a positive spin on things, so you have to dig deep to work out the truth of the matter. Still, it gives me a good laugh sometimes!

What's the headline news?

Rightmove was mega excited this week about the post Christmas 'bounce-back', with the number of buyers contacting agents up by 55% compared with the two weeks before Christmas. Well it would be, wouldn't it? Duh! Then they said it was the biggest New Year bounce since 2016. But in their very next sentence they said that the number of enquirers was down by a third compared to this time last year.

Talking to my colleagues, I'm hearing that viewing figures are WAY down, and that house prices need to be really competitive to get any action among the few active buyers. If you're on the market, don't be surprised if it's gone a bit quiet. Use the time for a bit of decluttering and maybe lightening up the decor. Ask your agent for fresh photos if you make any significant changes (and especially if there's a Christmas tree in your photos!)

What's happening with house prices?

When we're looking at house prices, a bit of jargon you'll hear quite often at the moment is that the market is 'hyperlocal'. In other words, there are no clear national or regional trends - everything is a mess! Year on year, prices are up, right across the country - well that isn't surprising after last year's madness, is it? However, price rises have definitely turned turtle, and in some areas, they are now dropping. Seven regions have experienced price rises this month, but four have gone down, so the situation as clear as mud. Most of these movements are tiny, for example prices are less than 1% up in the West Midlands.

But just in case that increase made you excited about the value of your house, simmer down! The only clear price movement is in Scotland, which has experienced a decrease of over 5%. And significantly, average asking prices are £8,720 lower than at their 2022 peak, in October last year. And that's asking prices. Don't forget that sale prices could be a lot lower! It's common for desperate estate agents with low property stocks to overvalue houses to get them on the market. And for desperate sellers to believe them!

Average days to agree a sale have also gone up quite substantially since those heady days when estate agents were selling properties within a week. In England, the West Midlands leads the pack with an average of 48 days. London is the worst at 67 days. And sale to completion times are pretty dire too, leaving plenty of time to lose a sale, or part of your chain, during the process.

So what's the moral of the story?

If you're an estate agent, you'll be worrying about your business. Pipelines are down, and according to Atomic Consultancy, a lot of agents are closing or changing hands for lower than usual prices. You'll see both corporates and independents pushing cards through your letter box or knocking on your door to try to drum up new properties. And of course, sellers will see over-valuations to try to secure your business!

If you're serious about selling, you need to price competitively. Don't listen to agents who are pricing high to get your business, Listen to the agents who are telling you the truth. And dont forget that if a house is sensibly priced, you are more likely to get asking price offers, your buyer is more likely to be loyal, and they are more likely to get a mortgage without down-valuations.

And if you're buying? You'll make an estate agent's day by booking a viewing this winter! There are some great properties out there and some bargains to be had, but you need to be in a good position to secure them. Ideally you need to be proceedable (under offer, with a complete chain, or a cash buyer). If you need to sell before you buy, at a minimum you need to get your house on the market and get a mortgage in principle lined up, to demonstrate your commitment before you go out looking for your next home.

By the way, don't be too suspicious about houses which have been on the market a long time - there are many perfectly innocent reasons (e.g. a collapsed chain, a job loss, buyer's health problems).

What's new in the West Midlands?

The quiet market means that there are no new canalside properties in the West Midlands this week, but the residential park home at Lodgefield Park, on the edge of Stafford, has come back onto the market. I do have a bit of a soft spot for park homes, since owning our canalside holiday caravan next to the canal in Brewood. We were very sad to sell it, and the only reason we did was because we needed the capital to buy our house at Glascote Locks.

Today's West Midlands List

All the canalside properties I can find on the market, in descending order as usual.

Barlaston Boatyard

£925,000 Barlaston Boatyard, Barlaston. The Boatyard is still on the market through no fault of its own. The last buyer was unable to sell their property, and would still love to buy The Boatyard if only they could get things moving on their own sale. The property is a detached Victorian cottage, with private dock for two narrowboats and further mooring space to the front, on the offside edge of the Trent and Mersey Canal. It has great potential for a home based business or for a detached annexe. It's presented in good liveable condition but has excellent scope for redecoration and modernisation - see my virtual renovation inspo on Rightmove. (Sheridan Parsons eXp).

£850,000 The Granary, Fisherwick Road, Lichfield, WS14 9JJ, large attached barn conversion, on the towpath side of the Coventry Canal. You’d need to visit to see whether you can see the canal from the house. (Downes and Daughters).

£800,000 The Old Dockyard, 52a The Wharf, Shardlow, Derby, Derbyshire, DE72 2HG, grade 2 listed semi-detached malt warehouse conversion, with decking directly adjoining a basin off the Trent and Mersey Canal. The existing title includes the basin, where mooring is available. (Savills).

£695,000 Tamhorn Cottages, Fisherwick Road, Lichfield, end of terrace Victorian cottage. Although the house is the furthest in the row from the canal, it looks as if it is only separated from the offside of the Coventry Canal by a narrow strip, so it might be worth speaking to the CRT about mooring. However, the winding hole at the bottom of the garden may diminish the possibility of mooring nearby. (Abode).

£675,000 26 Wyndham Wood Close, Fradley, Near Lichfield, WS13 8UZ, detached C21 house facing the Coventry Canal with a frontage to the towpath. (Yopa).

£650,000 Pool Cottage, Stafford Road, Weston, Stafford, ST18, large Victorian detached cottage with 2 acres of grounds including a pool and a ‘private mooring’ on the Trent and Mersey Canal. (Savills).

£625,000 1 Doris Croft, Dog Lane, Tamworth Road, Amington, B77 4AH, Edwardian semi-detached house with building plot with planning for two houses. One of the new builds, in the back garden of the existing house, backs onto the offside edge of the Coventry Canal. It is separated from the canal bank by a narrow strip, probably CRT owned, so it may be worth discussing the possibility of a mooring. The land is available without the existing house at £300,000. (Mark Evans).

£600,000 Bridgeside, High Onn, Church Eaton, Staffordshire ST20 0AX, historic wharf conversion with jetty and mooring on the Shropshire Union Canal, subject to CRT approval and licence (Dourish & Day).

£525,000 26/28 Haling Road, Penkridge, ST19 5BZ, detached house remodelled from two Victorian cottages, with patio garden backing onto the towpath of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. No mooring. (Dourish & Day).

£500,000 9 Canal Way, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 0DE, C21 detached double-fronted house facing the Ashby Canal. No mooring. (Your Move).

£495,000 The Loft, The Malthouse, The Wharf, Shardlow, Derbyshire, DE72 2HG, grade 2 listed semi-detached malt warehouse conversion, facing the Trent and Mersey Canal, just across the lane. (Scargill Mann & Co).

£435,000 5 Warehouse Cottages, Wolseley Bridge, Little Haywood, ST17 0XJ, Victorian detached cottage with garden directly adjoining the offside edge of the Trent and Mersey Canal. It looks as if there is good potential for a short mooring.  (John German).

£425,000 Bywater House, 103 Woodbury Walk, Armitage Road, Brereton, WS15 1DF, detached house built in 2015 backing directly onto the offside bank of the Trent and Mersey Canal. I imagine that there is excellent mooring potential here, subject to CRT approval. Sadly, this is a probate sale, although it was only sold in June 2021 for £395,000. (C Residential).

£425,000 17 Highgrove, Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 8XN, detached C21 house set at the end of a cul-de-sac, with no passing traffic, excellent views to the front over the Trent and Mersey Canal, trees and hedgerows. It is on the offside, but there is a footpath along this side along the canal, as well as the towpath on the opposite bank. (James Du Pavey).

£400,000 52 Woodend Road, Walsall, WS5 3BG, C20 semi-detached house backing onto the offside of the Rushall Canal. It is separated from the canal by a narrow strip, but it is worth pursuing the possibility of mooring here. (Century 21).

£389,995 Austen Drive, Tamworth, Staffordshire, B78 3BN, detached C21 house facing the Coventry Canal on the towpath side. The access to the property is separated from the towpath by trees hedgerows so the view of the canal may be obstructed. (Barratt Homes).

£389,995 Austen Drive, Tamworth, Staffordshire, B78 3BN, detached C21 house facing the Coventry Canal on the towpath side. The access to the property is separated from the towpath by trees hedgerows so the view of the canal may be obstructed. (Barratt Homes).

£370,000 112 Chesterfield Road, Lichfield, WS14 0AA, whilst this is no longer canalside, and the restoration of the Lichfield Canal will follow a different route entirely, I wanted to include this one as it is steeped in canal history. (C Residential).

£350,000 41 Lathe Way, Erdington, B24 0SD, detached C21 house facing the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. The area is semi-industrial but the outlook over the canal is surprisingly green. Google incorrectly calls the road Cincinnati Drive, and I have submitted a report. (Acres).

£350,000 41 Lathe Way, Erdington, B24 0SD, detached C21 house facing the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. The area is semi-industrial but the outlook over the canal is surprisingly green. Google incorrectly calls the road Cincinnati Drive, and I have submitted a report. (Paul Carr).

£350,000 10 Bridgewater Road, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, DE14, detached C21 house with the side of the garden adjoining the offside of the Trent and Mersey Canal. There is a small strip of land between the garden and the canal, and the canal narrows a bit here, but there may still be some potential for a mooring subject to CRT approval. (Your Move).

£340,000 55 Dyott Avenue, Whittington, Lichfield, semi-detached C20 house in a well-regarded village, backing onto the offside bank of the Coventry Canal. I imagine that the proximity to a small bridge will preclude a mooring, however the position is ideal for soaking up the view and as a launch point for paddlers. (Downes and Daughters).

£340,000 Maybridge, Old Kingsbury Road, Minworth, B76 9AE, link-detached C20 house (looks easy to separate STPP) with a garden backing onto the towpath of the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. Your solicitor would need to check the Land Registry regarding the edges of the garden, which may or may not have full title. (Paul Carr).

£300,000 35 Somerset Close, Fazeley, B78 3XH, link-detached C20 house side on to the towpath of the Coventry Canal and separate from it by trees and hedgerows. It is unclear how much of a view it has. (Taylor Cole).

£300,000 35 Somerset Close, Fazeley, B78 3XH, link-detached C20 house side on to the towpath of the Coventry Canal and separate from it by trees and hedgerows. It is unclear how much of a view it has. (Hunters).

£300,000 Land at 1 Doris Croft, Dog Lane, Tamworth Road, Amington, B77 4AH, with planning for two houses, one of which will back on to the Coventry Canal offside edge. The land is separated from the canal bank by a narrow strip, probably CRT owned, so it may be worth discussing the possibility of a mooring. The original Edwardian house is available separately at £325k but this will lose its canalside garden if the building plot to the rear is developed. (Mark Evans).

£300,000 auction guide price, Alley Thatch, 166a Main Street, Alrewas, DE13 7ED, detached thatched cottage, Trent and Mersey Canal, directly adjoining a small length of offside edge, but the willow tree and bridge may preclude mooring. (John German Barton under Needwood).

£300,000 17 Whitethorn Avenue, Barlaston, ST12 9EF, recently refurbished detached bungalow with a garden which has a rear gate leading onto the towpath of the Trent and Mersey Canal. (Platinum Property).

£290,000 87 Torc Avenue, Amington, B77 3ER, C20 detached house with a long stretch of garden adjoining the offside bank of the Coventry Canal. There is clear potential for mooring subject to CRT approval, but as with many canalside properties it looks as if the CRT has retained a strip of land on the bank. (Taylor Cole).

£290,000 87 Torc Avenue, Amington, B77 3ER, C20 detached house with a long stretch of garden adjoining the offside bank of the Coventry Canal. There is clear potential for mooring subject to CRT approval, but as with many canalside properties it looks as if the CRT has retained a strip of land on the bank. (Mark Webster).

59 Tamworth Road, Tamworth, B77 3BS

£275,000 59 Tamworth Road, Amington, B77 3BS, although at first glance it looks detached, this is actually a C20 semi-detached house, with a long narrow garden split in two by the drive to the property on its left. The rear section of garden backs onto the Coventry Canal. There is clear potential for a short mooring subject to CRT approval, but the garden is separated from the canal bank by two strips of land, the title of which would need to be checked. (Purple Bricks).

£275,000 auction guide price, Alley Thatch, 166a Main Street, Alrewas, DE13 7ED, detached thatched cottage, Trent and Mersey Canal, directly adjoining a small length of offside edge, but the willow tree and bridge may preclude mooring (John German Burton upon Trent).

£275,000 10 Lyne Court, Shobnall, Burton-On-Trent, DE14 2UB, detached C20 bungalow, with towpath of Trent and Mersey Canal to the side of the garden (Burchell Edwards).

£260,000 23 Cygnet Drive, Brownhills, WS8 6EA, end of terrace C21 house in cul-de-sac, canal views to front, on the offside of the Wyrley and Essington Canal, close to Royal Sutton Coldfield Canoe Club (Paul Carr).

£260,000 Outwoods Street, Burton-on-Trent, DE14, Trent and Mersey Canal (Purple Bricks).

£255,000 Bridgewater Road, Burton-on-Trent, detached C21 house, backing onto the Trent and Mersey Canal with a small strip (probably CRT owned) separating the garden from the canal bank. Close to Shobnall Marina. (Nicholas Humphreys).

£250,000 auction guide price, 23 Chandlers Keep, Brownhills, WS8 7EQ, detached C21 house canal to side, separated from Catshill Narrows stop lock by a fence, grass and trees, Daw End Branch near Catshill Junction (GOTO via Purple Bricks).

£245,000 103 Tamworth Road, Amington, B77 3BY, 1920-30s semi with a garden backing onto the offside edge of the Coventry Canal. Potential for a really tiny mooring! (Hunters).

£240,000 Joules Court, Crown Street, Stone, flat, patio with steps and gateway to the towpath of the Trent and Mersey Canal, no mooring (Tinsley Garner).

£227,500 Plot 115, Tolsons Mill, Lichfield Street, Fazeley, B78, mews house, views from living room and main bedroom over Birmingham and Fazeley Canal, no mooring (Bairstow Eves).

£227,500 Plot 117, Tolsons Mill, Lichfield Street, Fazeley, B78, mews house, views from living room and main bedroom over Birmingham and Fazeley Canal, no mooring (Bairstow Eves).

£200,000 Outwoods Street, Burton-on-Trent, Victorian semi, backs onto Trent and Mersey Canal, potential for a short boat mooring (John German).

£199,950 Roundhill Way, Brownhills, semi-detached C20 house with partial view of the Wyrley and Essington Canal to the front, no mooring (Keable Homes).

Lock House, Weston on Trent

£190,000 auction guide price, Weston Lock House, off Kings Mill Lane, Weston on Trent, Derbyshire, DE72 2BT, lock cottage with masses of potential, no mooring. This is a CRT sale via BidX1. I am not involved in this particular sale, but I am planning to run a webinar on buying at auction with my BidX1 partner Ian Bullimore. This will be help on Microsoft Teams at noon on 2nd Feb - watch this space for more details! (BidX1).

3 Fog Cottages Amington

£190,000 3 Fog Cottages, Moor Lane, Tamworth, B77 3AS, mid terraced railway cottage with a long garden leading down to the towpath of the Coventry Canal. It was built between 1884 and 1901. It is accessed by a footpath, so there are no passing cars, but bear in mind that this may affect mortgageability. No mooring. (Bairstow Eves).

£189,950 Waterside Court, Long Meadow Drive, Hinckley, flat, Ashby Canal, no mooring (Castle Estates).

£140,000 The Moorings, Stafford Street, Stone, retirement flat, Trent and Mersey Canal, no mooring (James Du Pavey).

£130,000 Swanside Court, Lindon Close, Brownhills, Walsall, WS8 6FD, leasehold flat with a canalside garden (with a very dark photo) overlooking the Wyrley and Essington Canal. No mention of canal views from the flat. No mooring. (Paul Carr).

£125,000 Lodgefield Park, Baswich, Stafford, ST17 0YE, leasehold residential park home for the over 55s. Views to the front down over the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal and over the countryside opposite. No mooring. (D B Roberts)

£90,000 Smiths Flour Mill, 71 Wolverhampton Street, WS2, flat, Walsall Canal, no mooring (Bairstow Eves).


The Small Print

This post includes all the canalside properties I can find in my West Midlands area, including apartments with a canal view. I publish these posts at least once a week between Monday and Friday. I mark fresh properties as NEW. Sold properties are removed from the list. If they come back on the market, I list them as NEW again. I don’t include estate agents’ photos because of copyright, but I hope to include more of my own photos in the future.

Please note that I am not selling most of these properties! My comments are based on estate agents’ details, perusal of google maps, historic OS maps, and title maps, and only occasionally a brief chat with the owner to ask permission to photograph their house. My comments must not be relied upon when making decisions to view or buy. You should always confirm all details with your solicitor and the relevant estate agent.