Analysis of Warminster Property Market
By wp_alistair | Friday, June 29, 2012, 12:13
The Warminster property market remains "steady" according to anecdotal evidence from both the agents and the general public, with relatively little movement in prices or demand.
Manor House for Sale in Stockton, Wylye Valley for just £7.5m (findaproperty.com)
Warminster has always been an appealing place to live, strategically placed within an hour of Bristol and Southampton, and less than 2 hours from both London and Devon. With great road and rail links, logistically it is an easy place to get to, and therefore it is also easy to get to anywhere from Warminster.
Whilst no-one will deny that Warminster, like any market town in a recession, has its' problems - including economic and anti-social - the general feeling is that it is a town which has greatly improved compared to ten years ago, and has become a more appealing place to bring up children.
As a friend of mine once said, upon learning that we were moving back to Warminster in our thirties, "Warminster is a great place to grow up as a child, and it is a great place to bring up children - the only stick patch is in your teens and early twenties when you think it is boring and in the middle of nowhere!"
It combines the shops and services of a busy town, with the convenience of having on the doorstep some of the most beautiful countryside and river valleys, the vast expanse of the Salisbury Plain, the Mendips within easy reachh and within an hour (with a good wind) you can be at the coast having fish and chips.
Whereas people might argue that parts of Warminster are not that attractive and not that wealthy, the survival of Warminster as a town can be laid in part thanks to the wealth of the surrounding satellite villages, of which Warminster has many: Heytesbury, Upton Lovell, Codford, Stockton, Boyton, Sutton Veny, Upton Scudamore, Crockerton, Corsley, Chapmanslade.
The nature of the army barracks in Warminster - with a disproportionately high number of senior-ranking officers - means that whilst they are posted here they and their familes spend a lot of their disposable income in the town on shops and services. Later, when they come to retire, many army officers come back to this edge of Salisbury Plain and buy a property, usually in one of the villages or on the outskirts of town, and continue to spend in their dotage thanks to reasonable military pensions.
This wealth in the villages is in part why Warminster has been able to attract a premium brand such as Waitrose, part of the John Lewis Group to Warminster.
According to a local property agent I spoke to recently, property prices never really shot up in Warminster during the mid 2000s - so they haven't had so far to correct in the credit crunch. He felt that property in the area has both held its' value and at the same time is attractive to people moving from outside the area.
Depending upon which property site you look at, the average asking price of a house in the Warminster area is around £195k to £210k, which is down just 2.1% from last year and 9.5% compared to 5 years ago, according to Zoopla.
The average time on market has inevitably lengthened thanks to the recession and the banks not lending mortgages as easily as they used to, with the average time on market at around 130 days according to home.co.uk.
As we go to press with this article there are some 187 properties for sale in the Warminster (plus 2 miles) area according to website statistics, which is a fair amount of property to choose from. There is a continued strong demand for prestige property in the £500k-plus bracket, relatively unscathed by the recession.