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Midlands And Wales Ahead In Property Market


The Midlands is leading a rise in house sale asking prices which is happening across most regions in the UK. The latest index released by reveal the Midlands, including Shropshire to be rising three times faster than the national average.

The latest statistics confirm a positive market, as experienced by Balfours. Head of sales, Alistair Hilton says: “We experienced an exceptional end of year and as a result were forecasting that pace was set to continue through January and its pleasing to see our predictions endorsed by one of the national players.

“Nationally, asking prices have increased 0.8% month on month to February and 1.5% year on year, however year on year price growth in the West Midlands achieved 4.9% with Wales also reflecting strong annual growth of 4%,” he adds.

“I can’t believe we are nearly at the end of February, I’m pleased to report that exchanges are continuing to go through and vendor market appraisals have been exceptionally busy. Therefore we are now looking forward to delivering stock to market during March and April.

“We have an increasing number of buyers on our books - and as confirms - many buyers in the Midlands are willing and able to pay more to secure their future home, hence reflecting the Midlands prices rising three times faster than the national average,” he concludes.

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Spring 2018 Newsletter


The wait is over - please click here to read the Balfours Spring 2018 Newsletter.

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Walford House infinite opportunity


Walford House, Hodnet, received a very literal kiss of life 18 years ago, when David and Noreen Kiss took ownership. However it was ten years earlier that this Georgian Grade II listed property first cast its magnetic spell on the couple and their then young family of four boys.

For the past near two decades those who have visited, or travelled through, the village of Hodnet, will remember the glass plate window of its shop reveals a magical time warp – a Kiss of rocking horses, all sizes shapes and colours. While not of paddock proportions it is seriously sizeable and offers a second shop or store directly behind.

Now on the market with Balfours, in addition the ground floor provides a drawing room, kitchen with linked dining room, front, rear and side halls. Two staircases lead to the first floor where there are currently four bedrooms, a bathroom and shower room, plus a lounge which could be a master bedroom and a study. The second floor comprises of a further five bedrooms and a bathroom. Yes ten bedrooms in total, should one wish.

So with just four boys, what was the attraction? “It has lots of space, lots of rooms and it was utterly dilapidated, indeed declared unfit for human habitation – but we could see its warmth and need for tlc. We tried to buy the house in 1990, but the then owner pulled out of the sale, less than ten years later it it was declared a listed building at risk with the council ultimately making a compulsory purchase,” David recalls.

North Shropshire Council then put Walford House out to tender, the Kiss tender included their restoration intentions the ultimate use of the property and financing.  “I had taken a friend to see it, he couldn’t believe the state and said it was an impossible project. Undeterred David and Noreen won the tender.

There were few surprises during the restoration work, save an archaeologist appearing to excavate below the rotten shop floor boards – where a little blue jug was found. “Ironically he broke it, but it is now in Shrewsbury museum and I understand it was likely to be from a timber dwelling on the same site, because villages always started from a crossroads.

With roof, windows, plumbing and wiring among the restoration works the couple have retained much of the charm derived from this late Georgian property. Says agent, Duncan Scobie, of Balfours: “Sash and crittal windows and high ceilings aside are given features, together with oak flooring, plus original fireplaces. A fan shaped window crowns the large door, opening to the beautifully restored front staircase; but we wouldn’t expect less of a man whose craft is to resuscitate and bring new rocking horses into the world,” Duncan adds.

Today Noreen’s favourite room is the first floor living with Baby Grand – we acquired it from David’s Aunty because no one else within the family had a big enough room for it. I suspect it was also thanks to their sons’ affinity with music; music from which treasured memories have been cast with many family and friends gathering with guitars and of course the Baby Grand.

For David endearing features of Walford House are the space to roam in this undeniable large house, which is almost lost in time and that his outlooks are constant: “We look out on black and white village properties and the parish Church of St Luke, largely 14th century and with a unique octagonal tower,” he reflects, while admitting that life’s journey is now trotting on.

Beyond the infinite commercial potential for the new incumbents of Walford House, the village enjoys amenities including the renowned country Inn, The Bear, village shop and primary school. For some the proximity of two golf courses and restaurants at Hawkstone will be a major plus. And of course with the Hodnet bypass opened in 2003 the county towns of Shrewsbury and Chester are highly accessible as is the motorway north and to the Midlands. Balfours are marketing Walford House with a guide price of £595,000. For more information call Duncan Scobie on 01743 353511.

Please click here for further details.

Walford House Hodnet MAIN

Walford House Hodnet KITCHEN

Walford House Hodnet sitting

Walford House Hodnet SHOP

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Property Market Positive Price Growth


Figures released by a leading bank showing annual house price growth rising to 3.2 per cent has been welcomed by head of sales at Balfours.

Alistair Hilton reflects that Shropshire has enjoyed steady sustainable growth throughout the year and while Nationwide reported the rise from 2.6 per cent to 3.2 percent as unexpected he says even during the winter months property is moving very well.

“We saw a flurry of sales exchange during November and December and some pulled through to completion before the year end.” The acceleration in price growth comes despite mortgage approvals declining to their weakest level for three years in December, at just 61,000. There was also subdued mortgage activity in October and November, with few signs of an imminent pickup.

“At Balfours  I would agree with Nationwide’s chief economist, Robert Gardner, who says the flow of properties coming onto estate agents’ books has been very steady and the lack of supply is likely to be the key factor providing support to house prices.”

He adds: “Gardner believes the market’s performance in the year ahead will be determined mostly by the wider economy and the outcome of Brexit negotiations. That will have a bearing, but experience now tells us people want to move on with their lives and cannot wait for the long term outcomes of Brexit, which is much more positive than we had originally dared hope.


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January Sees High Demand For Residential Lets


Properties to let are in exceptionally high demand according to one of Shropshire’s leading agents.

Head of lettings at Balfours, Charlotte George MARLA, says: “Last month we agreed lets on three properties before even advertising them, such is demand. One property is a 4 bedroom detached property in Copthorne - let to a family known to us who are long term renters.

Another was a five bedroom detached farmhouse near Wroxeter – let to a family who had enquired about another property. As we knew their requirements we were able to recommend the farmhouse which was due to launch.

“We had a similar situation with another family who are relocating to the area but missed out on another property so we were able to recommend a 5/6 bedroom house in Rednal, near Oswestry which they loved and are very much looking forward to moving in to.”

Charlotte says both landlords and tenants are thrilled with the result and reflect the advantages of using professional agents who know their applicants; have an active database and who know, not only the properties on their books, but what is due to come on.

She adds: “It has been exceptionally busy for January and a trend which looks set to continue through February, suggesting that the spring letting market has come to life a little earlier than usual. In recent years we have seen a more fluid market, where people may own their own property and not necessarily want to sell it, but need to move locations for work or family reasons. Letting the owned property and renting somewhere to live is the answer and more people are enjoying the freedom this presents.”

“Without doubt presentation of the property is key. Landlords that go that extra mile to ensure fixtures, fittings and décor are fresh and in good working order, be it for a one bedroom maisonette or a period home will have no trouble in letting. Using an agent and ensuring the property is well presented, is quickly paid for by minimising the time a property is empty.” Speak to Charlotte with your letting queries on 01743 277069 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

farmhouse Wroxeter

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Local Representation Strong In Agricultural Valuers


Farmers and landowners in Shropshire and mid-Wales can be reassured that local land agents who are members of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) benefit from the inside track on policies and knowledge affecting land and rural issues.

Balfours associate partner, Andrew Liddiment, currently chairman of the Shropshire Montgomeryshire and District Agricultural Valuers Association says the organisation is considered by many to be the principal and most useful professional organisation for land agents. 

“The CAAV is at the front of the pack and an industry stakeholder on many matters affecting legislation and opportunities in agriculture and the countryside" he explains. "It provides a valuable lobbying force within Brussels, although the emphasis will gradually shift to a greater emphasis on Westminster, Cardiff and Edinburgh. As a result, it is an invaluable source of information to its membership.”

The Central Association is made up of 29 regional associations. Balfours is pleased to have a strong input, centrally with David Groves sitting on the national council, and locally, with Andrew Liddiment as Chairman and Richard Jones, the long standing secretary for some 100 members in Shropshire and Montgomeryshire. The immediate past chairman for Herefordshire and Worcestershire is Bryn Hill, who is based in Balfours Hereford office.

Andrew adds, “We are particularly proud to have a CAAV examiner within Balfours team, namely Justin Stevenson with Richard Jones-Perrott also being an examiner for the RICS Rural faculty. They are a great asset to our trainee land agents who truly appreciate the mentoring and experience they provide.

“Shropshire is also lucky to have the CAAV’s Senior Vice-President Geoff Coster BSc MRICS FAAV, based in the government’s Shrewsbury Valuation Office who shall shortly be elected president of the Central Association in 2019. As a result, the annual CAAV National Conference and AGM will be held in Shrewsbury in June 2019 (for the first time since 1987), which is a further indication of the high regard in which Shropshire and Montgomeryshire based agricultural valuers are held within the industry."



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