We’re on the move again

12/08/2020
We’re on the move again

The mini-boom sparked by pent-up demand and the stamp duty holiday continues apace. Prices have now risen by 2.4% from their pre-corona levels, buyer enquiries have increased by an astonishing 75% since the start of July – and the number of agreed sales were 15% higher than they were this time last year.

Lockdown aside, supply had been lagging behind demand for some time now but here too there are signs of improvement, with the number of houses coming onto the market 11% higher than they were in July 2019. All this activity is not just wishful thinking, it’s resulting in increased sales – 40,741 (44%) of the 92,085 properties that were listed in the first month after the market reopened have already found a buyer. That’s compared to 34% for the same time period last year. And, within four days of the stamp duty announcement, there was a 35% jump in the number of agreed sales (stats from Rightmove).

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst advises anyone wishing to take advantage of the current benign conditions that:

”Although March next year may sound like a long time away, in reality sellers need to find a buyer before Christmas, to allow a further three months for completion of the legal process to beat the deadline.”

He also cautions,

“While property is selling much faster than a year ago, it’s important not to over-price and miss this window. It’s still a price sensitive market with buyers having limits on what they are able to borrow, and the uncertain economic outlook making them more cautious.”

Asking price rises are varying quite markedly between the regions. The biggest monthly jump was in Scotland, at 4.5%. Next was Yorks. & Humber at 4.1% and, despite all the publicity about how we all want to move to the south coast, the South West was somewhere in the middle at 2.3%. London saw the smallest increase, at 0.5%. However, according to another property portal, Zoopla, sales volumes were up by 27%, as the Capital’s already high prices meant it’s one of the main beneficiaries of the stamp duty holiday.

Many first-time-buyers, though, are currently being frustrated by the lack of mortgages available to those with smaller deposits and many lenders are raising the price of the few remaining deals.

Categories: Property Finance Services