Housing Market January 2021
The View Homes View
Rightmove’s January House Price Index reports that asking prices for newly listed properties have fallen back slightly in the last month, although year-on-year prices have risen in the south east by 2.4%. Does the recent drop in asking price presage a slow down in the housing market?
The answer to that question is probably not – at least not through the first quarter of 2021. The recent monthly drop in asking price is most likely driven by the desire of sellers to attract buyers in before the end of the stamp duty holiday. However, with 600,000 plus sales agreed but still awaiting legal completion, it is unlikely that they will all complete in time (click this link for advice on beating the March 31st deadline), particularly given the impact of the current lockdown. Expect to see a significant number of renegotiations from buyers who had not budgeted for missing the deadline.
In terms of activity, the number of enquiries to estate agents from potential buyers is up by 12% on the same time last year (which itself enjoyed a post-election ‘Boris bounce’), and it would be wrong to think this is entirely driven by the Stamp Duty holiday.
Although the tax break has undoubtedly boosted the market, the newly reopened post-lockdown housing market in June was already on the up prior to the government announcing the measure. So, what else has been driving that growth in activity?
One effect of the pandemic and resulting lockdown restrictions has been to cause people to reassess their housing requirements. Features such as additional space to create a home office and a larger garden have become a priority for many movers, as has relocating from urban to suburban and rural areas to access more open space.
These changed priorities have been reinforced by two further lockdowns and a growing sense that some of the changes in the way we live and work may be permanent. The Stamp Duty holiday acted as a short-term incentive to support a housing market that had been closed; but it is the change in what many movers say they now need from a home that is likely to continue to fuel the market over the coming weeks and months. And unlike through the first lockdown, this time the housing market is open to service that demand.
Is it too late to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday?
With Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s generous gift to home buyers reaching its sell by date at the end of March, is there still time to move before the door closes?
The short answer is maybe, but only if you get all your ducks lined up quickly! In a typical market, a Zoopla analysis suggests 54% of sales agreed in January will complete before the end of March, which gives a better than even chance of beating the deadline.
However, with 30% more sales than average currently in the system, this is not a typical market! On the one hand there is an increased pressure on conveyancers from the additional volume of sales agreed, and on the other there is a willingness to push sales through quickly to help buyers beat the deadline. Property lawyers are close to breaking point with the volume of work, but if you act now there may still be time.
What can I do to improve the odds of beating the deadline?
Movers need to instruct an agent and conveyancer quickly. Don’t leave instructing a conveyancing lawyer until after your sale is agreed – instruct them immediately and make sure that you promptly complete and return the documentation they request. They can’t and won’t act without your signed authority.
It’s not just conveyancers who are snowed under, lenders are, too. If a mortgage is required, buyers n
eed to make sure they get an agreement in principle as soon as possible; you don’t need to have already found a property to buy. This should greatly assist in reducing the time taken to receive a formal mortgage offer when you do find a property. Don’t assume because you alread
y have a mortgage this isn’t necessary. Speaking to a mortgage advisor may help.
If you start now and stay one step ahead of the sales process from beginning to end, you still have a good chance of saving yourself up to £15,000. Thank you, Rishi!
ANCHORS AWAY! VIEW HOMES LAUNCHES IN A VERY WET UCKFIELD AND SUSSEX!
View Homes is delighted to announce the opening of Uckfield’s & Sussex’s newest Independent Estate Agent. That is estate agent speak for we are open!
Backed up by extensive experience with other agencies in Sussex & London, View Homes is a new family-run (we really do take our work home with us) agency with a focus on service, value and community. As well as working flat out to help local homeowners get the best price for their property, expect to see us taking an active role in supporting local events, charities and businesses.
We are always happy to help, so do please get in touch for general advice on anything property related, even if you are not currently planning to sell. Just drop in to see us at 166 High Street, Uckfield, opposite Pizza Express, and you will be greeted with a smile and the offer of a coffee from our new machine; if we ever work out how to use it! Alternatively give us a call, drop us an email or just check out our regular blog for some unvarnished, honest information and advice on buying and selling in today’s property market.
We know we are the new kid in town and that it takes time to build a presence and earn trust. Rest assured that through hard work, innovation and fiercely competitive pricing we will be striving to build that trust over the coming weeks and months.
With that in mind, we are offering no-tie-in deals for the rest of 2020. We sincerely believe you will not want to leave before we have sold your home, but with two weeks’ notice you are free to do so at any time. I will be blogging more on the pitfalls of estate agent contracts.