16 May 2021
The average price of a UK home has risen +10.6% since February 2020, before the first UK lockdown (March 23). Whilst the stamp duty holiday and extension of it has been widely noted in the press, Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist noted two significant factors that we feel may continue to support house price growth. The first is the low stock level of property available for sale (see our note May 9th, “Houses in short supply”). The second is a shift in housing preference:
“25% of homeowners surveyed said they were either in the process of moving or considering a move as a result of the pandemic, only modestly below the 28% recorded in September last year. Given that only around 5% of the housing stock typically changes hands in a given year, it only requires a relatively small proportion of people to follow through on this to have a material impact.”
The relative strength of your local property market is differentiated by property type and also location with some areas, particularly the areas popular before the pandemic, experiencing less of this buoyancy.
However, this abnormally heightened demand for people to move property, coupled with abnormally low stock levels, suggests that this market is likely to remain a sellers market for some time.
This week, as we approach the stamp duty holiday deadline, we have noticed the volume of properties exchanging has significantly increased. Solicitors and lenders are under pressure to be in a position to complete with some requesting mortgage funds a number of days in advance of completion in order to avoid the potential risk of the release of funds being delayed due to sheer volume.
The knock on effect to removals companies has also been noticed with many showing very little availability towards the end of June.
If you are selling a property which is currently under offer and the expectation is to complete before the stamp duty holiday comes to a close, agree a completion date with your purchasers as soon as possible. Ideally exchange contracts in the knowledge that you have everything in place to facilitate a smooth move.
With the number of listings in some areas appearing to flatten slightly, some of those properties that have been on the market for some time are now beginning to see interest and generate offers as the demand/supply starts to level out.
With buyers ready to commit quickly to the right property, some new listings are going under offer in a matter of days of coming onto the market. If you are looking to list your property for sale be prepared to make some quick decisions. The most proactive buyers will be the first through your door.
Have a great week.
The Movewise Team