Stock levels have continued to decline despite a bounce in listings, creating excess demand in all areas outside London.
The Sunday Times reported the titillating headline of a “Housing Market Frenzy” as more sales were agreed on March 23 than on any other day in the past ten years and that across the country, except in London, there is less than two and a half months’ worth of homes left to buy at current rates of sale. This data point sounds racy but isn’t: there are plenty of times stock levels are at ~90 days sales levels.
However the point being made is that despite new listings (green line) rising 30% in the last month to October 2020 levels, property coming off the market (sales and withdrawals: red line) is still higher, causing stock levels (blue line) to continue to fall.
Sales rates (chance a listing achieves a sale) hit 67% this week, so its not a slam dunk sellers achieve their desired sale, but the low and falling stock levels are a boon for sellers.
What does this all mean? Answer: if you were thinking of selling, get on with it: the time is good.
We have seen a high volume of exchanges this week with many buyers and sellers already lined up to meet the original stamp duty deadline of the 31st March. We have also seen a proportion of solicitors that have a high number of overseas clients under pressure this week, trying to get purchases exchanged and completed. Although the stamp duty holiday has been extended, the 2% surcharge for overseas buyers still came into force on the 1st April.
We are still seeing the effects of the extension of the holiday with many purchasers who are now looking to find a property that they can exchange and complete on by the end of June. If you are looking to take advantage of this saving you really need to have a property purchase agreed in the next few weeks and a good solicitor instructed who has the capacity to deal with your sale efficiently.
As for sellers wishing to take advantage of the current market, you need to get your property listed now. Make sure your photos and marketing material show your property in the best light and highlight any unique features that might attract more buyers. You want to stand out from your competition. We envisage a good few weeks of high activity both in terms of viewings and offers.
Give us a call if you want advice on the best agents for your property today and we can have you listed with them within a few days.
We hope you had a Happy Easter, have a great week.
The Movewise Team