You're probably wondering whether you should delay your home move and property plans...
We’d like to start by saying that the latest official guidance states that you are still able to move home, as long as you follow strict safety guidelines. This may change in the coming weeks, but for now, the market remains open. Our Managing Director, Toby Phillips, explained that:
“The property market has been incredibly busy since it re-opened in the middle of 2020, and this increased demand shows no signs of slowing down. We’ve already seen a very positive start to 2021, with increased demand, high house prices, and more buyers coming to market. I would urge anyone looking to sell a property not to delay. Let’s make sure we work together and follow the latest Government advice so everyone can continue to move safely.”
This new chapter brings with it many opportunities for those of you thinking of moving. We look at why it’s still a great time to buy and sell your property and why there’s no need to delay your plans.
1. Buying and selling a property is not restricted by lockdown
Despite the re-closure of non-essential shops, schools and businesses, property transactions are very much still permitted by the Government. Solicitors and estate agents are waiting to help with moves and the current property market offers many opportunities. Whether you’re buying for the first time or the 50th, now is a great time to do it.
2. House prices are up from last year
If you’re concerned that the value of your property may have suffered recently, you needn’t worry. Despite the chaotic events of the last year, the housing market has remained solid throughout. According to The Land Registry, the average property in the UK has increased in value by 5.4% in the last 12 months, whilst Nationwide has reported a 7.3% annual rise in house prices, based on its own mortgage lending*. This trend looks set to slow initially, but many experts predict a continued climb in property prices into 2021.
3. Sale times are down
It would be fair to assume at the moment that selling your home could become a drawn-out affair but, actually, the opposite is true. Our agents have found that sale times are down and the latest statistics from Rightmove confirm this; “the average time to agree a sale was just 52 days in November, compared to 67 days a year earlier.”*
4. Demand is high
Whether it’s a move from the city to a country home or a move to a bigger place with a home office, people are continuing to search for and buy new properties. Recent data from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) shows 115,190 property sales were completed during November 2020 - an increase of 19% compared to the previous year*. Demand is high.
5. In-person and Virtual Viewings
If you’re concerned about how viewings will work and whether they’re safe, rest assured that our team is here to ensure that they are completed in line with strict and safe Government guidelines. We can now offer virtual viewings which are a safe and convenient way to showcase your home to prospective buyers.
Our agents can still arrange and attend in-person house viewings and buyers are able to move without any delays once a sale is completed.
For more information read our Covid-19 policy.
6. Great mortgage deals available
You don’t have to look far to find a great mortgage deal. Even though the number of mortgage deals available has fallen, rates for borrowing are lower than they were a year ago and there are many banks still offering competitive rates, particularly if you have a large deposit.
Boris Johnson has recently stated his support for the relaunch of 95% Loan-to-Value mortgages in order to help more first time buyers join the ladder, so expect to see this kind of offer available to buyers soon.
7. Possible Stamp Duty holiday extension
Looking to make the most of the tax savings from the Stamp Duty Holiday? You’d be cutting it fine if you’re looking to buy before 31st March deadline, but there have been calls throughout the industry to extend the policy - particularly as new lockdown measures increase pressure on the industry. The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is likely to make an announcement on this issue in the coming weeks, so watch this space.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact your local branch for more information.