Hello Everyone and Happy New year!

What should we watch out for as we go into 2021?

In this quick update, I just wanted to summarise a few things;

  • What has happened in the property market this year?
  • What we think might happen to the property market next year?
  • What to do if you’re still trying to benefit from the stamp duty holiday?
  • Why the next three months are going to be the best time to buy or sell a property?
  • Can we still view and value properties?

As we have now come back into the office with our bellies full of Christmas dinner you would expect us to be pretty quiet between Christmas and New Year. I noticed today as I left the office to get a sandwich that all of the other Estate Agents were closed.

Which I thought was very strange – have we all assumed that the market is going to go really quiet over the Christmas period?

In the three days we were away from the office (24th-27th December) we booked in 37 viewings which have already left us with two properties under offer (as of 5pm 29th December).

So as we entered another busy period of the market after Christmas, I wanted to write a quick ‘Diary Entry’, if you like, to give you an insight into what I think will happen in the local property market as we enter 2021.

Despite 2020 being, arguably, the worst year for the majority in recent memory, actually for the property industry including buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords – it has been quite a busy and productive year. But will it continue into 2021?

I have experienced very mixed opinions on this. However, despite Mr Sunak’s resistance to extend the stamp duty holiday beyond the 31st March there are still other factors that will affect the Property Market in 2021.

At Campbells the housing market is very busy, both in the sales and rental departments.

The average price for a property in the UK went from £217,500 in June to £222,900 in November – which is quite a big increase over just a few months.

Zoopla has also stated that there has been a 40% increase in demand for property in 2020 compared to 2019.

It has slowed a little over the Christmas break compared to how it was in the summer but we are still currently sitting at a 33% higher demand than this time last year.

According to Zoopla also, the average time to receive an offer in the UK at the moment is 14 Days which is down by 20.4% from last year.

 

So what is going to happen next in 2021?

 

Based on Zoopla’s predictions in their latest House Price Index, it has been suggested property prices will continue to increase in 2021 albeit at a lower rate compared to 2020.

In other words, it appears we have now ‘passed the peak’ at least for the next 12 months in terms of house price increases – which is a great sign for property buyers. It also sends a signal to property owners looking to sell that maybe now is the right time to get your property on the market – certainly if you are looking to sell in the foreseeable future.

To put it into figures, house price growth is forecasted to hit a 4% increase at the end of 2020 but will slow to an increase of just 1% by the end of 2021.

There is no denying that the Stamp Duty Holiday has had an effect on the increase in demand for properties however an interesting statistic from Zoopla after a recent survey found that 44% of people looking to move were not influenced by the stamp duty holiday however remain focused to move for relocation purposes or looking for more space.

We’ve had a mixed reaction on what the industry thinks will happen next however the majority of professionals in the industry seem to think the housing market is going to have a strong start in 2021.

 

“But everyone will lose interest after the stamp duty holiday ends!”

 

I have heard this phrase a lot over the last few weeks but when you look at the wider picture, the stamp duty holiday coming to an end is unlikely to effect the level of demand currently in the housing market – and there are a few reasons for this…

First of all, we have managed to work through a 40% increase in buyer demand this year during a worldwide pandemic which is pretty crazy when you think about it.

We have also managed to work through a 40% increase with less borrowing ability from mortgage lenders, for the last 9 months. Buyers who rely mortgages have been unable to purchase with a mortgage unless they have had a 15% or higher deposit.

That is a large part of the market who have not been able to buyer for the last nine months leaving us with a large pool of buyers (mainly first time buyers) who are ready to crack on with a new home purchase. It has been rumoured that the lenders are going to start opening the doors to more 90% mortgages in the new year which is good news for excited buyers saving like mad.

As any fellow agent will tell you, if the lower end of the market is moving with first time buyers then the upper end of the market tends to follow soon after. Not that the upper end of the market needs any assistance at the moment as the properties we have put on the market above £500,000 seem to be selling faster than anything else and I believe this will continue into 2021 too. Since Boxing day the buyer enquiries keep coming and coming.

It also appears that the need to move is beyond the benefit of the Stamp Duty – don’t forget people still need to move because of work, family and change of lifestyle. Not to mention all the people escaping the cities to live in our beautiful part of the world – right in the middle of our ‘heart of the shires.’

 

You may still be able to benefit from the Stamp Duty Holiday

 

Don’t forget, if you began your property transaction in November, you still have (according to Dataloft and Zoopla) a 90% chance of your property transaction completing before the end of the stamp duty holiday, this reduces to 80% if you agreed your sale or purchase in December. However what is really interesting is if you sell or buy a house (i.e. begin a transaction) in January – you still have a 50% chance of it completing before the end of the stamp duty holiday (31st March).

Property Conveyancers / Solicitors have had an opportunity to re-charge their batteries over Christmas and pro-actively catch-up after what has arguably been the busiest period in history.

Remember, your solicitor still has nearly three months to complete on your transaction. So if you have a good solicitor and you follow the advice given by your agent (who is hopefully assisting to get it through quickly) AND you are doing everything by the book and on time – then there is no reason why you still can’t benefit from the stamp duty holiday.

I cannot stress enough how important it is that you use the right solicitor at the moment – I had one client recently who instructed a solicitor and was told it would take 8 weeks for the file to be opened – please do not accept this kind of behaviour and find another one. Just ask one of our team if you struggle.

 

What about the virus?

 

The safety of our team and our customers is priority. According to government guidance, you can still view properties and you we can still come round and value your property if you are looking to come on the market.

All we ask at Campbells is that you are serious about your intentions so we keep our customer face to face appointments to the very minimum.

Our property market is a key driver in the UK economy and we have been asked to keep it moving but, in our opinion, as safely as possible.

If you are nervous about the virus but still want to discuss your options then we are more than happy to have a video call with you. The same applies for viewings – we’re more than happy to do virtual viewings.

We will continue to follow government guidelines, we will remain open but entering our offices will be by appointment only.

Whether you are currently going through a property buying/selling journey at the moment or about to begin then feel free to give me or any of our team a call.

Always here to help – we’re a friendly approachable team, passionate about property.

The best telephone number to call is 01327 878926, you can chat online at campbell-online.co.uk, you can make an appointment online by clicking here or send an email to mail@campbell-online.co.uk.

Happy New Year and we look forward to serving you in 2021!

Jamie x