Since reopening in May, Britain’s property market is enjoying a post-lockdown “mini-boom”, pushing asking prices to record high, according to the property website Rightmove. This has been mainly fuelled by the Government’s recent announcement of cutting stamp duty until March 2021, but has also gathered momentum as Britain gets moving again; with year-on-year buyer inquiries up 75% in Britain since the start of July.
For the first time in a long time, the economy was put on pause as the Coronavirus pandemic made it too uncertain and unsafe to go shopping, go to work, or even see your family. Our usual everyday-routines had to completely change as some of us were furloughed, or had to work from home. Our kids couldn’t go to school and we didn’t have access to the luxuries e.g. restaurants, gyms, shops. This also led to the property market shutting down for a temporary basis, as it was simply too complicated and an impossible mission for people to buy, sell, view or even discuss a property with an estate agent – as well-being became the priority.
However, on May 13th, the Government gave the nation’s property market the go-ahead to resume all activity with social distancing guidelines securely in place. In the last two months, not only have estate agents, buyers and sellers had to adapt to this new, safe way of business, but the Stamp Duty Cut was introduced, too.
If you purchase a main property before 31st March 2021, you will not have to pay Stamp Duty if the property costs less than £500,000. Properties costing more than this price will pay the Stamp Duty rate based on the value of the property.
With homes throughout Britain finally able to come on the market again, a number of estate agents have reported that buyer inquiries are “through the roof”. According to Rightmove, 44% of new listings that came on the market in May have already been marked as sale agreed, compared to 34% for the equivalent dates last year.
Latest figures show that the average price of a property coming on to the market in Britain reached £320,265 this month. This has pushed a record high in figures since Rightmove started its reports in 2001. This was up 2.4% or more than £7,000, on the previous record of £312,625 reported in March, just before the housing market was put on hold.
These statistics, therefore, prove that the £3.8bn stamp duty cut unveiled to amplify the surge for buyers, came into immediate effect successfully.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove’s director and housing market analyst comments: “The busy until interrupted spring market has now picked up where it left off and has been accelerated by both time-limited stamp duty holidays and by homeowners reappraising their homes and lifestyles because of the lockdown. The strength of buyer demand has contributed to record prices, with the 3.7% annual rate of increase being the highest for over three and a half years. These figures are the earliest indicator of house price trends. They show on average prices gently rising not falling, and this will be reflected in the coming months…”
So, is now the perfect time to move home?
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