With 2021 now upon us and two months into a third national lockdown we thought it would be helpful to provide an update on the impact on the local property market.
As an industry we were allowed to remain open, albeit with strict guidance in place to keep our clients, communities and staff safe. This has afforded us the time to ensure that those clients who had begun the sale process prior to lock-down could continue to do so. Unlike the first lock-down, where all activity had to stop, this time we are able focus our efforts on progressing sales through to a successful completion. For those clients who were hoping to capitalise on the Stamp Duty Holiday, this was very reassuring.
What has taken us by surprise in January was the level of new activity. We were greatly encouraged when we agreed more sales than we did in the same time last year. Whilst we didn’t see the same number of new listings coming to market (nor did we ever think we would), what we did experience was those who were still actively looking were keen to purchase a property and did exactly that! Our viewings to offer ratio was down by a third.
So, what do we think this latest lock-down will do to local property prices?
After the first lock-down we experienced exceptional levels of demand. This was brought about by the changing mind-set of buyers, as they looked to reassess their current living situation which was accelerated further when the Chancellor announced a Stamp Duty holiday. For the first time in many years we were greeted with increasing stock levels but also an ever increasing number of buyers.
As we progress towards spring we anticipate the market continuing to perform well. Zoopla recently reported that buyer appetite continues to gather pace. However, the ongoing pandemic situation has for now stifled new homes coming to market. Buyers and sellers tend to reassess their current situation whilst cooped up at home and with another period of prolonged lock-down we anticipate a surge in new homes coming to market once the restrictions start to loosen. There is also an established trend whereby people are looking to permanently work from home. This will continue to be a powerful driver in the property market as the migration from London and the suburbs continues.
We continue to work hard to ensure the safety of our communities and hope that with the spring and an easing of lockdown we will see a subsequent increase in activity. This will lead to what may well prove to be another strong year for property and is likely to outweigh any economic headwinds that some commentators suggest may dampen prices.
If you would like some honest, practical advice regarding a future move, we would be delight to assist. Please just contact your nearest branch.