When Covid-19 first hit the UK, the property market ground to a halt with many expected purchasers and sellers opting to take a cautious approach. However, the most recent national house price indices show the sector is recovering quickly.
The latest figures have shown UK property listings are on the rise and have climbed back to their pre-lockdown figures of around 5,000 to 6,000 new instructions a day and these numbers are predicted to continue to increase.
The benefits of moving now
One of the most attractive reasons to buy a property now is due to the Government imposing a Stamp Duty holiday from July 2020 in a bid to help the economy recover from the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. Normally, anyone in England and Northern Ireland usually pays Stamp Duty Land Tax on purchases above £125,000. The current Stamp Duty holiday applies to any home up to £500,000, as long as the transaction is completed by 31st March 2021. This means that anyone buying a property for £500,000 or less before March could save up to £15,000. Even those purchasing a property for £501,000 or above can benefit from reduced rates.
This is great news for first-time buyers, but those with homes to sell need to act quickly to get their house deal done before the deadline, as the average house sale is currently taking 12 – 14 weeks to complete.
What impact is the Stamp Duty holiday having on the local housing market?
UK property listings are on the rise and this is in no small part due to the Stamp Duty holiday. According to property portal RightMove.co.uk, between 8th July and 31st August one in seven properties were marked as ‘sale agreed’ by agents within a week of being listed on the site – up from one in ten in 2019!
We are finding the same trend here in Northamptonshire too, with properties selling within nine days of being marketed. As well as the stamp duty holiday, we think this is in part, due to the quality of our marketing, with professional photography and floor plans on all properties and an active database of serious buyers.
The most popular homes on the market currently are three and four-bedroom homes, as in many cases, people are choosing to move to roomier homes that provide space to work from home or gardens – both of which became necessities during lockdown. Big homes in the countryside are selling the quickest and four to five-bedroom homes are selling 33% faster than in 2019.
Even the traditional August slowdown of the market almost vanished this year. We have seen a 53% increase in agreed sales year on year and almost the same figure again in new instructions.
With demand continuing to run ahead of supply, the annual house price growth of 2.5% has been sustained. Industry experts are predicting market conditions will remain stronger than 2019 for the rest of 2020, with house prices up between two and three percentage points by Christmas.
Make sure you don’t miss the Stamp Duty holiday deadline
To ensure your house sale is completed by the 31st March 2021 deadline, make sure you prepare your house for the market now. Clean and declutter your home and invite an estate agent over to carry out a free valuation to get the ball rolling. The estate agent will also be able to advise you of how long the average house sale is taking in your area.
With more than 60 years of local property experience and knowledge between them, our team knows that #propertyispersonal. For advice on selling your property, or to arrange a free valuation, contact the team at Belvoir Corby on 01536 261666.