Property Market Update September 2020

What a busy summer! As predicted, the market didn’t slow as usual in the summer months, but was busier than it has been for years.

Companies are now confirming long term home working options, allowing people to commit to moving away from cities to more spacious properties in the country. This is compounded by the desire for more living space to accommodate extra time spent at home.

Added to this, the stamp duty holiday has encouraged more movement, especially from first time buyers who have benefited most from this cost saving, driving activity further up the chain.

Consequently house prices have increased over the summer months to their highest ever level. This is with the exception of London, which is seeing an exodus of people wanting to swap their two bed flats for five bed houses with gardens out of town.

Buyers now want at least one, if not two home offices in dedicated rooms to allow for quiet, confidential Zoom calls. Garden offices and annexes are proving incredibly popular.

Multiple reception rooms are a must. Large open plan kitchen/dining/living areas are as popular as ever, where additional living rooms are available, allowing parents and children to have separate rooms to relax and socialise in. This along with good sized gardens for recreation.

Village locations are proving very popular, allowing for country walks with social distancing.

There are understandable murmurs of concern about what may happen to the property market after October, when the government furlough scheme ends. However, data recently published by ING shows that those in the financial bracket for likely home ownership have been less affected by furlough. Furthermore, it is expected the exodus from cities will continue, and demand dictates prices.

Rather than panic buying as seen in the early 2000s, we’re now seeing mindful buying. Instead of a focus on financial gain from moving house, home movers are looking for a 10 to 20 year home. Added to this, lenders are more cautious now, and subject to affordability checks to avoid people over-stretching themselves as they did before the price crash just over 10 years ago. This approach from buyers and lenders is more sustainable, so rather than seeing a big crash it is expected we may see just a small 2-3% correction, equivalent to just £20,000 to £30,000 on a £1m home.

If you’re considering moving, please do get in touch, we’re happy to advise you on the best way forward for you in line with your current requirements.

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