The government’s decision to extend both the stamp duty holiday and the furlough scheme, as well as their new guarantee for high loan-to-value mortgages, have played their part in reducing uncertainty and boosting confidence.
Add to that the easing of lockdown, world-class rollout of the vaccine, impressive business growth, the traditionally busy spring market, particularly this year with its pent-up demand, and we have a recipe for one of the strongest seller’s markets in recent memory. According to the Acadata House Price Index the average price in England and Wales now stands at £339,160 – a rise of 9.8% on the same time last year. This is the highest rate of growth for over six years, and provides us with a real sense of how the housing market is significantly outperforming the wider economy. That’s great for property investors.
According to Rightmove, buyer demand last month was up 34% on the same time last year, and according to Zoopla supply levels of properties for sale are down 13%. This imbalance is at a ten-year high.
So it’s competitive out there. If you’re looking to buy, it’s critically important that you can demonstrate that you are in a proceedable position. You must have your mortgage agreed in principle, - they’re not easy at the moment. You must also have your own property either sold or under offer, and you must accept that you may need to be flexible on both timing and price.
If you’re selling, then you’re in a strong position, and yes, you may well secure an impressive figure, even ahead of your asking price in some instances. (That happens about 11% of the time (source Propertymark). But do be careful how you pitch your price. Please do speak to us before plucking an impressive figure out of the air, as that often leads to disappointment. There is more to this than meets the eye. We CAN help you maximise your price but there’s a bit of science behind it, a bit of psychology, as well as our local, specialist expertise. In fact, we may already have the right buyer for your home, and they might pay a premium for advance access to it.
Some people tell us that they are reluctant to put their own property on the market because they feel they might not be able to find anything suitable to buy. That’s understandable. But so often, during times like this, many sales are agreed “off-market” - to pre-qualified buyers before the property even hits the portals. So we say, “have a little faith” – there’s more out there than you might expect, but you may not be offered it until you yourself are in a strong position to buy. So take the plunge and enjoy this seller’s market while you can.