Strong national demand for residential property during second lockdown, as new sellers and buyers take advantage before the March 2021 stamp duty deadline.

Rightmove - SE Region - Nov 2020Figures released by Rightmove and other price-index providers show that property market performance, pretty much across the whole country, has remained very strong since the end of the first lockdown in May. This has continued into the current second lockdown period, with a steady rise in prices across most parts of the country. Buyers are clearly being incentivised by the Government’s stamp duty holiday and this is also being supported by a general surge in home owners looking for lifestyle changes.

The latest figures for November show that national sales prices dipped slightly in the month, but only by 0.5%. Looking at the overall ‘year on year’ position, the picture is extremely positive with October and November’s numbers reporting that sales agreed nationally are up by 50% and prices are set to end the year, up 6% over 2019.

Encouragingly, our area in this part of Hampshire, is seeing property sales outperforming the national picture, with very healthy numbers of both new instructions to market and extremely keen buyers. This is reflective of the general trend in the Southeast region which reports sales up by a staggering 69% and year-to-date prices, to November, being up by 5.7%. The region is also benefitting from a great deal of interest with buyers looking to move to a more rural location from London and the suburbs.

Charlie Barr, Homes Estate Agents’ joint managing director says “It’s been quite an extraordinary market following lockdown earlier in the year and we’ve not seen any real easing in the appetites of both sellers and buyers to get deals done. However, it’s worth noting that, unquestionably, the strongest sector of the local market has been in the £500K to £1M price bracket. This is clearly where the greatest stamp duty savings are to be had and with upsizing and downsizing activity both being buoyant. We’ve seen some pressure in the lower price brackets, particularly with first-time buyers, where the mortgage lending criteria has tightened and, in most instances, requires larger deposits than many can afford. Additionally, the stamp duty savings in this bracket are not quite so compelling – hence properties up to around £300K, are not seeing the same very high levels of demand as those above them. Nevertheless, sales agreed in the first-time buyer price bracket are still up by nearly 20% year-on-year.

He concluded, “As we approach the Christmas period and move into the New Year, the market will undoubtedly be influenced by the anticipated easing of the Covid crisis. Hopefully, with the current lockdown measures having a positive effect and a spate of expected new vaccines becoming available shortly, we may just see our world get back to some semblance of a calmer normality, although I suspect this will be a ‘new norm’ and not necessarily as it was. Nonetheless, the outlook for the property market is good and we anticipate supply and demand remaining strong through 2021, despite the ending of the stamp duty holiday in March.”