2020 was a tumultuous year for Hobbs Parker with our estate agency business up by 25% breaking all previous records.
Despite the gloomy start to 2021, with further lockdown measures introduced, I anticipate sustained activity in our housing market and perhaps the return of our seasonal trends as early as the spring.
Little changed over the Christmas holiday with consumer demand for many of our properties as high as ever with dozens of offers being received and negotiated in this first week back.
Even before the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the Stamp Duty Holiday in 2020 the housing market was buoyant as a result of the pent-up demand following Lockdown in the Spring of 2020 and as the year moved on, the Stamp Duty Holiday added fuel to the fire; the activity in the local property market was at an all time high for the remainder of 2020.
With the Estate Agency sector widely regarded as a catalyst for several other industries within the UK economy, the Chancellor’s fiscal policy to suspend Stamp Duty on the first £500,000 of a purchase proved inspired. However, the result has created a log jam of transactions and with the initiative due to end at the end of March, this now needs an urgent review.
Prediction for what we can expect in 2021 is arguably tougher than making my spaniel sit still for more than 5 minutes, but here goes!
New Year prediction 1
Rishi Sunak to unlock the log jam of sale transactions by modifying the end of the SDLT holiday (the treasury currently say this will not happen). A phased approach may be considered.
New Year prediction 2
Pent-up demand will again be a factor in the property market in 2021 with so many buyers delaying their moves until the pandemic is under greater control.
Like so much of last year, buyers can only dream of moving to a larger house or getting a bigger garden or a fantastic view at the moment.
The Race for Space is still on.
New Year prediction 3
Talk of a CGT increase in the March budget is about as regular each year as the sound of the first cuckoo.
But, why would the Treasury risk de-stabilising the housing market when the economy is in tatters? Hopefully this is Speculation v Reality and there will be no increase this year.
New Year prediction 4
The low cost of borrowing has proved vital to the housing market and, notwithstanding post-Brexit market forces, I predict interest rates will remain low and further mortgage products will become available to assist first time buyers.
New Year prediction 5
House prices in the South East increased by around 8% in 2020.
I predict that once the vaccination roll out has been completed we will experience further prices rises locally.
With speed of change that we are experiencing in the UK in these momentous times, perhaps I will be making a revised set of predictions in the spring.
We’ll see if I was right – watch this space!
If you are thinking of selling your own house now is a good time to start making plans.
Hobbs Parker offer a wide range of property related advice from preparing your home for sale through how to maximise value and the best possible timing. Our marketing valuations are free of charge.
Our advice is always given in the strictest confidence and without obligation. Some of our clients ask us to look out for suitable buyers without the glare of publicity which we can often arrange.
Why not ask one of our expert team of valuers to call in and see you, we are observing Government safety guidance.