As this unprecedented year comes to an end, many are wondering what the NewYear will bring for the property market and what should we expect in 2021?
The first lockdown completely disrupted the property market as the whole industry ceased operations temporarily, however this time around the government made it clear the housing market was to remain open. Having already employed COVID-19-safe work practices as standard procedure, Seymours were able to smoothly continue providing our services – with some small adjustment.
Government guidance has specified that you can continue to buy, sell and move home regardless of what tier you are in. For Seymours branches there will be little change as we continue to employ safe distancing measures. Property viewings and valuations will continue, however, as before, we encourage virtual alternatives, wherever possible. Most of our operations can run remotely however, we will offer physical appointments as and when required.
From a legislative point of view, the key change from a letting’s perspective has been in regards to serving notice. From 29th August, we saw an extension from 3 months’ notice to 6 months’ notice however from 2nd December, there was a further change with evictions being paused until after 11th January 2021. There are some exceptions for extreme cases of rent arrears or antisocial behaviour.
Moving is still at the forefront of people’s minds. Lockdown did not stem our desire to move, quite the opposite. according to Google, searches for ‘properties for sale’ increased by 58% in November 2020 compared to 2019. Demand has remained robust, viewings and valuation figures have not dwindled and house prices have also continued to increase as shown by Nationwide’s House Price index with growth from 5.8% in October to 6.5% in November, which is the highest since June 2015.
The housing market will remain strong as we enter 2021. Even during the typically slower winter months, we anticipate there to be little slow down. The stamp duty holiday is driving demand but more so is our re-evaluation of what we are looking for from our homes. We saw this in the first lockdown with many reconsidering where and how they live – and the second lockdown looks to support this trend further. We expect a further surge in demand with a peak in early January as sellers and buyers make that last-ditch attempt to beat the stamp duty deadline and make that lifestyle change they have been dreaming of.
Don’t hesitate if you are thinking of selling. With an additional 100,000 sales in the pipeline (Zoopla), there will be an immense amount of pressure on all parts of the conveyancing process as March 31st looms ever closer. If you are considering selling, there is no time to delay. To give yourself the best chance of making stamp duty savings, pick up the phone or email your local Seymours branch today.