2020 was a difficult year for many of us, and the housing market experienced many ups and downs.
In spring, there was a six-week period where the market was all but shut down. Of course, when the market re-opened in May, the level of built-up demand ensured the housing market was extremely busy.
At this point, many industry experts predicted there would be a slowdown. However, the stamp duty holiday invigorated the market, and the year ended in a strong manner.
Some industry experts believe the first few months of 2021 will continue in the same manner when it comes to the housing market. However, looking long-term, it is natural that there are some concerns as to how the market will fare.
Rightmove predicts a 4% average house price growth in 2021 across the UK. The leading property portals states that in December 2020, sales were 53% higher than they were in December 2019. This is the case, even though many deals taking place at the time will not conclude before the stamp duty holiday ends.
Tim Bannister is the Rightmove’s Director of Property Data, and he said; “Our 2021 forecast of a 4.0 per cent price rise is more conservative than the unsustainable 6.6 per cent national average seen this year. There’s likely to be a lull in quarter two unless the stamp duty holiday is extended, but for many buyers its removal will not be make or break, though may lead them to reduce their offers to a degree to compensate for the higher tax, and indeed many sellers may be prepared to help to mitigate their buyer’s financial loss.”
Tim Bannister continued by saying; “First-time buyers will remain largely exempt, so in most cases will be no worse off. The maximum savings of £2,450 in Wales or £2,100 in Scotland are considerably less decisive than the £15,000 available in England for a house costing £500,000 or more, which does however only apply to a small part of the market.”
In November 2020, Rightmove said there were 650,000 sales agreed and in the pipeline. In December 2020, Rightmove states that there were still 650,000 sales agreed, and in the pipeline.
While the property portal believes there were around 130,000 completed or abandoned deals in this time, there was an additional 130,000 sales added. Therefore, moving one month closer to the deadline, there was no fall in the number of sales in the pipeline.
Rightmove expects the second quarter of 2021 will be slower. However, there is hope that affordable mortgage rates will allow for modest price growth.
“Pandemic-related uncertainties have been around for nearly a year, and Brexit uncertainties for far longer, and record activity month after month has proved that movers are willing and able to act on their new or existing housing priorities” says Rightmove.
We know these are challenging times for the property and rental market. At Love Your Home, we are keen to maintain a high standard of service for all our clients. As well as helping people now, we will review the changes likely to occur in the market. If you are looking to stay informed, rely on Love Your Home.