I’m an agent – No need to get me out of here!
With two major news stories within hours of each other that are likely to have a positive effect on the UK housing market: the US election result, and the discovery of a Covid-19 vaccine.
We know that stability and confidence underpin so much in the economy – jobs, inflation, interest rates, mortgage approvals, the stock market, general investment, pensions and of course property transaction volumes and house prices. Increased certainty generates the confidence on which so much hangs.
However, although the end of the pandemic is now within sight, it won’t be instant, with continued local lockdowns likely until the whole country is immunised during the latter part of next year. Although the economy rose by 15.5% from July to September, we are by no means out of the woods in terms of redundancies, with unemployment 26% higher than it was this time last year. The extended furlough scheme might help, but people are still unlikely to move house until they have certainty that their future is secure.
Having said that, there is a possibility that the LTT (Stamp Duty) concession, due to expire in March next year, could possibly be extended to counter this. We don’t have any inside knowledge on this, but it has been mooted.
Either way, demand for property remains. According to the Halifax, house prices in the UK have risen by 7.5% in the past year to a record £250,547. This is likely to be a more accurate reflection of sentiment than the Land Registry’s reported figures which always lag the market by 2-3 months.
So we can expect to see a slowing down in the rate of growth. That 7.5% is simply not sustainable and in fact last month’s rate was just 0.3% compared to 1.5% in September. Don’t worry though - this is simply a balancing out of this year’s post-lockdown pent up demand.
We imagine we’ll continue to see modest growth, which, all things considered, would be pretty remarkable, proving once again how robust the housing market is as an investment.
With this rather mixed bag of variables our advice to our sellers right now is “sure – be ambitious, take advantage of the demand, but think carefully before turning down a serious offer from a well-qualified buyer – you won’t want to be stuck on the market over the winter.”
Locally in Anglesey and Gwynedd average sale price varies across our offices producing an average of £220,502 on sale agreed properties in the month (Which varied between the offices from a low average of £91,750 to a high office average price of £277,734). Great also to see local first time buyers taking a good share of properties being bought.
Our recent online auction was again another 100% success rate and whilst interest had been expressed from buyers locally and further afield all lots were eventually sold to local investors. Perhaps this could be one side-effect of the pandemic – people choosing to invest in property – locally?
Selling time from sale agreed to exchange is now averaging around 91 days and this highlights the importance of using a professional agent to manage the transaction through from finding the buyer to a successful completion. Our fall through rate remains well below the 30% or so industry average at 7.5%.
On the residential Lettings front average rents have now risen to £672 per month in October in our area (compared to a Welsh average of £662). Tenant demand remains positive with typically several applicants interested in quality accommodation in good locations – interestingly with off road parking or garage becoming a popular request.
So, despite everything going on (or not at times!) your home remains your castle and naturally in our view a sound investment. It’s a role we all love here at Williams & Goodwin – helping people find their home and for now, we enjoy that so much – we are not celebrities and we’ve no plans to get out of here - just looking forward to the future and looking forward to looking back at 2020.
If you’d like any advice as to how the current climate could affect your moving or investment plans, please don’t hesitate to contact your local office listed below for a free “virtual” or “physical” overview, with a smile and no obligation, no paperwork, no fuss in a safe manner.
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