It is fair to say the end of year activity for the housing market was frantic. With the stamp duty holiday deadline looming, many people were keen to buy property before the end of the year, in the hope of enjoying the significant saving on offer.
At Williams of Petersfield, we have seen this heightened demand for ourselves in the local area. We’ve also stayed in touch with what the leading property portals are saying about the market.
Rightmove tips market activity to remain high for now
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.
There will likely be a slowdown in the market
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.
The property portal says demand has significantly exceeded supply in 2020. The number of properties placed onto the market for the year to early December 2020 was down by 0.6% compared to the 2019 figures.
However, the number of agreed sales rose by 8.3%. This means the number of available properties for sale in the UK is at a low level, a record-breaking low level.
At Williams of Petersfield, we aim to support the Petersfield community as much as we can, and we know this is an extremely trying time. A lot of people are looking for support and guidance, and if you have any property or housing related questions, we are more than happy to assist you, so contact us today.