Hi I’m Sam from Fine and Country, welcome back to my market update for November 2020.
The national property market seems to show no signs of slowing down there are some simply astonishing statistics that we can share with you about market growth, demand and mortgage lending, particularly in the last four weeks. According to HMRC in September there was an estimated 98,000 property transactions that completed in that month marking a return to pre-Covid levels, whilst newly agreed sales since July have been between 42% and 62% higher than the same time last year, which is amazing growth. To compliment this there were over 91,000 mortgage approvals last month representing a quarterly change of 272.8% and an annual change of 6.9%, quite incredible compared to this time last year, when Brexit uncertainty gripped the country.
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The Rightmove House Price index has reported a 5.5% annual increase in asking prices the biggest rate of increase in over four years, highlighting sellers optimism. The Nationwide House Price Index reported a 5.8% annual increase, whilst Zoopla expect house prices to continue an upward trend over the next few months and reach a +4% by the end of 2020. So, what of the economic factors, obviously COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the UK economy and following two consecutive quarters of decline the UK entered a recession. The economy began to recover though with 9.1% growth in GDP in June and 6.4% growth in July, whilst August was much slower growth at 2.1%. Although we are now in a second lockdown, this time the housing market remains open, mortgage holidays are still available and the furlough scheme has been extended, which should isolate the economy from further job losses.
What has been interesting is the government has seen the property market as a cornerstone to economic growth by allowing the market to continue during the second lockdown they certainly don’t want to dampen the enthusiasm of purchases and sellers alike who are keen to complete transactions before the 31st of March 2021. It remains to be seen of course whether the cliff edge mentality of the stamp duty relief will be extended or staggered by the government? it is very clear to see that there will be an extreme strain on the conveyancing system in this country meaning that sales generally will take a lot longer to complete than most people perhaps realise
What has been very reassuring about the local property market is that it has remained extremely buoyant even in the first two weeks of the second lockdown. As I talk now we have just put two fantastic new listings onto the market and they have very quickly attracted 10 viewings each with structured Covid secure viewings taking place over the weekend, which is a reflection of both the lack of stock available and buyers eagerness to improve their current lifestyles. If there is anything we have learnt from the first lockdown, it is that the British public have sought to improve their living conditions, with a very genuine need for more outside space and the all important work from home office. I would certainly expect that trend to continue as we reach the end of what has been an unprecedented year for us all.
If, of course you need any property related advice or you would like to talk confidentially about the marketing of your home then feel free to contact me on the details that are about to follow.
In the meantime, stay safe and well.