Your February property market update from Quealy & Co
As your trusted estate agent in the Sittingbourne area, Quealy & Co look at some of the changes in the property industry throughout February. We cannot believe we are at the end of the month already and what a busy month we have had at Quealy & Co. All the team are delighted that Spring is in the air and the roadmap out of lockdown has been announced. We hope you all are feeling more positive about the future!
Stamp Duty Holiday to be extended
The Stamp Duty holiday has caused a huge increase in people wanting to move in the Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire area before the deadline on 31st March. Unfortunately, conveyancing back-logs and delays in land searches have led to the probability of some buyers missing out.
However, as part of his budget plans, Rishi Sunak is now poised to move the deadline from 31st March to the end of June to avoid people scrambling to complete their transactions by the end of March.
This is good news for the property industry as it will help keep the market buoyant, but it remains to be seen whether this is simply just delaying the inevitable.
For now it looks like Kent buyers will have some further relief. Waterfords will keep you updated when the official Stamp Duty Holiday announcement is made next week.
Lockdown demand still evident
This series of lockdowns over the past year has certainly made home movers think more about where they want to live and what type of property they want to live in.
We’re still seeing demand for larger gardens, and for houses with extra bedrooms, studies or garden offices in particular.
In contrast, other home movers are thinking about whether they actually need the space they have currently and whether they could downsize. This all makes for a buoyant market which has certainly seen some big changes over the past year.
Market attraction for landlords
According to reports in the Buy Association, the Stamp Duty holiday, combined with relatively low interest rates has seen more and more investors look to the buy-to-let sector.
The research particularly highlights the fact that it is the small companies and the first-time landlords that are being attracted to the opportunities.
If you are interested in investing, we have many suitable properties waiting. You can view all our properties for sale here.
Good news for first-time buyers
Moneyfacts reports that “the number of mortgage deals available to those with a 10% deposit increased by 117 during the first six weeks of 2021”.
The website, which is useful if you are interested in finance and money-related matters, says that this is very positive news for first-time buyers. The report goes on to say that the “number of lenders offering mortgages to those with a 10% deposit – at a 90% loan-to-value (LTV) – has also increased from 32 to 47 during this same period”.
With more mortgage deals available, now could be a great time to step onto the property ladder if you are looking for your first home.
Are house prices cooling?
According to the Halifax bank, house prices fell slightly in January, so does this mean there are early signs that the property market is cooling?
There has been a sharp increase in annual house price growth since the stamp duty holiday announcement in July 2020. According to the December UK House Price Index, the average house price in the UK stands at £251,500, that is an annual increase of 8.5%.
However, in January 2021 Halifax and Nationwide reported a slowdown in house price growth, a -0.3% monthly decline to be precise. The news of stabilisation of price growth could reflect the looming Stamp Duty holiday deadlines.
At Quealy & Co we are finding that properties are not remaining on the market for long and are selling very close to asking price. There are fluctuations in the market of course, but we are confident you can achieve the price you want when marketing your property with us.
Rental enquires on the up
Research from Paragon Bank shows that residential landlords reported increased levels of enquiries last year. Rightmove has also reported that the number of enquiries from tenants are up 14% than the same period last year.
According to Property Reporter, Paragon’s research showed that “tenant demand reached a five-year high during last year – the highest level since the first quarter of 2016 – as almost a third of landlords reported rising levels of enquiries for rental accommodation”.
This is good news for landlords, and for those thinking about becoming a landlord. Get in touch and we will be happy to give you some pointers to the type of properties that are ideal to let out – and with good yields too.
It’s a great time to get moving!
If you want to get a more personalised property market report for your specific postcode in the Sittingbourne area or you are looking to buy or sell a home, then please get in touch. We would love to help with your property needs.
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