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It’s been 2 months since estate agents opened their doors, however tentatively, and got back to some face to face viewings and valuations (we still offer virtual where possible).  In this blog we take a look at how the sales market is holding up.

 

Figures for August 2020 taken from Nationwide annual house price index shows annual growth was up 3.7% and  house prices were “up 2% month-on-month, after taking account of seasonal factors, as momentum builds”.

 

Robert Gardner, chief economist for Nationwide, said: “This rebound reflects a number of factors. Pent up demand is coming through, where decisions taken to move before lockdown are progressing. Behavioural shifts may also be boosting activity, as people reassess their housing needs and preferences as a result of life in lockdown. These trends look set to continue in the near term, further boosted by the recently announced Stamp Duty holiday, which will serve to bring some activity forward. However, most forecasters expect labour market conditions to weaken significantly in the quarters ahead as a result of the aftereffects of the pandemic and as government support schemes wind down. If this comes to pass, it would likely dampen housing activity once again in the quarters ahead.”

 

Bank of England data suggests lenders approved around 66,300 mortgage applications for home purchases in July 2020 up from 39,900 in June 2020. Whilst pre Covid demand and the stamp duty holiday has boosted these figures,  we have not quite reached pre-pandemic levels says the Bank of England. According to Land Registry latest house price index as of May 2020 the average house price in the UK is £235,673, UK house prices increased by 2.9% in the year to May 2020, up from 2.7% in April 2020. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices in the UK increased by 0.3% between April 2020 and May 2020, compared with a rise of 0.1% during the same period a year earlier (April 2019 and May 2019). You can also read the Governments summary here.

 

The Government announced the temporarily reduced stamp duty tax rates on 8th July 2020 -  the current threshold for residential property stands at £500,000 until 1 April 2021 when it is set to lower to £125,000. You can catch up on the Government announcements here and here, which bring first time buyers temporarily inline with the same rates. From 1 April 2021, when the threshold reduces to £125,000 first time buyers may be eligible for either a lessor tax,  or no tax if both of the following criteria applies 1) you, and anyone else you’re buying with, are first-time buyers and 2) the purchase price is £500,000 or less. Click here to see what AB are currently marketing for £500,000 and less.

 

No matter what the stats suggest, AB sales has seen an increase in demand and stock is playing catch up. Valuation requests are increasing along with enqueries from potentional vendors about our AB Online package which is a great alternative  for vendors who want a straightforward and transparent process, want to control their costs, be more hands on but still need a little help getting their property out there into the market and online. To discuss all your selling  or buying needs contact Jason North for East Grinstead, Edenbridge and surrounding areas on 01342 321142 or at  jason@alexandreboyes.co.uk , and Dan Boyes for Tunbridge Wells and surrounding areas on 01892 525522 or at dan@alexandre-boyes.co.uk