Property prices are now at an all-time high, with a 5.5% increase compared to this time last year, with prices expected to grow another 2-3% before the end of the year. Last year the market was led by first time buyers as the largest group of buyers, however this year it seems that those who are already on the property ladder, over the age of 45 are the biggest group with these taking up 75% of market. It is thought that lockdown has changed priorities of what is needed from a home and with the stamp duty, these larger homes will hold a higher saving. It must also be noted that due to more people working from home, rather than in office, home owners are now focusing on rural areas rather than city living. This created an increase of 31% increase of rural sales, with an 18% increase of urban sales. Properties are now selling faster than ever, with Evolution Properties taking on average around 31 days to agree a sale subject to contract compared to the national average of 50 days currently. Buyers are advised to act quickly to avoid any disappointment regarding the stamp duty holiday saving. Sellers are also advised to not over-value their homes in order to gain a completion before the 31st March 2021. In September last year Evolution Properties had 21 properties under S.T.C, compared to this year whereby the number was 31, showing just below a 50% increase.
First time buyers however are finding it harder to accumulate the money for deposits currently, or find a mortgage rates with a low deposit, across the UK, with the northern part of the UK being hit more so than the South East. This is based on the UK average, in the South East region, first time buyers are still holding a strong proportion of the market. These buyers are showing a higher interest in three-bedroom properties, suggesting lockdown has meant they are being appealed to extra room, possibly in case of another lockdown.
The rental market is still extremely strong with it being a Landlords market, this could be due to again the change of requirements following lockdown. Rural areas have seen the greatest demand for rentals, this could be due to the Government asking to work from home if you can, therefore a lower demand of those working in a city, needing to live in a city, whereby the rent will be higher than rural areas. This also could mean that these applicants have more money to spend on bigger properties than if were living in a city centre. For example, the rental average in the centre of London for an apartment would be around the value of £2,500-£4,000pcm for a 2-bedroom house, compared to Ashford, Kent whereby a 2-bedroom house ranges from £750-£950pcm. Therefore, within their budget these applicants could easily afford a bigger property, while still saving around £1,000.
Covid-19 has meant that requirements and budgets for applicants in the property market have changed and therefore causing those who were not necessarily looking to move to now change their property or plans moving forward.
READ MORE: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54353406