This year is a leap year – the 29th February only occurs every four years…
The United Kingdom is officially in a recession, but there is a significant amount of activity being carried out in the housing market. It is not unreasonable for people to question why there are so many buyers and vendors active in the market, when there is so much uncertainty in the UK economy?
With the impact of COVID-19 and with Brexit looming, you would be forgiven for thinking the market would tie itself up in a state of non-movement. This has been the case in recent years when there is so much political and financial uncertainty.
Various factors are driving demand
However, there is a strong range of reasons as to why the housing market is so busy. Even since the housing market re-opened in May of this year, buyers have been searching for homes and making offers in good numbers.
Some of the reasons for the initial burst of activity include:
- Buyers and vendors resurrecting property deals placed on hold because of the lockdown
- A change in personal circumstances causing a need to move home
- Pent-up demand being unleashed
These factors combined to create the buzz of engagement in May and June, but many industry experts believed activity would tail off. Of course, in early July, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the stamp duty holiday, and that ignited the housing market.
The OBR believes the stamp duty holiday will drive sales
The Office for Budget Responsibility, the OBR, expects an additional 100,000 homes to be sold because of the stamp duty holiday.
Rightmove’s property expert Miles Shipside said: “This move will help to keep the nation and wider economy moving because keeping the current momentum going will help prevent destabilising falls in property prices as unemployment grows, and enable a quicker economic recovery. Lockdown prevented 175,000 would be sellers from coming to market so we hope this Stamp Duty holiday will provide the spur for those missing movers to come to market. They will find there’s currently record demand for their properties from prospective buyers, with Rightmove enquiries to agents now double what they were before lockdown.”
Some people wish to move before a second wave of the pandemic
Another factor which is driving activity now is the fear there might be another lockdown period. Having lived through the lockdown earlier this year, and experienced many challenges, it is fair to say many households are keen to make changes before another lockdown occurs, if it occurs at all.
Leading UK property portals suggest buyer demand is placing greater importance on larger homes and outdoor space. With the stamp duty holiday favouring buyers spending around the £400,000 to £500,000 level, it suggests buyers are keen to upgrade their current home for something more suitable during a lockdown period.
If you are looking to make a move in the Melksham property market, and you would like to speak with local experts, please get in touch. If you would like to arrange a property valuation, contact us and we will set this up for you. You can phone Lock & Key on 01225 707 342 or why not come and visit us at 5 Church Street, Melksham.