As we head for autumn and further Covid restrictions, Dominic Parravani of Durrants assesses the state of the property market.
So many people are asking us about the property market at the moment. To provide some perspective, we often answer the question with a question. We ask, “Do you remember back in March, how loo rolls became difficult to find as they were flying off supermarket shelves?”
“It would be hard to forget,” most people reply.
So we say, “That’s what’s happened to property: houses are flying off our books.”
While the country was in lockdown, no one could envision what would happen to the property market next – including us. We couldn’t predict the strength of public demand for changes in surroundings and lifestyle. We couldn’t know how people would react to isolation, sudden changes in working practices and the resulting opportunity to commute less often but therefore further – providing the chance to buy a larger suburban or rural house and garden.
Now, after several months of the most extraordinary market most of us can remember, we have experienced the combined effects of the Covid and Brexit bounces, the relaxation of stamp duty and low-interest rates.
Many first and second-time buyers and sellers won’t remember the days when the market was on fire like this; when there were multiple offers on houses for sale, prices were spiralling upwards, and property was selling almost as soon as it came on to the market.
But we remember those days. We remember them very well. That is why we are highly experienced and skilled in dealing with this unexpectedly buoyant market.
For those thinking of buying before the end of the stamp duty reprieve, we recommend doing so now. Why? Because neither we nor anyone else, including the Chancellor, knows what’s going to happen next. Another national lockdown – if there were to be one – might only temporarily suppress this strong market and drive even more people to want to move. But big questions remain about the market in 2021.
High unemployment, a negative Brexit trade deal, tighter mortgage criteria and the end of the stamp duty relaxation, could turn off the tap that was so dramatically turned on in July.
Only time will tell. But in the meantime what we do know is that property is flying and we are here to help buyers and sellers fly with it.