This year has been turbulent for many industries with the uncertainty of the pandemic causing lockdowns and businesses to shut down with little warning. While the property industry saw a drop in activity in March for the first lockdown, the last six months have been very interesting.
The Stamp Duty Incentive announced in July is certainly a factor that has helped a lot of buyers and sellers have the confidence to move, although demand increased between May and July post lockdown when the property industry could reopen and carry out viewings and valuations in person.
Across the Spicerhaart network, we saw demand for viewings and valuations in July above the level of the 1st week in January which is typically a peak period of the year for demand and up on the same time in 2019.
When the Stamp Duty holiday was introduced and the potential average saving of up to £4,500 was announced, demand for the larger homes soared. The demand for these homes helped to free up the market and availability of all types of homes.
Rightmove have reported that due to increased demand, the average time to secure a buyer has dropped by 12 days from 62 to 50 days on the market. With all the sales agreed in the latter part of this year, conveyancing and solicitors have faced exceptional demand from those hoping to complete before the incentive deadline of the 31st March 2021. Rightmove found that sales agreed were up 58% in October compared to the same time last year.
According to a recent article, some agents are calling for the stamp duty incentive to be extended to avoid transactions already in place falling through. So we will see how this unfolds in the following months but it’s safe to say this year has been unlike any in recent years.