MAKING A MOVE

Amidst the recent global pandemic predictions for the property sector were a concern – however nothing could be further from reality as local estate agents enjoy a surprisingly buoyant and competitive market, writes Gail Bailey

During the Covid 19 pandemic the housing market, like most industries in the UK, came to a grinding halt with very few viewings permitted, and like many sectors these were transferred to being done online. Solicitors and removal services all ceased and it was a negative forecast predicted by many in the media.

However, it appears these forecasts were wrong and fast forward to current trends and house prices in the UK have grown, with the property sector showing an unexpected ‘mini-boom’ as lockdown restrictions are eased.

This has been further helped by the government’s relaxation of stamp duty on the first £500,000 which has been a window of opportunity for many buyers. Fantastic news for those looking to eek the most out of their budget, many of whom will now be able to move into a larger property, one which perhaps better meets their needs without the added financial pressure of having to pay thousands of pounds in stamp duty.

Coupled with this, many of us have spent more time working from home and there is an understanding that this may continue in the future, making many people consider their surroundings and what they need from their property. For some this has involved wanting to move further into the countryside and property developers, who also had to down tools, are now back in business and seeing a growing demand for homes, especially in more rural locations.

Lockdown made those who were already considering a house move eager with anticipation for estate agent doors to reopen, and there has been a steady increase in enquiries since rules were relaxed. The market is competitive with hopes it will continue to get busier.

Edward Snowden, Director of Mortimers and Fine and Country told us: “Following an uncertain period for everyone, it is pleasing to see that the levels of activity in terms of valuations, viewings and sales are exceeding levels beyond where they were prior to lockdown. It appears people have been spending their time at home gathering thoughts about moving be it upsizing, downsizing or relocating, and there is without doubt some momentum and confidence at present. The stamp duty holiday that runs until 31st March 2021 has also had a positive impact on the market.”

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