There is no denying the COVID-19 pandemic has had a sizable impact on the housing market. The market was placed on pause for a few months, and when it re-opened in May 2020, there was a notable burst of activity.
There are many reasons why there was likely to be a lot of activity in the housing market at this time. There were many property deals halted when the market stopped. While some of these buyers and vendors will have changed their mind about moving during the lockdown, many didn’t.
Therefore, a large number of movers at this time will have been people’s whose property deal was placed in limbo.
Circumstances changed during lockdown
There will also have been people whose circumstances changed during the lockdown. While there are many reasons for people to move home, a change in work or relationship status is standard. Sadly, many people will have experienced a change in these circumstances, leading to a higher level of demand when the market was re-opened.
Many industry experts believed that the market would slow down once the initial wave subsided, but to its credit, there is still interest, movement and sales taking place. The introduction of the stamp duty holiday has created additional demand.
Some industry experts believe the stamp duty measure will lead to an additional 100,000 properties being sold in the next year. While this may be optimistic, if the stamp duty holiday creates more activity and sales, many will say the gesture was worth it.
Buyers are looking for different things
The nature of what buyers are looking for has changed slightly too. It is fair to say the pandemic has impacted virtually every aspect of life, and what we deem to be necessary. While the main focus has fallen on buyers looking for gardens and outdoor space, this is nothing new. While there might be a more significant number of people looking for these features in a home, these demands have always been present in the buyers’ market.
More pertinently, there is a change in demand regarding what a local community has to offer, whether the home is suitable for remote working and what the local transport options are, including cycling and pedestrian options.
Demand for property in Forest Hill isn’t going to fall away
It is natural for remote working to be a central feature in the property market right now, but it isn’t relevant for every buyer. In an area such as Forest Hill, there will be professionals who work from home, but there will be many whose workday routine hasn’t altered, or is likely to change.
Also, just because some people are keen to take advantage of the ability to work anywhere by swapping London life for a rural setting, this isn’t the case for every household. There is a long list of practical reasons why people want to stay in London, and working remotely isn’t going to change that.
Demand exists for Forest Hill property
This should ensure Forest Hill remains a destination that is in demand with buyers, but there has been a slight change to the London housing market of late. This change might be a factor in ensuring areas such as Forest Hill, Dulwich, New Cross. Peckham and Brockley are all of interest to buyers.
Aneisha Beveridge, a noted name in the London housing market, spoke about the situation, saying; “Up until the middle of last year, we were seeing much greater house price falls in central London while the outer areas were still seeing healthy levels of price growth.”
Aneisha continued by saying; “We always talk about a ripple effect flowing out of central London and by the end of 2019 and into the beginning of 2020, we started to see house price falls in outer London while prices started to rise in central boroughs such as Lambeth and Hackney.” Lewisham borough has also seen a rise in prices in this time, and it is one of the areas that buyers are looking towards rather than the more expensive areas of central London.”
Aneisha continued by saying; “Everyone was talking about a Boris bounce; the market sprung back into life at the beginning of the year which is when we started to see prices rise again, particularly in those inner London suburbs which is reflected in this analysis too.”
There has been a drop-off in the higher end of the London property market, and there has been a fall in the maximum price in London property sales. This can be seen in the table below.
However, for all the changes in the market, it is important to note that average sales prices, in Forest Hill and Greater London, have remained consistent over the past year. We might need more time to see dramatic change in this area, or it might be that there isn’t going to be much of a change at all.
The stamp duty measures might provide some buyers with the added impetus they need to make a move in the market. This will hopefully provide vendors with greater confidence too. When you know there is a market of willing buyers, you enter the market with more intent, and this will hopefully propel activity.
If you plan on selling your home, it is vital you arrange a valuation for your property. We are more than happy to provide this, so please contact us today to arrange this service on your behalf.
The table below shows average sales prices between July 2019 and June 2020 for Forest Hill and Greater London.
At Hunters Forest Hill, we know selling property is challenging, but we are here to assist you in the process. If you aim to buy, sell, let your home or rent property, we are active in New Cross, Peckham, Dulwich and Brockley, in addition to Forest Hill, so get in touch with one of the top three agents in London, and we will be happy to assist you.