How Is Housing Market Faring In Early 2021?

17th March 2021 posted in Sellers Buyers

With the first few months of 2021 behind us, people are starting to look at the housing market in an attempt to make predictions for what will lie ahead.

The stamp duty will remain a key issue for most of this year, but there is still movement.

Highlights from the most recent House Price Index state:

  • After three consecutive monthly falls the average price of property coming to market surprisingly increases by 0.5% (+£1,522) this month, as upwards price pressure resumes
  • One in five buyers who agreed a purchase in July last year have still not completed more than six months later, with an estimated 100,000 buyers in total still likely to miss out on their expected tax saving
  • Number of new buyers continues to grow despite it now being too late for most to beat stamp duty deadline
  • First week in February versus 2020 sees Rightmove visits up 45%, with keen home-hunters sending 18% more enquiries, and the number of purchases agreed up by 7%
  • High demand outstripping supply and pushing up prices: new seller numbers are 21% down on prior year as owners of family homes delay coming to market, perhaps due to home-schooling distractions

What do the experts say?

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data comments: “Last year the market was unexpectedly buoyed by buyers’ determination to move and satisfy their new lockdown-induced housing needs. We may well be seeing a continuation of that this year. Rightmove’s early 2021 buyer data shows that despite the imminent end of the stamp duty incentive, all of the key buyer metrics are ahead of early 2020, itself an active period as the market was boosted by the post-election ‘Boris bounce’. As well as the current lockdown motivating buyer demand again, the restrictions have also been a factor in limiting new supply, leading to some modest upwards price pressure. These are strong signs that new buyer demand is not facing a cliff-edge after the 31st of March. It remains to be seen if this momentum will be enough to make up for the removal of the stamp duty savings that are benefitting many buyers and have been adding a sense of urgency to the whole market.”

People have many priorities to consider

Bannister adds: “So far in 2021 home-schooling has taken priority over home-selling for some people. Family properties are suffering most, with the difficulty of preparing a property for marketing and viewings while it’s in use and occupied 24/7 by the whole family likely to give you cause to delay. Ironically, whilst it’s too late for the stamp duty holiday, there are good reasons to come to market now, especially if selling a property suitable for a family. There are more possible buyers looking and fewer suitable alternatives to divert their attention away from yours. An early start to the selling process will also help to get you sold, moved, and settled in before the new school year. With the current speed of the vaccine roll-out, that new school year will hopefully be spent in schools and out of the home, but many of the other new needs for more space both indoors and out will remain.”

The national average asking price for February 2021 was £318,580; which represents a 0.5% increase on January 2021 and a 3% rise on the annual figure.

Of course, the London housing market is extremely different from the national market. In London, £621, 886 is the stated figure, and this is a 3% increase on the monthly figure, but a fall of 1.1% on the annual figure. This is a casual reminder the London market is performing differently from the rest of the UK right now.

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.