If you have any interest in the housing market, you will know that there is a stamp duty holiday currently in place. On the 8th of July, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced the holiday for properties up to a threshold of £500,000. The holiday is in place until the 31st of March 2021.
The Office for Budget Responsibility, the OBR, predicted the stamp duty holiday will lead to an additional 100,000 sales over its lifetime. While it is far too early to tell whether the scheme has worked or not, people want to know how it is progressing.
Camberwell buyers and vendors are engaging the market
People involved with the housing market are impatient for news on any progress, which is why so many people are keen to hear early updates regarding the scheme. At Hunters Camberwell, we know locally there has been additional interest from buyers and vendors.
This outcome has been replicated across the country, and figures from various sources indicate that new instructions are increasing in the aftermath of the stamp duty holiday.
Iain McKenzie is the CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, and he said: “Since the housing market reopened, our Members have been busier than ever with some saying they have never been as busy as they are now. Before the stamp duty announcement, the Guild was already leading the industry in the number of weekly new instructions, however, since the announcement, the number of new instructions pouring in has accelerated with the network listing over 2,700 new instructions each week. Last year, from 8 July to 22 July, the Guild network was listing around 1,800 new instructions a week, so we are seeing around 900 more instructions each week during 2020.”
Sales are being agreed in the current climate
Of course, while it is positive to see an increase in instructions, this doesn’t always equate to the number of agreed sales. However, Iain McKenzie also spoke on this subject, and it seems as though the Sold Subject To Contract (SSTC) figures for June 2020 have fared well in comparison to the June 2019 numbers.
McKenzie adds: “In July 2019 there were around 25,000 SSTC a week across the industry. This year there are over 35,000 SSTC a week with the figure showing no signs of easing up. Looking at the data, independent estate agencies are also leading the charge in terms of SSTC numbers, with Guild Members agreeing on sales on around 2,300 properties a week, up from approximately 1,500 in July last year. The closest corporate entity is at around 1,800 SSTC a week.”
While these figures are promising, it is important to note there are other challenges to overcome in the housing market. With the furlough scheme set to end in October, it is best to be cautious about what will happen in the economy at that point. However, as of now, the 2020 housing market is outpacing the 2019 market in many ways, and it appears as though many people are making up for lost time.
McKenzie also said; “There is still some uncertainty and hurdles to overcome, but based on the data coming through, the forecast for the housing market remains positive. Mortgage rates are extremely low which will help support higher prices and the stamp duty holiday will help maintain demand."
If you are looking for guidance or information regarding the housing market, please get in touch with Hunters Camberwell. As a local estate agent who has the support of a national network, we are ideally placed to provide you with all the help and guidance you need to make an informed decision, so please contact us today.