The three month lockdown period which came into effect from March earlier this year became a very volatile time for every business sector including the property industry. This inevitably ‘threw a spanner in the works’ when it came to the way Martyn Gerrard handled business. However, the Government's announcement at the end of May gave Estate Agents the go-ahead to go back to work and operate from the offices; prompting us to revaluate and carefully compile a manual of safe procedures to put into place to ensure we were putting the safety and wellbeing of our staff and clients first.
Since May surprisingly, the housing market has bounced back! There is more demand than ever as people try to take advantage of the ‘Stamp Duty holiday’ and also, may have realised during lockdown that they needed more space. The figures speak for themselves!
Nationwide October House Price index reported an astonishing 5.8% annual house price growth, the highest rise since January 2015. Mortgage approvals were at their highest since September 2007, with 91,454 in the month.
Likewise, data suggests the recovery of the economy has slowed with only 2.1% monthly growth reported in August and the unemployment rate rising to 4.5% in the three months to August (ONS).
Despite this, housing market activity has remained robust. Transactions have recovered to pre-Covid levels, mortgage approvals increased by 6.9% annually and the average house price now stands at £227,826.
We are now entering a second lockdown, however, the housing market will remain open, the furlough scheme has been extended and mortgage holidays are available. Housing market demand is likely to be maintained over the next few months, with many buyers wanting to make the most of the stamp duty concessions, as well as beating the impending changes to overseas surcharge and the Help to Buy scheme. Source: Dataloft, Nationwide, Bank of England