Well, no one could have predicted what this year has meant for everyone – and we don’t think anyone could have foreseen what its effect on the property market would be!
The challenges of the year have meant a shift to virtual viewings and valuations, and the safety of buyers, vendors and our team have been at the heart of how we have operated for the year since being able to reopen again.
We have been incredibly busy and are so pleased that many of the house moves that were put on hold in March did happen at a later date, through sheer determination and lots of communication!
So, whilst we might be a little bit cautious about what 2021 means for the market, these are a few things we think will be important for the following year:
· We expect the first three months of 2021 to remain busy, as the property market continues to be buoyant, and buyers aim to complete their purchases before the end of the stamp duty holiday (31st March 2021).
· · There is a strong suggestion the stamp duty holiday will be extended for certain sectors of the market beyond March – which will be good news if that’s the case.
· ·The news of the start of a vaccination programme for COVID-19 may well mean a return to the office, but most experts feel the balance of home and office working will remain. Meaning that a move to the country is still high up on many city dweller's wish lists. So for Surrey/Sussex, we could still expect to be welcoming new people to the area.
· · Interest rates look likely to remain low – good news for buyers looking to borrow.
· · There is also the view that lenders will look to reinstate higher loan to value mortgages – which will help first-time buyers especially.
· · What about Brexit and an economic downturn? Will this affect the market? The short answer is yes, but not in all locations, the South East is predicted to fair better and local market conditions will continue to take precedence. So, while there may be a slowing down of the housing market by the end of next year, which is likely to be seen overall, regional variations will continue to hold significant sway over local house prices.
Our thoughts are that whilst every year brings the usual stories and predictions of what will happen to the property market, there is one message which holds true every year, and that is if you are looking to sell your home and move, whatever the market is doing, we can support you through this process. For most people buying a home is about living somewhere and being part of a community, and market trends and forecasts have little bearing on this.
So, 2021 we are ready for you!