The Twelve Days of Christmas

Find out what Stacks predict for the property market in 2022

The stretched commute is here to stay as new working practices crystallise. Buyers will continue to look at destinations that were previously considered a step too far.

Second home buyers are prepared to go a bit further – our Cornwall office reports increased interest in The Lizard, and buyers are looking deeper into Dorset, Wales and East Anglia.

The shortage of supply we’ve seen this year will continue into 2022, and prices will be robust. If you’re buying for the long term, and can afford the property you have found, don’t over-stress about short-term fluctuations in price that will seem irrelevant in the medium term.

Demand for substantial renovation projects will grow as buyers struggle to find exactly what they want. Projects in great locations are going to sealed bids and selling for well in excess of expected prices.

The running costs of period properties are increasingly becoming an issue with purchasers who want to either find a project that’s extensive enough to warrant retro-fitting, or a new build that can have all the eco bells and whistles specced into the build at the outset. This is further fuelling demand for renovations and new builds.

Homes by the sea continue to be ever more attractive due to the combined effects of holidaying-at-home, and the growing popularity of water-based activities. The property market in the South West has exploded, and prices continue to rise. The staycation is here to stay

Londoners who want to stretch their legs but aren’t quite ready to cross the M25 are looking to swap vertical space for lateral space; small patio gardens for large outside space with room for all the al fresco bells and whistles. Buyers looking for family houses in areas such as Putney, Dulwich, Wimbledon and Greenwich should sharpen their elbows.

Holiday rents have increased dramatically over the last eighteen months, price is subject to demand. But the costs incurred by owners have increased dramatically too. Servicing has become much more onerous and expensive; and inflation generally has taken its toll. Owners need to constantly invest to present well against the competition.

Competitive bidding has in many areas and sectors become the norm and buyers have to show off their paperwork in order to be taken seriously by vendors and their agents. Be prepared to give a clear indication of available funds; securing a property is just as much about proceedability as price.

Buyers’ priorities have changed as a result of successive Lockdowns; our desire for outside activity space, and inside office space will survive much longer than the pandemic. Vendors will do well to demonstrate how their properties meet buyers’ needs in this respect.

The distinction between first and second home is becoming less clear. Weekend and holiday homes are taking on increased importance as more time is spent in them, so property owners are choosing to spend a much larger proportion of their overall budget on what might once have been considered a bolthole.

It’s almost impossible to predict what will happen to prices and supply in 2022, so don’t waste time waiting for things to move in a direction that suits you. If you’re in the wrong house, or living with the wrong people, now is the time to get on with making a move.

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