As predicted, since the reopening of the property market and after a hectic period of Lockdowns , the unprecedented demand for country homes which began last year, continues apace with another rush from town to country this Spring, indicating a slightly earlier market as the Stamp Duty holiday nears its end in June.
Confidence has returned to markets in bucket loads and although 2020 saw a turbulent year for most, mortgages are still cheap for those who qualify. The lure of the country and the ‘new’ work from home lifestyle becoming enshrined like never before, means many families are taking the opportunity to relocate. This, in turn, is closing the price gap between town and country property, which for the last decade or so has made country property look well priced compared to London.
Many people having been confined to their city homes have decided not to wait in relocating to the country, sooner rather than later, so supply yet again will dictate pricing. The vicious circle of those thinking of moving, but seeing nothing to move to on the portals, and so not going to market, is keeping supply very thin, and exacerbating prices which have been reaching challenging heights with a huge influx of capital, mainly from south east and London buyers.
Significant numbers of properties are going to best and final offers with purchasers securing them at 10-20% over guide in many instances. Valuers are finding their tasks confused with a lack of comparables and in many cases reality. A seasoned eye is needed to gauge what price is the right price to pay, and armed with due diligence and a steady hand this is not a market for the faint hearted!
One hopes by late summer the heat may have started to dissipate and those with money burning holes in their pockets will have been satiated, but the feeling is that country property will remain highly sought with firm pricing for the foreseeable future.
Local knowledge, contacts and feet on the ground are therefore key in this challenging market.
In the wider market London prices seem to have steadied in many areas and are beginning to rise with foreign buyers returning. The creation of lots of new money may lead to inflation, which makes bricks and mortar a steady asset class. Borrowing is still cheap, demand is great promising a time of opportunity for purchasers and sellers alike.
So in order to get the most out of the interesting times ahead it is especially important for buyers to undertake thorough preparation and research. Sound buyers with finances and legal advice in place may well be able to make good advantage of an uncertain marketplace. For further help and advice please do contact me for an informal chat on 01300 348100.