Market Comment

One year ago, we crept blinking out of the darkness of our first lockdown.  Never before had we experienced such uncertainty, even fear of the unknown.  Previous pandemics were a distant memory for those of the older generation, but nobody today remembers the Spanish flu. 

Fast forward twelve months and here we are, anticipating the end of lockdown 3.  On 17th May we can stay with friends and family, go to the pub, eat out at a restaurant without having to pile on layer after layer to stay warm.

What has this meant to the housing market?  Last year everything was put on hold until lockdown was over and we were allowed out of our homes.  However, this year the market has remained open throughout the lockdown.  Not just open, but buoyant.

Make no mistake, it has not been easy.  The concerns many people have over permitting people into their homes, the obligatory masks, hand sanitisers, social distancing, they have all led to a wait and see mentality that has created a genuine shortage of stock. 

If you are a fan of David Attenborough you may recall the image of young puffins, or pufflings, about to launch from the cliffs to take their first flight.  The housing market felt something like that in March.  Potential vendors all looking to see who would make the leap and put their house on the market.  The buyers were circling, eagerly anticipating the phenomenon of new stock.

As properties started to come to market, we saw a wave of viewings and a vetting of potential buyers before they were permitted access.  Proceedable?  This became the keyword.  If you needed to sell you couldn’t buy. 

So why are we seeing this?  Simply there are not enough properties coming to market to satisfy the demand of buyers who have been waiting, in some cases for months, to find their next home.  Savills have 8 buyers for every property they advertise.  Other agents do not have time to photograph or advertise properties, they are selling that fast.  And then there is the dreaded Best and Final…

Best and Final is not new, but it was never common, until now.  Throughout April we saw a swathe of properties sold within a week of coming to market and many going for guide or over guide price with multiple offers leading to the inevitable decision by the vendor’s agent of the best and final.  For those who are familiar with the concept it creates a sense of dread.  For those who are not it is quite exciting the first time.  It is rather like ebay for the property market.  Get your bid in by a certain time and hope you are the winner.

Best and Final gives the vendor the opportunity to consider the best bids and to decide who is going to buy the property.  It is not the highest bid that wins but the best package presented by the buyer to the owner.  Proceedability, cash, flexibility, swift exchange – all considerations for your bid.

So where do we go from here?

Fortunately, the pufflings have started to take flight, property is coming onto the market and the buying frenzy has started to calm a little.  There are still plenty of buyers and houses are selling very VERY fast.  However, as we acclimatise to these market conditions, we appreciate the importance of being ready.

If you are considering waiting it out, then just consider market factors.  Do we believe prices will correct after the insanity of the market at the start of 2021?  No.  There is simply too much demand at present for there to be any change this year.  We have seen a 10% increase in house prices since the 1st lockdown and it is possible that, in waiting, you may see the market get away from you.

Will there be a reverse at the end of this bull market?  Again, this is unlikely.  There is a wave of buyers moving to the country and indications are that the working from home and flexible working conditions is here to stay. 

The Stamp Duty holiday and the furlough scheme will end and there will be tough times ahead for many.  However, the economy is already beginning to rebuild.  Government support in businesses and investment, low interest rates allowing excellent mortgage rates, a flexible work scheme by many companies, and high demand with limited stock all lead to the conclusion that this is not a bubble that is going to burst but a strong market that is here to stay.

As we ease slowly out of lockdown we are filled with a sense of hope and expectation.  After weeks of unexpected and enforced restrictions on both our lives and our livelihoods we are now moving into the ‘relaxation phase’.  Those lockdown weeks have given many of us time to reflect.

For many, the fear of this insidious virus has now been replaced by other fears.  The potential economic impact of lockdown has been headline news for several weeks and must be at the front of everyone’s minds.  Arguments are strong on both sides.  However, this comment is not about science vs economy.

With the reopening of the housing market we have seen estate agents bursting into action with hopes that we can swiftly return to normal.  The time of reflection during lockdown, the restrictions on home, family, and business life has surely convinced many that this is the time to move.  While some agents have reported their best week in years following the unlocking of the housing market, others have not seen the same bounce back.

New Normal

Working from home has, for many, been a pipe dream. Approximately 5% of the country work from home.  The remainder have a regular daily commute, whether it be a few minutes’ walk, or two hours on the train.  The new normal is showing us that working from home can work.  This gives rise to the idea that living near the workplace is far less important than it was.  Perhaps the balcony can be upgraded to a terrace, the terrace to a garden, the garden to a place in the country.  Many if not all of us have had the opportunity to reflect on what is important.

Economic speculation

The financial markets have made a significant recovery since the beginning of the ‘drop’ in late February.  While we saw an initial drop of 35% in early March the recovery has been steady. Global reports from the ECB have certainly helped. Latterly the US Fed predictions have hindered.  Speculation is rife as to the timing of the expected recovery.  Will we see a U, a W, a V, or an L.  Perhaps even the upside-down square root – very confusing for many to understand let alone predict.  However, the housing market is a resilient beast. 

Housing Market

With reflection comes the time to decide. Is it a good time for me to buy?  Is the housing market going to drop? Having moved into the unlock phase it is impossible to predict what the housing market is going to do in the next few months.  General opinion believes that the housing market is not likely to suffer a significant fall although commercial property is a different prospect.  While it is feasible that market fluctuations may see a +/- 10% variance, this is likely to be area specific and short term.  Looking ahead to next year one expects to see a return to growth and price increases across the country.  As buyer confidence returns, we can expect a strong 2021.

Call Charlie Rearden to discuss what you are looking for.
Tel: 07779 261744

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    "was fantastic at explaining and helping us with everything that was happening"
    2018-11-21T13:07:43+00:00
    "was fantastic at explaining and helping us with everything that was happening"
    "I would recommend using Stacks as they are well connected to the property market and provide a realistic assessment of activity and pricing."
    2018-11-21T12:45:49+00:00
    "I would recommend using Stacks as they are well connected to the property market and provide a realistic assessment of activity and pricing."
    "Encouraging me to think creatively about what could work for me."
    2020-02-27T09:49:08+00:00
    "Encouraging me to think creatively about what could work for me."
    "Should I move again, I shall definitely use you again"
    2018-11-21T12:51:23+00:00
    "Should I move again, I shall definitely use you again"
    "I needed the continuous advice and support on the many issues that can and do arise, and, above all, someone acting in one’s own interest."
    2018-11-21T12:44:59+00:00
    "I needed the continuous advice and support on the many issues that can and do arise, and, above all, someone acting in one’s own interest."
    "We now own a most suitable house in the position of our dreams thanks to Stacks"
    2018-11-21T13:11:13+00:00
    "We now own a most suitable house in the position of our dreams thanks to Stacks"
    "They didn’t try to persuade us to buy anything unsuitable."
    2018-11-21T12:57:31+00:00
    "They didn’t try to persuade us to buy anything unsuitable."
    "got our offer accepted even when it was not the highest"
    2018-11-21T12:38:34+00:00
    "got our offer accepted even when it was not the highest"
    "We found the service extremely helpful and professional at all times"
    2020-01-13T11:51:31+00:00
    "We found the service extremely helpful and professional at all times"
    "You have exceeded our expectations for a buy-side property service and have made the process a smooth one for us."
    2018-11-21T13:18:01+00:00
    "You have exceeded our expectations for a buy-side property service and have made the process a smooth one for us."
    "found us a home in a sought-after area with a high demand for properties and very little on offer"
    2018-11-21T12:37:14+00:00
    "found us a home in a sought-after area with a high demand for properties and very little on offer"
    "great value to us during a difficult, competitive purchase"
    2018-11-21T12:39:48+00:00
    "great value to us during a difficult, competitive purchase"
    "a fantastic job in impossible circumstances"
    2018-11-21T12:17:11+00:00
    "a fantastic job in impossible circumstances"
    "Well done in taking us to a house we didn’t know we wanted … and then fell in love with!"
    2018-11-21T13:14:45+00:00
    "Well done in taking us to a house we didn’t know we wanted … and then fell in love with!"
    "Stacks’ performance on this assignment has been absolutely outstanding and more than met my expectations. Her understanding of the brief and the ‘after-find’ service set a standard of professionalism that I have not met before."
    2021-10-11T10:28:00+00:00
    "Stacks’ performance on this assignment has been absolutely outstanding and more than met my expectations. Her understanding of the brief and the ‘after-find’ service set a standard of professionalism that I have not met before."
    "Stacks had the critical combination of expertise and tenacity to broker a solution for us"
    2018-11-21T12:52:31+00:00
    "Stacks had the critical combination of expertise and tenacity to broker a solution for us"
    "Thank you very much for the professionalism, patience and understanding"
    2018-11-21T12:55:04+00:00
    "Thank you very much for the professionalism, patience and understanding"
    "found precisely what I was looking for, and even on my request made an offer before I had even seen the property!!"
    2018-11-21T12:35:46+00:00
    "found precisely what I was looking for, and even on my request made an offer before I had even seen the property!!"
    "Stacks were a tremendous help and we would never have found our home without them. She is a lovely person with a great sense of humour which was essential during some of our tricky negotiations"
    2020-01-13T11:52:24+00:00
    "Stacks were a tremendous help and we would never have found our home without them. She is a lovely person with a great sense of humour which was essential during some of our tricky negotiations"
    "Being able to 'stand behind' Stacks, whilst they brought their negotiating skills to the fore, took us to another level"
    2018-11-21T12:22:38+00:00
    "Being able to 'stand behind' Stacks, whilst they brought their negotiating skills to the fore, took us to another level"
    "Many thanks for your hard work and patience in assisting in buying our property. You made the whole process infinitely less stressful than it might have been"
    2020-01-13T11:50:30+00:00
    "Many thanks for your hard work and patience in assisting in buying our property. You made the whole process infinitely less stressful than it might have been"
    "The whole process was flawless with minimum stress on our part."
    2022-01-19T10:54:34+00:00
    "The whole process was flawless with minimum stress on our part."
    "You made a huge difference to our search as I am sure you do for all your clients."
    2019-05-02T11:00:08+00:00
    "You made a huge difference to our search as I am sure you do for all your clients."
    "It made a potentially very stressful process very straightforward"
    2018-11-21T12:48:37+00:00
    "It made a potentially very stressful process very straightforward"
    "I completely underestimated how much of a difference you would make"
    2018-11-21T12:43:03+00:00
    "I completely underestimated how much of a difference you would make"
    "We firmly believe that without Rachel and her skilled negotiation we would not have secured the property."
    2022-01-19T10:55:02+00:00
    "We firmly believe that without Rachel and her skilled negotiation we would not have secured the property."
    "Would not hesitate to use you again."
    2018-11-21T13:16:29+00:00
    "Would not hesitate to use you again."
    "We love the house and cannot wait to move in and get settled."
    2018-11-21T13:10:27+00:00
    "We love the house and cannot wait to move in and get settled."
    "extremely helpful, knowledgeable and tireless in their efforts to assist us"
    2018-11-21T12:33:22+00:00
    "extremely helpful, knowledgeable and tireless in their efforts to assist us"
    "We felt they genuinely wanted to help."
    2022-01-19T10:53:57+00:00
    "We felt they genuinely wanted to help."
    "I have been delighted with the service I have received from Stacks and will not hesitate to recommend Stacks in the future."
    2020-01-13T11:51:03+00:00
    "I have been delighted with the service I have received from Stacks and will not hesitate to recommend Stacks in the future."
    "We would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending them to anyone thinking of using such a service"
    2018-11-21T13:13:46+00:00
    "We would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending them to anyone thinking of using such a service"
    "We are delighted with our choice and so are the children."
    2018-11-21T13:08:49+00:00
    "We are delighted with our choice and so are the children."
    "Relentlessly provided us with the context and facts we needed to make an informed decision "
    2018-11-21T12:50:28+00:00
    "Relentlessly provided us with the context and facts we needed to make an informed decision "
    "You have an empathetic approach which, added to your knowledge and wise guidance, has made the whole thing a lot less stressful"
    2018-11-21T13:17:15+00:00
    "You have an empathetic approach which, added to your knowledge and wise guidance, has made the whole thing a lot less stressful"
    "a calming, guiding presence where nothing was too much trouble"
    2018-11-21T12:13:26+00:00
    "a calming, guiding presence where nothing was too much trouble"
    "You have found us a superb home which we feel fortunate to call our own."
    2018-11-21T13:18:39+00:00
    "You have found us a superb home which we feel fortunate to call our own."
    "We were in a tricky housing situation, looking to buy a very specific type of house and needing to find it in a very specific time frame"
    2018-11-21T13:12:00+00:00
    "We were in a tricky housing situation, looking to buy a very specific type of house and needing to find it in a very specific time frame"
    "carried out with discretion"
    2018-11-21T12:28:29+00:00
    "carried out with discretion"
    "helped our parents downsize from the family home, in what was a traumatic move for them"
    2018-11-21T12:41:04+00:00
    "helped our parents downsize from the family home, in what was a traumatic move for them"
    "The best decision we could have made!"
    2018-11-21T12:55:52+00:00
    "The best decision we could have made!"
    "You gave a much-valued ‘younger’ perspective on our situation, which was a real asset"
    2020-01-13T11:52:01+00:00
    "You gave a much-valued ‘younger’ perspective on our situation, which was a real asset"
    "Stacks takes great pride in their service, is an expert in their field and above all, demonstrated integrity in all our interaction with them"
    2018-11-21T12:54:09+00:00
    "Stacks takes great pride in their service, is an expert in their field and above all, demonstrated integrity in all our interaction with them"
    "Your advice on how to effectively instruct and motivate our professional team allowed us to complete in one month."
    2018-11-21T13:22:31+00:00
    "Your advice on how to effectively instruct and motivate our professional team allowed us to complete in one month."
    "In essence, you are buying your best ally "
    2018-11-21T12:47:38+00:00
    "In essence, you are buying your best ally "
    "Because I had invested in the process of working with a Buying Agent, I had the confidence to go ahead"
    2018-11-21T12:21:23+00:00
    "Because I had invested in the process of working with a Buying Agent, I had the confidence to go ahead"
    "always courteous and pleasant, and most importantly, in our opinion, trustworthy."
    2018-11-21T12:19:57+00:00
    "always courteous and pleasant, and most importantly, in our opinion, trustworthy."
    "You we able to give us confidence that we were doing the right thing"
    2018-11-21T13:20:39+00:00
    "You we able to give us confidence that we were doing the right thing"
    "...took just days to come up with the property that fitted all our criteria"

    Sunday Telegraph

    2018-11-06T13:59:47+00:00

    Sunday Telegraph

    "...took just days to come up with the property that fitted all our criteria"
    "Practically, I needed someone to do the legwork and the eye-balling"
    2018-11-21T12:49:38+00:00
    "Practically, I needed someone to do the legwork and the eye-balling"
    "delivered a great service at a reasonable cost"
    2018-11-21T12:30:52+00:00
    "delivered a great service at a reasonable cost"
    "...negotiate on anything"

    Financial Times

    2018-11-06T14:00:36+00:00

    Financial Times

    "...negotiate on anything"
    “Thank you very much.  We are very excited on the purchase of the flat as well.  Sara has been instrumental in every aspect, we are blessed to have her on our side.
    2019-12-06T09:48:50+00:00
    “Thank you very much.  We are very excited on the purchase of the flat as well.  Sara has been instrumental in every aspect, we are blessed to have her on our side.”
    “We really enjoyed working with Sara and Stacks and would highly recommend having them on your side in the home buying process”
    2019-06-19T13:54:55+00:00
    “We really enjoyed working with Sara and Stacks and would highly recommend having them on your side in the home buying process”
    "I was impressed by the efficient, kind and courteous service provided by Stacks"
    2020-01-13T11:52:49+00:00
    "I was impressed by the efficient, kind and courteous service provided by Stacks"
    "Without somebody on the ground asking the right questions on our behalf, finding a home would have been truly impossible."
    2018-11-21T13:15:37+00:00
    "Without somebody on the ground asking the right questions on our behalf, finding a home would have been truly impossible."
    "You saved me many miles of driving and were very professional"
    2018-11-21T13:19:40+00:00
    "You saved me many miles of driving and were very professional"
    "I gained a house, setting and location which are right for me"
    2018-11-21T12:43:48+00:00
    "I gained a house, setting and location which are right for me"
    "Stacks has been an invaluable source of experience and wisdom on the successful landing of just the right house"
    2018-11-21T12:53:20+00:00
    "Stacks has been an invaluable source of experience and wisdom on the successful landing of just the right house"
    "Finding a plot not yet on the market and persuading the developer to enter into an exclusive contract with me to build to my specification."
    2020-02-27T09:48:25+00:00
    "Finding a plot not yet on the market and persuading the developer to enter into an exclusive contract with me to build to my specification."
    "They've been a close and very helpful part of our discussions with everybody. When you’re new to a town and an area, that’s priceless."
    2018-11-21T12:58:19+00:00
    "They've been a close and very helpful part of our discussions with everybody. When you’re new to a town and an area, that’s priceless."
    "Despite other interested parties, Stacks were able to help us secure our preferred property."
    2018-11-21T12:32:12+00:00
    "Despite other interested parties, Stacks were able to help us secure our preferred property."
    “We want to thank you so much for the very professional and sensitive support you have given us in navigating through the various properties we have considered for investment of our small inheritance.”
    2018-11-05T22:55:02+00:00
    “We want to thank you so much for the very professional and sensitive support you have given us in navigating through the various properties we have considered for investment of our small inheritance.”
    "It is not often that one is pleased to part with money but I can truthfully say that I am on this occasion. You have earned every penny of this cheque and what is more, you have done it with great courtesy and good humour. It has been very pleasant working with you. You really did take most of the stress out of our house hunting."
    2021-10-11T10:27:34+00:00
    "It is not often that one is pleased to part with money but I can truthfully say that I am on this occasion. You have earned every penny of this cheque and what is more, you have done it with great courtesy and good humour. It has been very pleasant working with you. You really did take most of the stress out of our house hunting."
    "Through the whole process they went above and beyond, and it was worth every penny!"
    2018-11-21T12:59:15+00:00
    "Through the whole process they went above and beyond, and it was worth every penny!"
    "You were able, by taking on much of the responsibility and the effort, to enable us to relax and enjoy the process"
    2018-11-21T13:21:20+00:00
    "You were able, by taking on much of the responsibility and the effort, to enable us to relax and enjoy the process"
    "We cannot imagine how long it would have taken us to find our perfect home without Stacks – and we suspect that we would have compromised a long time ago!"
    2018-11-21T13:09:36+00:00
    "We cannot imagine how long it would have taken us to find our perfect home without Stacks – and we suspect that we would have compromised a long time ago!"
    "The house is ideal ... and it is nothing like our first (unsuitable) ideas!"
    2018-11-21T12:56:37+00:00
    "The house is ideal ... and it is nothing like our first (unsuitable) ideas!"
    "utterly tenacious..."
    2018-11-21T13:06:52+00:00
    "utterly tenacious..."
    "We were moving country – had booked the packers – and had nowhere to move into!"
    2018-11-21T13:12:46+00:00
    "We were moving country – had booked the packers – and had nowhere to move into!"
    "I’ve seldom had such consistent, wise support in a major life decision, and I can’t emphasize enough how helpful it is."
    2018-11-21T12:46:40+00:00
    "I’ve seldom had such consistent, wise support in a major life decision, and I can’t emphasize enough how helpful it is."
    "How extraordinary to have found what we were looking for"
    2018-11-21T12:42:07+00:00
    "How extraordinary to have found what we were looking for"
     
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