Covid-19 Advice and FAQ

During the spring, there is traditionally an upsurge in activity each year as people start to view more properties in lighter, better weather and movers look to get deals done before the summer months.

However, in 2021 this annual springtime bounce could be bigger than ever before due to a combination of key factors.

The ongoing successful rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine is boosting consumer confidence and providing more certainty, while the extension of the stamp duty holiday has encouraged even more movers to enter the market.

Meanwhile, the recent launch of the government’s 95% mortgage guarantee scheme provides a further incentive for property buyers, and people’s re-evaluation of their living situation as a result of the pandemic continues to underpin market activity.

Consequently, it remains a great time to sell, let, buy or rent a property in East Sussex. Sellers and landlords are benefiting from high demand and rising prices, while buyers and tenants are taking advantage of favourable government initiatives and a fast-moving market.

Below, we take a closer look at some of the latest news and figures which demonstrate why we’re experiencing a sustained market boom across Bexhill, Eastbourne and Hastings…

 

The 95% mortgage scheme has launched

Announced as part of the recent Budget, the government’s 95% mortgage guarantee scheme officially launched on April 19th 2021.

The scheme is open to all buyers of properties worth up to £600,000, allowing them to purchase with a deposit of just 5%.

It is designed to provide a further boost to prospective property buyers who have found it difficult to save large deposits closer to 10% of the purchase price of a property.

According to research by Which? the number of 95% mortgages available by dropped to just three by the end of 2020, down from 391 pre-pandemic at the start of the year.

The new scheme will see the government cover the 95% lent to borrowers to encourage lenders to provide more 95% products to home movers. So far, high-profile lenders such as Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Santander and NatWest are on board, with even more expected to follow in the coming weeks.

The government says the scheme will be a temporary measure, set to run until December 2022 with a view to extend it if required. You can read more about the guarantee scheme here.

Alongside the ongoing stamp duty holiday, the new mortgage guarantee scheme provides a further incentive for people to move home.

As well as the obvious benefits for buyers (including those selling at the same time), sellers are likely to benefit from sustained high demand and price growth as a result of the buzz created by this initiative.

 

Price rises continue as properties sell quickly

The property market boom is clearly demonstrated by the latest figures from Rightmove. The property portal reports that the number of sales agreed so far in April is 55% up on the same period two years ago.

Meanwhile, the average number of days to sell and the number of properties selling within a week of being listed have both reached their highest ever level.

As a result, time spent on Rightmove surpassed two billion minutes in one month for the first time during March as what the portal describes as a ‘buying frenzy for new stock’ continues.

Alongside more people moving due to government measures such as the mortgage guarantee scheme and the stamp duty holiday, the impact of various lockdowns has encouraged more people to consider living in coastal and rural areas.

This has had a positive effect on the East Sussex property market. In fact, further figures from Rightmove place East Sussex locations Hailsham and Willingdon in the UK’s top ten hottest sellers’ markets.

The average asking price in Hailsham has reached £310,642 this year, with 81% of properties in the area currently Sold Subject to Contract (SSTC). Meanwhile, the average asking price in Willingdon has reached £326,338, with 79% of properties here currently SSTC.

These figures show just how high demand for sellers’ homes is at the moment as buyers compete for the best properties and are willing to pay over the asking price to secure their dream home as quickly as possible.

 

What about the lettings market?

All of this activity in the sales market is not to say lettings is being left behind, far from it. Here at Oakfield Estate Agents, we’re seeing low levels of rental stock and high demand, meaning the majority of properties are going for a higher rent.

Properties are being let so quickly that prospective tenants are starting to get frustrated. With this in mind, it makes perfect sense for landlords looking to occupy a property to put it on the market now while activity is so strong.

Data from ARLA Propertymark shows that the number of prospective tenants registered per letting agency branch continues to rise, while at the same time the supply of property is falling.

This combines to create higher rents, with half of letting agents reporting landlords increasing rents in February up from 39% in January 2021 and 40% in February 2020.

As you can see, the property market continues to perform impressively and this level of activity looks set to continue for the remainder of 2021. Here at Oakfield Estate Agents, we will do all we can to help you sell, let, buy or rent a property, using our years of knowledge and experience.

For advice on any part of the moving process, please get in touch with us today. You can request a free instant online valuation to see how much your East Sussex property could be generating in rent each month.