Covid-19 Advice and FAQ

There has been much talk in recent months of a chaotic, unprecedently busy housing market, as the end of the first stage of the stamp duty holiday nears and demand is sustained by the launch of the 95% mortgage guarantee scheme and the First Homes scheme, as well as favourable borrowing and lending conditions.

But what is it actually like down on the ground, in local areas, where local agents, surveyors, conveyancers and removal firms are managing the boom?

Here, the team at Oakfield Estate Agents provide a quick sales market update to give sellers an idea of whether now is still the right time to sell.

Like nothing we’ve seen before

Without wanting to be too over-dramatic, it is definitely the case that the market across East Sussex is, in the words of one of our team, ‘manic busy’, in a way that we have never witnessed as an agency before. It’s not an exaggeration to say that, in some cases, properties are selling as soon as they’re listed, or shortly after. This isn’t the norm.

One of our team, in fact, recently listed 13 properties and sold 12 a week a later. The upcoming end of the stamp duty holiday is undoubtedly a factor, as people look to maximise savings, but there also seems to be a general positive buzz and sentiment, particularly as lockdown eases and summer arrives.

At the same time, we need more sellers coming to the market, otherwise things soon become dysfunctional. While a supply shortage is generally good news for sellers, in that they can demand higher asking prices, a long-term chronic shortage eventually has implications.

As you can see from the above, now is a great time to sell, with a good chance of achieving your asking price or above and being in a strong negotiating position.

You may have seen the recent Zoopla ad, where everybody in it is surprised at the value of their property. This is a common occurrence – people very often underestimate the true value of their home, which is why it’s key to work with a local agent to set a correct and realistic price.

As a seller, you might be pleasantly surprised at the price we can get for you. We have been receiving lots of offers over asking price due to the current very high demand. Consequently, there is a good chance that you will receive a higher price, in the current frenzied market, than what your home is listed for.

Managing expectations

Of course, we understand that some people may be concerned about selling their house ‘too quickly’, as this suddenly puts added pressure on sellers to find their onward property. This is especially so in a market where there is a shortage of homes becoming available on the market.

That is why we offer a service where we will work closely with all parties to ensure your buyers expectations are managed, allowing you time to search for your own perfect property. We can also assist our sellers when it comes to making offers on properties with other agents, so you can rest assured you are fully supported through your home moving journey.

But, for many, getting a sale done as quickly and painlessly as possible is the name of the game. Here are a few recent examples that highlight both the current strength and speed of the market and how we’ve been able to help our clients secure the best possible deals.

Park Gates, Eastbourne – This property had been on the market with another agent since February. We took the property on in May and sold it within the first week. The family have fond memories of their late parents’ property and were thrilled we were able to sell it quickly to a young lady who was equally as fond of the flat. She was one of the many upsizing from a one-bed to a two-bed due to having to work from home and needing a separate office space.

Green Lane, Bexhill – We took on the property in April and we introduced it to a lady who fell in love with it, but she had a property to sell herself. This was not a problem, however, as we took her property on for her and sold it in 48 hours. In addition, we agreed a sale for a huge £85,000 over asking price. All is going well, and the chain is about to exchange and complete in June. This is the perfect illustration of how, with the right agent, a sale doesn’t need to take a really long time, plus she came away with more money than she anticipated.

Eshton Road and Hawksbridge Close, Eastbourne – The sellers here needed to sell both properties to enable them to purchase a much bigger home so their elderly father could move in with them due to his health. They were over the moon when we sold both within a week which allowed them to buy the perfect property that suited all their needs, giving them huge relief that they can care for their father. We were very pleased to have been able to be a part of this.

Will the market still boom after the stamp duty holiday?

The end of the first stage of the stamp duty holiday will be reached on June 30 2021. After that point, the nil rate threshold will drop to homes worth up to £250,000 until September 30. From October 1, the nil rate threshold will return to its pre-Covid level of £125,000.

There had been worries about a fresh cliff-edge, but it appears as if most people are taking a realistic approach to the situation, accepting that they might not secure the stamp duty savings but still willing to buy or invest because of the strong market conditions.

The tapered approach will also help, as many people – particularly in areas where the average price is less expensive – will still be eligible for stamp holiday savings after June.

It seems unlikely that demand, currently at record high levels, will fall off a cliff, but there might be some drop-off. That said, the tapering of the holiday, combined with measures like the 95% mortgage guarantee scheme (on offer to all types of buyers, not just first-time ones) should help to keep demand and sentiment strong.

It’s important, in these ultra-competitive times, to partner with an agency that stands out from the crowd, to give you the best chance of selling quickly and for the best possible price. They should be embedded in the local community and fully understand the trends and levels of buyer demand in the area they are operating in.

To find out more about what we can do to help you sell, let, buy or rent a property, please get in touch with us today. We have properties for sale in Eastbourne, Hastings and Bexhill and you can request a free instant online valuation to see how much your East Sussex property could sell for in the current marketplace.

Do you know someone who is thinking of selling a property? Refer a friend and we’ll give you £100 on completion of the sale!