COVID-19 GUIDANCE

You may have seen various less than positive stories about house prices in the media in recent weeks. But look at little more closely and the news is far from all bad.

One major national online property portal says prices are set to continue on an upward path over the next three months. Its latest data predicts that the growth seen following the opening of the market post-lockdown will continue in the weeks ahead. Equally, it says this could even still be going strong come the autumn.

The website’s forecast is that an average of 2 to 3% will go on to house prices over the next three months, while the impact of any falls in prices won’t be felt until later on in the year.

And it adds that house prices in the UK have gone up 2.4% to an average of £217,500 in May – although this is predominantly based on transactions agreed pre-lockdown.

Across the UK, new sales have, understandably, grown the most in England, the first of the nations to reopen its housing market, which it did on May 13.

Where cities are not seeing a return to pre-Covid sale levels, this is more to do with a reduced volume of properties for sale, rather than any other reason.

The online property portal’s figures were backed up by recent statistics in June from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), showing that nearly 50,000 homes changed hands during May.

It’s true that these levels are down on the previous year, but many estate agents report that momentum in the sector has been growing steadily.

A second property portal reports that the typical asking price of a property entering the market in England has gone up by an average of nearly 2% compared with March, when the market was put into lockdown.

A spokesman for that website said: “After the initial shock, England is getting moving again, and we are seeing a boom in traffic.”

So it seems that many have used lockdown to revaluate where they live – and maybe to change it.

The portal also advised that some buyers may now be aiming to exchange contracts quickly, given the indications of pent-up demand and upwards, rather than downwards, price pressure. This is backed up by analysis of new sales, indicating upwards price pressure.

Buyers are currently happy to pay 97.7% of asking price on average, up from 96.6% for sales closed in February.

Specifically, there has been a surge in interest from Londoners in moving to live and work outside the capital, particularly where there were good transport links back into the city.

How we can help

The increased demand has taken many in the industry by surprise. But we’ve been working hard throughout the days and weeks of lockdown, and have always felt the market would be quick to bounce back.

Of course, there can never be any absolute guarantee that this surge will be sustained throughout the year, so we’d encourage buyers and sellers to act quickly if they’re serious about moving.

Sales Director, Kerry Newstead said: “We’re experiencing a strong demand for properties at the moment, and our three branches in Bexhill, Hastings and Eastbourne have all been tremendously busy. Properties are definitely selling, and the number of transactions we making is going up day by day.

In particular, there is strong consumer demand for houses with balconies, gardens or outdoor space nearby, which is hardly surprising given the time everyone has spent feeling cooped up indoors.

Talk to us

Talk to the team at Oakfield today, whether you’re just beginning to think about moving, and only need an initial chat about potential options, or already have a firm idea of what you want from your next move.

We’d also love to hear from you if you have a property to sell in any of the East Sussex towns we work in.

Get a free valuation to see how much your home is worth – you can even do this online for an immediate figure in the first instance. Equally, if you’re in the market to buy, we’ll be with you every step of the way as we help you find your dream home. Best of all, your property search will be tailored to exactly what you need. Contact a member of the team to find out more.