How is the market?
Despite a global pandemic, the UK property market has continued to remain strong throughout 2020, with Agents, Solicitors and Removal companies continuing to work (providing all relevant guidelines are followed).
Transaction numbers nationally have risen significantly. Provisional data from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) shows that 129,400 property sales went through in December 2020, up 32% year-on-year. Rightmove data also shows that despite temporary market closures in 2020, people’s housing needs meant the number of sales agreed was up 10% for the whole year versus 2019.
The surprising strength of 2020 has continued to echo into January 2021 too. The House Price Index stated that visits to property portal Rightmove are up by 33%, the number of buyers contacting agents is up by 12% and the number of sales agreed is up by 9% compared to the prior year.
To put this further into perspective, last month Rightmove saw over 211 million visits from owners – a record for this time of year. The amount of time that people spent on the site totalled more than 1.6 billion minutes which equates to over 3,000 years collectively!
How have property prices changed in Bishop’s Stortford?
According to property portal Zoopla, the average asking price for property in Bishop’s Stortford currently stands at £460,769 (as of January 2021). Although this is a fall of 0.27% across the last three months (since October 2020), this is a 9.12% rise since January 2020, 12 months ago.
Surprisingly, the 9.12% asking price increase was not equally shared across all property types. Detached homes saw a 4.18% value increase (approximately + £25,734), Semi-Detached homes saw a large 11.80% value increase (approximately + £43,513) and Terraced homes also benefitted from a 5.20% value increase (approximately + £15,834). Apartments around Bishop’s Stortford noticed a 0.90% decrease in value (approximately – £2,050).
What has caused the rise in Bishop’s Stortford?
An obvious factor that has contributed to the strength of our local market is that it has largely been fuelled by the government cutting Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) meaning buyers could save up to £15,000 if they move property before the 31st of March 2021. This has encouraged buyers to take the leap in purchasing a property, further increasing demand from prospective buyers that currently seems to outweigh the supply.
Another possible factor in the rise of local property could be the surge of buyers relocating to the area from London, drawn to Bishop’s Stortford for its fantastic commuter links, excellent schooling and the ambitious re-development projects underway. This is echoed across the country as ‘London leavers’ bought 73,950 homes outside the capital this year, equating to a spend of £27.6 billion (the highest figure since 2007). With working remotely from home likely to remain commonplace in 2021, we believe it likely that buyers relocating from London will continue to form part of our market.
What will happen in 2021?
This is a difficult question to answer as no one really knows, we can only provide our educated opinion based on both the evidence provided and our day-to-day findings.
There has been much discussion on the subject of extending the current SDLT holiday, with an online petition receiving over 144,000 signatures. The government has previously announced that is “does not plan to extend the relief” beyond the end of next month, while there were no clear signs last week, during a parliamentary debate, that position is about to change anytime soon.
If this is not extended, we feel the market may temporarily slow down as a large number of prospective buyers that have been considering moving will have made use of the temporary holiday. However, despite the mass development in Bishop’s Stortford and surrounding areas, the demand for properties still outweighs the current supply. This suggests that property prices will likely remain strong, although may not see value rises as large as 2020.
This opinion is echoed by fellow industry experts with Rightmove forecasting house prices will rise 4% in 2021. It predicts a lull in the second quarter of the year once the Stamp Duty cut ends but says this won’t be ‘make or break’. Zoopla also predicts annual house price growth will reach 5% this month, before slowing to 1% by the end of 2021.
If you would like to find out more about the local property market and how we are continuing to achieve maximum success with our clients, please feel free to reach out to our team on 01279 898 383 or firstname.lastname@example.org