August 2021 Market Comment

August 11, 2021

Just as the weather forecasters get it wrong (we never know whether it’s going to rain or shine this summer), so the economic forecasters and property analysts get it wrong as well. Who could have foreseen such buoyancy in the market, and, as we approach the end of the summer, with it’s very mixed weather, the property market is anything other than mixed. It continues to race ahead with not a cloud in sight, beyond all expectation and certainly beyond the forecasts of even the most optimistic commentators.

According to the Nationwide, annual house price inflation remains above 10% across the board. But we have to be a bit careful here, because these figures, which now put the average house price at over £244,000, have been somewhat skewed by the increase in larger sales this year. For example, according to the Land Registry, the number of transactions involving properties of at least £500,000 was up 37 per cent over the 12 months to March, compared to a rise of just two per cent for all properties.

This could be because larger purchases stood to gain the most from the Covid-related Stamp Duty concession; it could be because of people trading up to take account of new lifestyle preferences, such as the need for space to work from home. Or it could be because buyers in the lower price range have been more susceptible to furlough, redundancy and general uncertainty over the last few months.

Interest rates remain at a historic low, despite a temporary spike in inflation, supporting confidence in the property market as we emerge from the pandemic. Transaction volumes have rocketed as demand continues to outstrip supply.

Nationally, you can usually expect about 50% of all the properties advertised on the portals to actually sell. Today this stands at 67%. Less than 1% of all properties in the UK are available for sale…or publicly at least. We are increasingly finding that as many as a third of sales are happening off-portal; they don’t even reach the open market. And who are these being offered to first? The other clients of the estate agents who are instructed to sell them.

So if you’d like to move, but think you might not find somewhere to buy, don’t worry. Your agent probably has something up their sleeve waiting for you, and you will be treated royally!

Why not put us to the test?  We’d love to hear from you, and you might be pleasantly surprised!

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