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What will the property sector look like in 2021?

After the property sector was forced to halt everything during the first lockdown, the second half of the year saw demand for online conveyancing services bounce back dramatically.

We expect this surge to continue throughout Q1, due to a number of reasons.

For starters, the huge back up of prospective buyers and sellers after the spring 2020 market cut-off should keep demand going through early 2021.

Buyers have now had months more to save up a viable house deposit, and both sellers and buyers will want to get the ball rolling.

What’s more, low interest rates, resulting in cheaper mortgages for some, are spurring things on.

Couple this with the stamp duty holiday continuing up until 31 March 2021, demand is still soaring.

After these incentives diminish come Q3 and 4, we forecast a plateau later in the year.

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House Prices to Increase

Many believe that the end of the stamp duty holiday, combined with the end of the Furlough Scheme on 31 March 2021, will cause house prices to decrease.

That said, some think the increase in prices will continue into early 2021, and decrease come 2022. They believe that the peak in pricing will coincide with the usual spring boom in house sales, and continued growth will simply be subdued.

We are more inclined to agree with the latter. Low interest rates, as well as cheaper mortgages available for some people, will prop everything up until Q3 and 4.

Then, after this initial demand, and the stabilisation of the market post-COVID, we can see a decrease potentially following suit from 2022 onwards.

Continued Struggles for First-Time Buyers

Statistics show that home movers are set to overtake first-time buyers with home purchases once again. As the year moves to 2021, we can only predict that these struggles will continue for a number of reasons.

Firstly, continually rising house prices, as well as sky rocketing rent, low wages, and unemployment, makes it near impossible for first-time buyers to save a deposit.

What’s more, despite low interest rates, a withdrawal of high loan-to-value mortgage products disproportionately affected first-timers, who typically require bigger mortgages to cover the lack of a hefty deposit.

Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division

We can expect this struggle to continue if the picture isn’t changed.

What’s more, new equity loan scheme, which is aimed at supporting first-time buyers with new-build purchases, may not have the intended effect.

It certainly seems like a great opportunity, but the country is still lacking affordable housing for many, so we doubt it’ll help.

Then, we have the stamp duty holiday, which has only really benefitted those already on the ladder, further increasing the disparity between first-time buyers and others.

Finally, young people have been affected most dramatically by unemployment this year, further compounding the issue.

What Are Your Predictions for the 2021 Property Market?

Evidently, there’s no clear picture of how the property market will look in 2021. It all depends on how the government deals with the pandemic in the new year, as well as the success of the vaccine.

It’ll also depend on how quickly unemployment rates get back on track.

By Daniel Chard

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Housing market remains open during new national lockdown

The housing market will remain open during the new lockdown in England.

Boris Johnson has announced a set of new national restrictions for England, similar to the March lockdown.

But unlike the first lockdown, the housing market is to remain open for business.

Government advice on home moving during the coronavirus remains unchanged. Consequently, people in England will be able to move and removal firms, tradespeople, and estate agents can still operate by going inside homes. Adherence to safety and social distancing remains crucial.

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Government advice on moving home: 

You can still move home. People outside your household or support
bubble should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary.

Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work. If you
are looking to move, you can go to property viewings.

Follow the national guidance on moving home safely, which includes
advice on social distancing, letting fresh air in, and wearing a face
covering.

Industry reaction: 

Ben Taylor, CEO of Keller Williams UK, said: “With immense caution I welcome the fact that the property market remains open albeit that viewings and the physical moving process itself must be met with extreme diligence. Why have the government chosen to ‘exempt’ the UK housing market and estate agents?

“Think of it as a string to the broader economy rather than it doing us estate agents a particular favour especially with billions of pounds in accelerated property transactions currently competing to complete by the end of the stamp duty deadline on March 31st.”

The managing director of Enness Global Mortgages, Hugh Wade-Jones, commented: “It remains business as usual for the UK property market and as a result, it’s unlikely we will see any decline in the huge levels of buyer activity seen since last year, nor should we see property prices detract from their current upward trend.

“Billions of pounds in property transactions are also currently waiting to be dragged through the system prior to the stamp duty holiday ending. It would have been a disastrous move for the government to have slammed the door in the face of these aspirational homebuyers so close to the finish line and would have no doubt caused a landslide of property transaction fall throughs and a drop in values.

“Of course, the industry must continue to operate with immense caution and all physical aspects of the home buying journey itself must be treated with kid-gloves. Literally.”

Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division

Mark Hayward, chief policy adviser, Propertymark, said: “We welcome the news that the housing market is to remain open throughout this new lockdown period, but it is essential that all agents continue to play their part in reducing the spread of the virus through following all relevant guidance on how to safely conduct viewings.

“It is vital that agents operate in accordance with government and Propertymark guidelines to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, keep movers and buyers safe and keep the housing market moving through these uncertain times.”

Director of Behnham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented: “The latest news of another national lockdown should do little to slow the momentum of the UK property market, given that official government advice still deems it ok to transact and move home.

“As a result, the industry will continue to service the vast number of homebuyers who have entered the market since last spring and this will ensure that many more will benefit from the current stamp duty holiday.

“With no speed bumps in sight for the time being, the market is now clear to accelerate through the gears throughout the coming year and we should see a healthy increase in transactions and price growth over the coming months, if not, across the remainder of the year.”

You can view the full government guidance for the lockdown in England by clicking here.

By MARC DA SILVA

Source: Property Industry Eye

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The Scottish property market tipped to fly in 2021

THE logistics and residential real estate sectors of the property market in Scotland have been forecast to “dramatically outperform” in 2021, when Brexit will quickly fade as a major issue after five fractious years, a new report declares.

The dramatic shift to online shopping during the pandemic has led to investors flocking to put money into property in the logistics sector.

Property firm CBRE expects that trend to continue next year, when it predicts that funding will become available in Scotland for investment in additional warehouse space.

According to CBRE, the pandemic has underlined the essential role of the logistics sector in sustaining the flow of goods. It anticipates that the year ahead will see occupiers focus on building more resilient supply chains, increasing capacity and diversifying suppliers to safeguard against future disruptions.

CBRE says £174 million has been invested in industrial and logistics property in Scotland so far this year. While this is currently down on the £185m invested last year, it is expected the 2020 total will reach the five-year average of £200m if deals under offer and likely to conclude before the end of the year are taken into account.

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David Reid, associate director of CBRE Scotland’s industrial and logistics team, said: “We expect 2021 to be another strong year for our market in Scotland. The incredible take-up during 2020 has resulted in critically low stock levels and with continued strong demand we urgently need new speculative development to meet the future needs of occupier requirements. We are working with a number of developers to plug this shortfall in supply.”

CBRE’s 2021 UK Real Estate Market Outlook forecasts that the logistics and residential sectors will achieve significant growth next year, although it notes that a weaker economy will lead to lower and even negative rental growth.

The agent says there has been a reduction in overall real estate investment in Scotland of around 50 per cent this year so far, dipping to £1.06bn from £1.99bn in 2019 amid continuing Brexit uncertainty. Next year, though, it expects investment to rebound to £1.5bn, taking it closer to the five-year average of £2.1bn.

Steven Newlands, executive director in CBRE’s investment team, said: “Demand is expected to come from a wide variety of sources, including sovereign wealth funds, overseas institutions and European funds. Overseas private investors are also expected to be particularly active. “For now, investors are focusing on the winners from the pandemic: the logistics and residential sectors and core assets with near-guaranteed income. In 2021 we expect this to continue until the vaccine is rolled out.”

The report flags expectations of a gradual recovery in the office market, with investment and take-up expected to steadily recover after a difficult start to the year. CBRE notes that UK office yields will remain stable despite capital values falling by around 11 per cent over 2020 and 2021.

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While significant doubts remain as to whether the UK and European Union will agree a trade deal before December 31, CBRE expects the Brexit issue to gradually fade. It said next year will see a recovery in the commercial property investment market because of record low interest rates and an “abundance of capital looking for a return”. This year the market has stalled amid the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, as restrictions have limited the ability of investors to travel to inspect sites. But Mr Newlands said: “These concerns, as well as the restrictions, will ease over time for some asset types as the occupier market recovers.”

CBRE hailed the resilience of the residential market, and expects it to perform strongly in 2021, supported by “tax incentives, resilient demand and lagging supply.” Mr Newlands said: “Despite Covid-19 restrictions, investment into the residential sector was strong in 2020. There is a high level of equity targeting the build-to-rent sector and lending also remains highly competitive.”

Miller Mathieson, managing director of CBRE Scotland and Northern Ireland, said: “In Scotland we will have many opportunities and challenges in common with the rest of the UK. In particular we will see significant activity in the logistics sector as values improve and new speculative development becomes viable. This is the favoured sector of investors and Scotland still has major growth potential. Similarly, I think we will, at last, see Scotland embrace all the different forms of residential investment around affordable housing, build-to-rent and co-living.

“Our biggest challenge will undoubtedly be in the retail sector with the continued growth of online sales and the increasing number of CVAs and administrations.”

By Scott Wright

Source: Herald Scotland

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Less than 20% of Britons think house prices will fall next year

An estimated 19% of individuals believe that UK house prices will fall next year according to the latest ING International Survey.

In contrast, 42% think house prices will rise in next 12 months.

The data also outlined that 35% of homebuyers in the UK offered a lower amount for their house than the asking price, compared with 30% in Europe.

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Over half (54%) of Britons spend three months or less looking to buy a home before purchase.

Additionally, the survey noted that 57% of those in the UK think that it has become more difficult to get on the housing ladder since 2015.

The survey results were based off of 13,000 respondents across Europe.

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James Smith, economist at ING Developed Markets, said: “The surprising post-lockdown resilience in the UK housing market has translated into relative optimism among British consumers.

“But this sentiment could be tested as we head into 2021.

“The anticipated end to the stamp duty holiday is set to coincide with a rise in unemployment over the winter, both of which are likely to put renewed pressure on house prices next year.”

By Jake Carter

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Housing market stabilising during second lockdown

The housing market in England and Wales is displaying signs of stabilising, according to analysis of web traffic from property advice website Property Price Advice.

Valuation requests on the website have broadly returned to their four-year average, representing a significant fall from the immediate post-lockdown spike.

Requests in June were almost 70% above the four-year average, the highest ever recorded on the website.

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Peter Sherrard, founder of Property Price Advice, said: “Activity from our web users (via natural searches) in October was closer to what we’ve been seeing over the last few years, and shows that the buzz of the post-lockdown summer market is certainly cooling off.

“We will be monitoring activity with a close eye and it will be interesting to see if the second lockdown will see a repeat of house-hunter activity from the first.

“Clearly the dynamics of unemployment, mortgage lending criteria, general housing supply for sale, all coupled with a potential covid vaccine, will have a profound effect on transaction levels and potentially price.”

Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division

Property Price Advice also has a computer model designed by economic consultants Pragmatix Advisory, which translates this web activity into housing price and transaction forecasts for the next eight weeks.

Given the level of activity, average house prices for November and December are expected to be 3.3% ahead of the same months in 2019.

BY RYAN BEMBRIDGE

Source: Property Wire

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Housing market to remain open despite national lockdown

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed that the housing market will remain open despite the looming national lockdown.

On Saturday Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed a new month-long lockdown for England beginning on November 5 and ending on December 2.

Information regarding the fate of the housing market during the lockdown was initially scarce between, however Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has taken to Twitter over the weekend to confirm that the market will remain open.

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On Sunday evening Jenrick confirmed that property moves would still be allowed and that tradespeople would still be able to enter properties.

The residential property surveying industry has also received confirmation from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government that physical property inspections can continue to be provided.

Additionally the Prime Minister confirmed that mortgage repayment holidays will no longer be ending with further information published set to be published today.

Kate Davies, executive director of IMLA, praised the government for keeping the market open in challenging times.

She said: “While the country faces a second national lockdown, the government has rightly decided to keep Britain’s housing market open.

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“Lenders, advisers, surveyors, and conveyancers are already experiencing unprecedented levels of demand from consumers eager to take advantage of the government’s Stamp Duty holiday, which is due to end on 31 March 2021, and also the Help to Buy scheme, which will be available only to first-time buyers from 1 April 2021.

“They now face the task of helping thousands more consumers potentially requesting payment deferrals as borrowers struggle to meet their mortgage repayments during the lockdown.

“Closing the housing market at this time would have only added to this pressure on the sector by creating yet another backlog of demand once lockdown ends.”

By Ryan Fowler

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Exclusive: South London boroughs lead house price charge

The south London boroughs of Merton, Croydon and Kingston saw the fastest house price growth in the year to August as the capital’s property market remained surprisingly buoyant, according to exclusive analysis by property website Zoopla for City A.M.

Price growth was much slower up in Hillingdon, Barnet and Brent, however, reflecting big differences within the London housing market during the coronavirus pandemic.

Property prices jumped 3.2 per cent in Merton in the year to August, Zoopla’s new analysis of its latest house price index showed.

Croydon was not far behind with growth of 3.1 per cent. Prices climbed three per cent in Kingston upon Thames and 2.8 per cent in Sutton.

It is the latest evidence that buyers are looking to move to leafier suburbs during coronavirus, which has spelled the end of the office commute for many.

“There is definitely a cohort of buyers who are looking for something different, maybe more space and are going further out,” Grainne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla, told City A.M.

London house prices: The top five risers in August

BoroughAverage priceQuarterly changeAnnual change
Merton£507,8000.4%3.2%
Croydon£376,7000.8%3.1%
Kingston£517,0001%3%
Sutton£395,6000.4%2.8%
Newham£375,8000.7%2.8%
Source: Zoopla

Yet she highlighted that some areas closer to London’s centre had also seen a sharp rise in prices.

House prices in Newham rose 2.8 per cent in the year to August for example, and they rose 2.7 per cent in Hackney.

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Tower Hamlets and Lewisham both saw growth of 2.6 per cent.

“A lot of demand is still remaining within the city,” Gilmore said. “People are maybe looking at different types of properties within the city, and that’s underpinned by the pricing we’re seeing in some of these areas.”

London house prices to face headwinds

The overall UK housing market has experienced a surprising surge during the coronavirus pandemic. That is despite the country entering an historic recession.

It has been boosted by the release of demand that was built up when the property market was shut down in the spring. Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s stamp duty holiday – which has raised the payment threshold to £500,000 until March – has also bumped up activity.

Zoopla’s August house price index showed that prices grew 2.6 per cent year on year, taking the average to £218,000.

In London, house prices grew 2.1 per cent in August. The average house in the capital cost £476,000.

However, experts caution that the housing market will face strong headwinds in the winter and next spring. Rising unemployment as government support is wound down and new coronavirus restrictions are two obvious problems.

London house prices: The top five fallers in August

BoroughAverage priceQuarterly changeAnnual change
City of London£788,100-0.9%-0.7%
Hillingdon£413,3000%0.4%
Barnet£539,2000.2%0.5%
Brent£486,8000.2%0.7%
Ealing£477,8000%0.9%
Source: Zoopla

Zoopla’s London analysis showed that the recent rise in house prices is highly localised.

Prices in the City of London fell 0.7 per cent year on year, for example, although Zoopla cautions that the sample size is not big enough to draw reliable conclusions.

Prices in Hillingdon grew just 0.4 per cent in the year to August, while Barnet saw a 0.5 per cent rise. Brent house prices have climbed 0.7 per cent.

Kensington and Chelsea remained by far the most expensive borough. The average house cost £1.17m in August. Westminster was second at £955,000, while the City was third at £788,000.

By Harry Robertson

Source: City AM

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More Brits invest in holiday homes across UK

Brits are investing in their own staycation spaces at a record-breaking pace, ahead of the autumn and winter months, according to holiday home operator Park Leisure.

YouGov data shows that over three quarters of Brits (77%) have no intention of travelling abroad this year. In fact, 43% say they intend to take more or the same number of UK trips than they usually would.

As British holidaymakers increasingly seek UK getaways and look for a long-term solution, Park Leisure has reported a staggering 47% year-on-year increase in holiday home sales this summer across its 11 locations.

Lisa Williams, director of marketing and holiday sales at Park Leisure, said: “It goes without saying that this year has been completely unpredictable and there were challenges to overcome to make sure we were able to welcome holiday home owners and holiday makers to our parks safely and comfortably.

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“Alongside the benefit of avoiding international travel regulations, our holiday homes are completely self-contained with everything you need for your prefect break. Staying in our holiday homes mean any unnecessary social interaction is avoided and our guests can cocoon themselves in their own little sanctuary or explore the beautiful great outdoors!

“We have, of course, redesigned our processes to keep people safe, as well as introducing hand sanitising facilities and regular signage displaying the guidelines and best practice, alongside a host of other measures to give holiday home owners and holidaymakers peace of mind.”

Of all the locations, Littondale (pictured), based in the Yorkshire Dales, has seen the biggest increase, taking a huge 91% more bookings this summer (June – August) compared to the same period last year.

BY RYAN BEMBRIDGE

Source: Property Wire

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Housing fuels service sector recovery

With interest rates at a record low and buyers benefitting from the current stamp duty holiday, the property market is going from strength to strength, with both transactions and prices increasing, and it is this improvement that is helping to drive the service sector recovery, according to new figures.

Estate agents and related businesses enjoyed strong growth last month, the latest analysis from the IHS Markit/CIPS’s services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) shows.

The index stood at 56.1 last month, up from just 13.4 at the peak of coronavirus restrictions and lockdown in April. Anything above 50 is considered a sector in growth.

However, September’s reading is down from 58.8 in August, primarily due to the end of the Eat Out To Help scheme.

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Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, commented: “The UK service sector showed encouraging resilience in September, with business activity continuing to grow solidly despite the government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme being withdrawn.

“Unsurprisingly, spending in the restaurant sector slumped after spiking higher in August, and many other consumer services activities showed a similar slide back into contraction as renewed lockdown measures were introduced, causing the overall rate of expansion to moderate.”

Despite recent growth, there are signs that optimism in the service sector is starting to cool amid concerns that there could be a second Covid-19 wave, while Brexit uncertainty is also having an adverse impact.

Growth in the service sector has been hindered by tighter restrictions introduced during the past few weeks, while the lack of international tourists is hurting businesses, and this in turn means potential job cuts.

Duncan Brock, group director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, said: “Once again job losses remained the black spot amidst these pockets of recovery.

“With the seventh consecutive monthly drop in job numbers, redundancies have replaced job hiring in an attempt to shield firms from rising input costs, but these strategies will devastate local communities.”

Source: Property Industry Eye

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Edinburgh named fastest city in UK for selling your home

Homes put on the market in Edinburgh sell faster on average than in any other city in the UK, according to a new study.

Figures show properties in the Capital spend an average of just 45 days on the housing market before being snapped up.

Edinburgh came just ahead of Glasgow, where the average home is bought 47 days after it is put up for sale.

The figures, released by Online Mortgage Advisor, also revealed the average price of a property in Edinburgh is £263,900.

That is more than £100,000 higher than the average price in Glasgow – at £135,000.

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Dundee, where the average home costs £128,600, was ranked third by the company. Sellers there can expect to wait 72 days on average.

Oxford meanwhile, where the average house will set you back £399,900, was ranked as the slowest city in the UK to sell your home.

Houses there were sold on average after 152 days – almost five months.

Online Mortgage Advisor said it calculated the average time taken for a property to sell in the UK by analysing The City Rate of Sale Report run by Post Office Money.

It used property listing dates on the website Rightmove to work out the length of time that houses in each location stayed on the housing market.

It comes after Nationwide bank has said that house prices have seen the highest monthly rise in more than 16 years as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

After suffering losses during May and June, house prices have recovered much quicker than expected, meaning they’ve now reached an all-time high.

By Conor Marlborough

Source: Edinburgh News