Things have certainly been uncertain this year for many people, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and most of the country locking down in an unprecedented event in 2020.
We have been watching the industry closely and trying our best to answer your questions, though this has proved difficult when everything changes so rapidly. Now that lockdown measures have started to ease, and society gets used to the ‘new normal’, we wanted to collate a range of property news stories that you may find useful and informative, especially if you are considering buying a new property this year.
Is the property market doing better or worse during the pandemic?
We cannot predict the future, but we can tell you what we know, so far.
In June, the Guardian reported a 0.1% price drop for average property prices, which was about the same each month previously also. This is to be expected during this time, however, figures released by Halifax bank suggest that property prices were actually 2.5% higher in June 2020 than they were in June 2019. Halifax also claimed that they were seeing twice as many mortgage enquiries in June than they saw in May.
Zoopla, one of the UK’s more popular online property portals, has also reported that they have seen a 54% increase in demand in June compared to March earlier this year and that the average asking price for properties on their site has risen by 6% compared to the same time in June 2019.
These positive reports would indicate that the property market is recovering – and we have certainly been feeling the ‘off-the-scale’ rush of activity and enquiries, described by Zoopla.
How is the rental property sector doing in 2020?
Goodlord reported that May and June saw the results of ‘pent-up demand’ from during the lockdown period in the UK, which has seen a huge surge in rentals in this middle part of the year. They also said that prices were, on average, 3% higher than June 2019 in England and Wales and that the number of new rental agreements signed has been well above average.
Student rentals are also said to have a positive outlook, with 69% of international students saying that their plans to study abroad will go ahead as planned and whilst many UK universities will likely see a reduction in admissions this year due to coronavirus, the overall outlook of the student population is hopeful that they will still be able to go and study at the most prestigious institutions and rent student accommodation whilst there.
Changes to Stamp Duty
The question that has been on everyone’s mind… what does the change in stamp duty mean for the property market? Stamp duty is a form of tax on the land that someone purchases and is worked out as a percentage of the overall property price.
It used to be the case that only first-time buyers could benefit from not having to pay stamp duty on their newly purchased home. However, this year the government have announced that from 8th July 2020 until 31st March 2021, all property purchases up to the value of £500,000 will pay 0% stamp duty, and values thereafter will be allowed a discounted rate. Great news for the property market and for those looking to buy this year!
If you want to find out more or calculate how much stamp duty you might pay dependent on the price of your desired property, you can visit the new advice on stamp duty on the gov.uk website here.
During this busy period, and with social distancing and by appointment only measures in our office, we are working hard to serve all our amazing clients as best we can and we look forward to hearing from you and helping you on your exciting journey onto or forwards in the property market. If you would like to find out more about purchasing a property in Andover or the surrounding areas, get in touch with our team on 01264 356500 or contact us via the website. Check out our property search for buying or renting to find a property near you.