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Back to work!

Published: 03/09/2020 By Tam van Wyk

September marks the beginning of a new academic year and is normally the time when we all return from our holidays and go back to work and school. But what’s normal about 2020?

Certainly not the housing market. As I’m sure you’ve all seen in the press, the housing market has gone mad on the back of pent-up demand and the stamp duty holiday. Rightmove are reporting record levels of activity and sales in August, which is traditionally, one of the quietest months of the year. And it’s not just Rightmove, Nationwide’s and Halifax’s figures are also showing we are in the midst of a mini-boom.

As ever, though, the property market is made up of huge numbers of micro-markets and conditions can (and do) vary considerably between them. London, for example, is not going quite as mad as other areas, with many buyers wanting to move to more rural or suburban locations. In mitigation, properties in the capital are benefitting disproportionately from the stamp duty holiday, with their higher prices ensuring most are eligible for the maximum stamp duty discount of £15,000.

It means, if you’re planning on selling a place in the capital, you shouldn’t get too carried away by the boom-time headlines. There is no doubt competitively priced properties are selling well, but overpriced ones will stick and could mean you’ll miss out on the stamp duty holiday, which ends in March. It may seem like a long way away, but it isn’t if you need to secure both a sale and a purchase.

The rental sector is also going through some unusual times. It’s busy, as large numbers of students return to their studies and rents across the UK have risen, but not by much. In London, however, there are not as many foreign students as there were in previous years and there has also been a reduction in corporate relocations. As a result, rents have dipped slightly, although they rose last month. If you are one of those planning on putting a rental property on the market, as with sales - you need to be realistic with your pricing and you need to get a move on before the rush dies down.

As always, Lawson Rutter are readily available to assist with both sales and rentals so please don't hesitate to get in touch with us.

Until next month…