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Spring stretches into summer

Published by: Tam van Wyk

We’re in mid-July now, schools are out and the weather’s getting warmer but that’s about all that’s normal for this time of year, and that includes the property market. For once, that’s really, really good news, because Rishi Sunak has just announced a Stamp Duty holiday for the first £500,000 of any purchases and, as a result, the property market is behaving like we are still in spring.
 
Rightmove’s average house price suggests typical savings will be around £7,000. Here in London, most buyers will save the full £15,000 (see this month’s buying article for details) and that includes BTL investors and many first time buyers. That’s quite a chunk of money - roughly the equivalent of installing a mid-range kitchen and is serious motivation for anyone who’s considering a change of home. The reduced rate will only last until 31st of March next year, though, so you’ll need to get a move on, especially when you consider the average sale takes around 12 weeks to complete. As most of us are planning on sticking around this summer, that shouldn’t pose too much of a problem.
 
Even before the announcement, the market was doing far better than people had predicted. Pent-up demand had been building since the election and was then augmented by the many who had decided to move on during lockdown. When the market re-opened in May, Rightmove reported record traffic levels to their website and again in June. Asking prices rose by 2.4% and the majority of sales were coming very close to achieving their asking prices at 97.7% (Rightmove).
 
If you then add the stamp duty holiday into the mix, there’s a window of opportunity that doesn’t come along all that often. That’s for both buyers and sellers alike. So, don’t miss out. Yes, moving home does involve a little more planning than it used to, but that’s our job. All you need to do is get on the phone and we can get the ball rolling.
 
That’s all for now, but I’ll be back again next month with an update on how it’s all progressing.