Published: 20/07/2021 By Tam van WykIt’s not been an easy year and we could all really do with a few weeks relaxing by the Med. Unfortunately, this year, that doesn’t look so easy. Instead, many of us will be heading out across the UK for a ‘staycation’ of some kind. The weather may be more unreliable than we would like but we may, at the same time, be reminded what a beautiful country we inhabit. As an additional bonus, there’ll be no PCR tests, no need to queue at passport control nor will we have to wait forever for our suitcases to appear on that squealing baggage carousel.
Quite a few of us will, however, have decided to give holidays a miss altogether and it will be interesting to see how that affects the property industry. Traditionally, this is the time of year that house sales begin to slow as we head off abroad. I suspect, the combination of the second, £250,000 tier of the Stamp Duty holiday - which runs until the end of September - and so many of us staying at home will ensure things will be a lot busier than usual. Lettings are always busy during the summer. The new academic year is approaching and the various property indices are already showing rents and demand are on the rise. Supply levels, though, have been an issue for some time but there are signs that landlords are taking a renewed interest in investing in the sector. With interest rates on savings so low and house prices and rents rising, BTL’s returns are looking more and more attractive. Rising house prices are also making it far harder for first-time buyers to get onto the property ladder, let alone save for a deposit. As a result, demand for rental properties is likely to continue growing for some time to come.
In London, we have been talking for some time about a turnaround in both the sales and rental markets. The stats and the surveys, I’m pleased to tell you, are now clearly showing that we are heading back into towns and cities in substantial numbers - something that will only increase now the last of the restrictions have been lifted. And, controversial though it may be, I think Sadiq Khan’s recent announcement that facemasks must continue to be worn on London Transport will help, as it should give more of us the confidence to resume our commutes.
Right, well, that’s it from me until August. If you’re one of those who’s planned a staycation, I hope you have a good trip and that the sun shines brightly for you. If, on the other hand, you’re one of those who is going to use the time to move home, just give me a call.