With the current stamp duty holiday scheduled to end next March a stampede of buyers desperate to get their purchases underway are continuing to drive demand within the market. That's the assertion made by Alex Ewen, Head of Sales at Falbros Ltd, who also points out that Covid-19 is encouraging buyers to push for emotional moves that provide more space and a better lifestyle.
Figures just published in the latest Bank of England Money and Credit statistics underline the changing behaviour that is underpinning this growing demand.
September saw higher deposits into instant access accounts, as households took the opportunity to enhance their emergency savings buffers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The statistics show an increase in household deposits of £6.8billion in September, below the average of £17.3billion between March and June but higher than the £5.5billion figure in August and the £5billion average in the six months to February of this year.
A summary from The Bank of England stated:
“The strong flow of deposits in September can be accounted for by deposits into instant access accounts.”
With annual house price growth rising to 5.8% in October, the highest level since January 2015, it’s clear that increased savings will be required to pay ever larger deposits as the average UK average house price has now hit £227,826.00.
Ewen points out that mortgage approvals rose sharply in September and that they are now at their highest level since September 2007, a further reflection of buyers acting sooner rather than later.
“The general consensus in the market is that time is running out if buyers want to see the benefits of the stamp duty holiday as we now see more properties progressing through the sales system, creating backlogs in the pipeline. It is widely noted that to be in with a chance of beating the stamp duty holiday, a sale should be secured by Christmas at the latest.”
“There is no doubt that the market is being driven by home movers and their hunger for different types of properties in post-lockdown life. As we look forward with an air of caution, we must ask ourselves what the market will look like in 2021 without government incentives propping it up?”
With the housing market racing into the usually quieter autumn period without touching the brakes it’s little surprise that claims are now surfacing of severe delays and a large backlog in home sales could result in people missing out on the stamp duty holiday. Housing experts say the sector is under pressure as 140,000 more people than last year are currently waiting to complete the process of buying a property. It reports sales numbering around 418,000 across the UK -- said to be worth a total of £112billion -- are in the pipeline but are yet to be completed. Conveyancers, it would seem, are in for a busy few months!