So, here we are again – another year, another lockdown.
We wrote about how the pandemic would impact homeowners and tenants last year, during the first period of severe restrictions, but what does this latest move mean for the market?
Well, while so far there’s been no news to suggest there will be an extension of last year’s stamp duty holiday (which is due to end in March), the housing market still has plenty of reasons to be cheerful.
There had been fears that the dramatic resurgence of the market would begin to falter over the Winter months, although so far, these have proved to be unfounded.
In fact, earlier this month it was reported that more than 100,000 mortgages had been approved in November, the highest level since August 2007 – defying economists’ predictions of around 82,500.
That equates to 715,300 approvals in the first 11 months of the year, only slightly down on the 722,000 seen in 2019, despite the impact of Covid-19 restrictions earlier in the year.
As well as the stamp duty holiday, much of the increased demand was fuelled by a workforce that was increasingly needing extra space to work from home, as well as those who realised the necessity of a garden after months of homeschooling.
And this effect looks set to continue – which is why it’s a good job that we’re open for business (almost) as usual.
We’re still ready to welcome you to any of our five branches, although we’d ask you to please make an appointment. When you arrive, a staff member will welcome you at the door – and please, don’t forget your face mask.
Since October our team have received 3,867 bookings for viewings across all of our offices and house viewings are continuing (although no children please) with appropriate social distancing measures in place.
Once you find your dream home, moving is still allowed, as removal firms are able to continue operating, but it’s advised that you don’t ask for help from anyone outside of your household or support bubble.
And as usual, all properties are available for virtual viewing on our website, allowing you to browse to your heart’s content from the safety of your own home.
So, if this is the year you’re planning a fresh start, call your local branch today to find out how we can help find the space you need.