Many people are being encouraged to move home, not least because of the stamp duty holiday, but also due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The experience of lockdown has taught people that outside space and a place to work from home are very desirable assets to have in a home. In addition, the step-change in working practices where many companies are realising the advantages of remote working for their staff.
The knock-on effect is that many workers who now have the flexibility of working from home are looking for rural environments in which to live and bring up their families. Step forward North Somerset, which in a recent report by Zoopla factored as the third most popular place in the UK to escape to from city life. And of all the towns in North Somerset, Weston-super-Mare is proving exceptionally popular due to the comparatively low housing prices, proximity to the sea and its railway links. Other towns benefitting from the lockdown effect include Banwell, Nailsea, Portishead, Winscombe and Burnham-on-Sea.
The House Fox team have assisted many North Somerset vendors and buyers in recent weeks. If you have any questions regarding the impact of the stamp duty holiday deadline on the North Somerset housing market, we are here to help.
There are savings to be enjoyed on house prices in North Somerset
According to Zoopla, the average price paid for property in North Somerset in the past six months (as of August 2020) is £255,652 At this price, while the stamp duty holiday is in effect, buyers will save more than £2,000. Given the cost of buying property, a lot of which must be paid up front, most buyers will be glad of any saving that reduces the financial impact at the time of buying property.
How long does it take to sell a home in North Somerset?
According to the home.co.uk website, the average time for a three-bedroomed house in Weston-super-Mare to go under offer is 37 days – just over a month. Other factors come into play, for example four and five bedroomed houses take on average just over two months to achieve an acceptable offer. But this is still down almost 40% on last year’s average of 110days.
As of mid-September 2020, there are around 27 weeks to the scheduled closure of the stamp duty holiday, Even though the pandemic has caused mortgage lenders, solicitors and surveyors to move at a slower rate, there is still more than enough time to conclude deals before the stamp duty holiday expires, but buyers and vendors should be wary of delays.
Stamp duty holiday causing a boost in sales
All the signs suggest that the government’s stamp duty holiday is positively affecting the housing market where the entire country has seen a boost of 38% of buyers, while in July a net of 75% of surveyors saw a rise in new buyer enquiries. (Source: Propertywire) Overall the biggest winners are those buying at the lower end of the market.
House prices, the best indicator of the health of the market, have risen 1.6% nationally. This represents an annual change of +3.8% on 2019 house prices.
Alan Cleary, group managing director for mortgages, at OneSavings Bank said: “The stamp duty holiday has clearly provided a further boost to affordability and has naturally stimulated demand. With supply having returned to more normal levels, overall levels of transactions can be expected to increase materially in the coming months.”
Is it a good time to sell in North Somerset? The bottom line
The answer is an emphatic yes. In addition to the stamp duty holiday, mortgages rates are at an all-time low. The Bank of England have stressed that the cut in the basic rate of interest was a temporary measure. The last time rates were cut in this way, after the Brexit referendum, the rate was in place for just 15 months before it was raised again. Of course, when bank interest rates rise mortgage rates follow suit.
The market is currently buoyant, but housing stocks are low. This means that there are more people looking to move into the area than there are houses available. This has driven buyers into making quick decisions on property, with a percentage of properties selling in under a week. (https://www.rightmove.co.uk/news/articles/property-news/homes-selling-week-ten-year-high).
The Home Owners’ alliance agree. They said: “With demand outstripping a modest supply of housing, the vast majority of newly listed homes for sale are being snapped up. This puts sellers in a strong position to negotiate and pick from the best buyers who are able to move quickly.”
House Fox are here to help
Still undecided on whether to sell? Call us on 01934 314242. We can give you unbiased advice on the local property market while our mortgage advisors are more than happy to talk to you about the financial side of selling and buying. You can also follow us on Facebookfor up-to-date news, hints, tips and regular prize draws.