According to analysts and reports written in the press, the property market is booming across the UK. The total value of homes sold in the UK is expected to reach £461bn this year, a jump of 46% on 2020, indicating the current housing market boom is likely to continue, according to a new prediction.
The property website Zoopla said its projections indicated the property market in 2021 was on course to be the busiest for 14 years.
This is all fantastic news if you live anywhere but Central London, where the market has declined, (down 2.5% year-on-year), Kensington and Chelsea (down 1.7%), Westminster (down 2.2%), and Hammersmith and
Fulham (down 1.4%). These areas have been particularly affected by the global shutdown of international business and leisure travel due to the pandemic, said Zoopla.
So, as we hear this encouraging news, which is based on families needing more space to grow, job relocation, working from home, better schools, not having to commute and therefore buying a house in a location you would prefer rather than need to live in. We ask the questions relevant to us, such as “why am I still not getting any viewings on my flat, but my friend’s house sold in one day?”
We are now in a unique market in the Southeast, where flats and houses are as different as cars and motorbikes, one being a safe bet and the other riskier (although I ride a Harley Davidson, so it doesn’t apply to me personally). Houses are attracting plenty of interest, viewings and offers, so long as they are near good schools, which seem to be at the top of the wish list now, followed by parks, entertainment and commuting has dropped down the list as more people enjoy working from home. Demand on houses ticking these boxes is so high, that most are achieving asking price and above. The same can’t be said for the flat market.
The demand for flats is at an all-time low, with the negative snowball getting larger. People want outside space to themselves, they do not want enclosed communal hallways, lifts and high service charges. This all means that flats need to be prices very differently from houses. If a buyer can find a small run-down house at the same price as a good flat, they will go for the house. This all means that, unless you have a maisonette with private entrance and private garden, share of freehold, you need to consider taking a hefty price drop from your asking price. However, this is just a blip in the flat market.
The flat market I predict should return once we are allowed to return to normality, which is planed for the 19th July. Once the public can once again commute to work, they will start looking again at flats closer into London.
The other positive news on the horizon is the demand for rental property is very high, due to people on the move once again due to change of work and family ties. This should get the demand for buy to let properties from investors along with properties for sale with a sitting tenant. This will ensure the new landlord already has a revenue generating business to take over.
In short, if you are trying to sell a house, this is your time right now and follow your agent’s advice on the price. If it is a flat speak to a few agents and do not allow the highest priced agents to flatter you, focus on the lower price values and work your future budgets around them.