2021 – WHAT’S IN STORE FOR THE PROPERTY MARKET?
The property market rebound
took even the experts by
surprise in the second half of
2020, with Savills’ autumn
residential property market
outlook stating that activity had
been ‘stronger than anticipated‘.
HMRC data found that residential property
transactions were up 19.3% year-on-year
in November 2020, while UK mortgage
approvals hit a 13-year high in October1.
So, what now?
Despite gloomy predictions of a house
price crash earlier in the year, the property
market looks set to remain surprisingly
buoyant in 2021. Despite Lockdown 3.0
taking hold, the housing market remains
open, with estate agents, removal firms and
tradespeople allowed to continue working
in people’s homes, meaning homebuyers
and sellers can resume in earnest with their
The momentum initiated by July’s Stamp
Duty holiday announcement has continued
into the first quarter of the new year, with
a massive 650,000 sales currently in the pipeline – most of which will be aiming to
complete by the end of March2.
An unsustainable situation?
Despite an optimistic outlook for the
year ahead, experts are quick to point
out that uncertainty remains as the UK
continues its battle against the pandemic.
While Rightmove points to ‘strong evidence‘
that people will continue to prioritise
reviewing their housing needs, Savills warns
that the outlook for this year’s housing
market will shift and change in line with
the government’s response to the crisis,
the speed of vaccine delivery and
economic recovery. Particularly, the end of the furlough scheme
in April 2021 is highlighted as a potential
challenge. With job losses expected despite
the replacement Job Protection Scheme,
2020’s momentum may be unsustainable as
we move into Q2 and Q3 2021.
A ‘less straightforward’ year
With so many variables at play, Knight Frank
suggests that even short-term forecasting
remains difficult this year. Whatever happens
in 2021, however, one thing is sure: we’ll
continue to keep you up to date with the
latest property market news, so you’ll always
be able to make an informed decision.
1Bank of England, 2Rightmove, 2020
NEW YEAR, NEW INSURANCE NEEDS?
With many people now
working from home full-time
due to the national lockdown,
the Association of British
Insurers has reassured
that remote working will
have no impact on their
home insurance policy
and that there is no need
to update documents or
contact their insurer.
However, if you now have more expensive
tech at home, perhaps purchased to
aid home schooling, or accumulated over
the festive period, you may need to update
your home contents policy to reflect the
increased value of your possessions. With the average British adult estimated
to have forked out £476 on Christmas gifts
in 20203, it’s important not to overlook the
value of all the gifts you and your children
received, as they could add hundreds,
if not thousands, onto the value of your
What’s happened in your year?
The pandemic has also led many of us
to review our needs for other types of
insurance, such as life insurance or critical
Whenever your personal circumstances
change, it’s important to make time to
review your protection cover. Any changes
in your financial circumstances – for
example getting a new job or losing your
job, taking out a mortgage, having children,
getting divorced, retiring – are all triggers
to review your needs.
2020 certainly showed us to expect
the unexpected. So, don’t delay in
ensuring you have adequate protection
cover to keep you, your loved ones and
your home, safe from life’s hard knocks.
We’re only a phone call away.
|IF YOU NOW
EXPENSIVE TECH AT
PURCHASED TO AID
OVER THE FESTIVE
PERIOD, YOU MAY
NEED TO UPDATE
GET YOUR TRANSACTION MOVING
Although the government
confirmed in December
that there would be no
extension to the Stamp Duty
holiday scheme, pressure is
mounting for an extension to
be granted in light of the most
recent national lockdown
announced in January.
If the deadline remains 31 March 2021,
research4 has predicted that up to
325,000 buyers stand to miss the
deadline due to delays caused by the
sheer weight of demand on the sector.
However, it is possible to get your
transaction over the line on time by
following these top tips.
1. Instruct a solicitor as
soon as you’ve listed
Many sellers only think to instruct a
solicitor once they’ve had an offer on their
property, but it can really speed things up
if you instruct a solicitor as soon as your
property is on the market.
2. Get a mortgage in
principle before starting
your property search
Getting all the affordability checks done
and obtaining an agreement in principle
before you even start looking for your home
can again save so much time.
3. Get the searches done now
As soon as you’ve made an offer, make sure
that your solicitor applies for local authority
searches immediately, as they are also
subject to significant delays at the moment.
4. Book a survey
Surveyors are also said to be at breaking
point, so find a reputable surveyor well
ahead of time and book in a survey as soon
as you have had your offer accepted.
5. Get your paperwork together
Make sure you understand what
documentation you’ll need to hand
over to your solicitor, and don’t delay in
getting it together. Also make sure you
immediately fill in, sign and send back any
documentation sent to you by your solicitor.
6. Get some help
Our final tip is not to do it alone!
We can help you find a suitable mortgage
so that you’re free to speed on with