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Date Posted: 12/02/21

Doesn’t it make a difference with the extra few minutes daylight each day, some brave shoots starting to break ground and the occasional almost spring-like day with the lovely sound of birdsong.

The property market is still very much “open” and also starting to spring slowly into action hopefully now the worst of the winter is over.

Rightmove have reported that despite the Covid lockdown, ongoing pandemic and likely end of the Government’s Stamp Duty Holiday on the horizon, it has seen a 33% rise in enquires over the same period as last year. In addition, they report a 12% increase in buyers registering with agents and sales up 9% over last January so far.

They also reported a minor reduction in prices of 0.9%, but this is thought to be partially seasonal as sellers tried to attract buyers in December/ the New Year and to encourage them as now they will miss the stamp duty holiday.

Putterills offices are certainly following this trend locally.

Sold Signs

What does 2021 hold for the local property market?>

Our view is that it’s actually going to be another busy year. There might be a blip around the end of March when the Stamp Duty holiday ends and some transactions will have missed the deadline, so we may see some chains re-negotiating prices, but realistically, who just moves because they can save a bit of stamp duty? The maximum saving was £15,000 but for many it was less, and when you are buying a home to live in for many years its value is likely to go up well in excess of any tax savings. There is some speculation the Stamp Duty holiday may be extended but at the moment it is just speculation and unlikely to be announced until the Budget on 3rd March.

There is a general view from many economists that the continued exodus from London and major cities, post lockdown (whenever that is), pent up demand, a potential surge in separations/divorces, but also many couples now wanting to live together or indeed buy their first home, will lead to some busy times ahead.

Over the last week or so we have seen an increasing number of mortgage lenders re introducing 90% mortgages and one new lender is apparently going to offer a 30-year fixed rate mortgage (no more details as yet!). Interest rates remain at historically low levels so for many it’s become cheaper to buy than rent.

Putterills are members of a small business club representing companies throughout Hertfordshire. These range from major international pharmaceutical companies to building suppliers, specialist manufacturers, hoteliers, property developers and care home operators - so it’s always interesting to get their opinion of what’s happening in their industries, especially after Brexit.

At the first (zoom) meeting of 2021 last week, many of the companies who export a large amount to Europe said that there were some teething issues, particularly around paperwork, however, none of them were experiencing the long delays around transportation that they had feared. Several expressed their relief that some legislation that might have been more relevant to companies within the EU no longer confined them. For most, the picture was of full or improving order books and many companies looking to recruit over the coming months.

What also came out was that the UK has a lot of things that it really ought to be very proud of! Our pharmaceutical expertise is the envy of the world, we were the first country to approve a vaccine, we now have 3 approved and, to date, have vaccinated more people than the whole of the rest of the EU combined.

There was also optimism that with a less volatile leadership in the United States, trade and relationships would be improving there as well.

Overall, it felt as though whilst many are restrained by current Covid regulations,there is a general feeling that we have turned a corner, the pandemic will ease and once it does people will want to get on with their lives. For many that includes reviewing their homes and living situations, so watch this space, but we think the market is going to be on the move again very soon.

Washing Hands

Covid Precautions

Putterills are offering attended valuations for homeowners serious about selling in the near future. For those just getting an idea at this stage, we can do virtual valuations by zoom and facetime etc. Serious buyers are still able to view homes, but are required to have watched individual property videos or virtual tours first, and to have driven past any property to ensure they like the location first.

For full details on how we are doing our utmost to keep everyone safe, please visit our website at https://www.putterills.co.uk

Right to Buy

Help To Buy, Land and New Homes>

Just a quick reminder, if you are planning to use the “Help To Buy” scheme for a new home, its now restricted to just First Time Buyers, and there is a local price cap of £407,000.

Putterills’ specialist Land team are working on some great opportunities for developers to create more new homes on previously used land and are urgently looking for more land opportunities to meet high demand for sites.

The New Homes office will be launching a number of developments in the coming weeks ranging from luxury apartments in town centre locations, village homes and exclusive luxury detached family homes. For more information, please contact our New Homes team on 01462 453195.

Washing Hands

Lettings Update

Its been another busy start of the year for our Lettings Department. Demand for rental properties continues to increase in Hertfordshire and central Bedfordshire. The general migration of office workers to remote working, as well as the unexpected freedom of no longer having to commute, has put home space at a premium. Potentially, as working practises change for the foreseeable future, this has driven tenant demand towards our locations where rent money generally goes further than many Inner London locations.

Some existing tenants are now also having to reconsider their plans to buy, fuelling demand for good properties for long term rental. We are expecting that a key demand from tenants in 2021 will be for properties with gardens or good access to open spaces. If you have a property to Let, please call us now on 01462 419333 for details of how our professional and proactive service can help you.

Putterills’ offices are open and successfully selling and letting homes in these ever changing times. Call us now for the most up to date advice on how we can help your move, putterills.co.uk.

Putterills DirectorsPutterills, your local, trusted, property experts!

Take care and stay safe.

The Putterills Directors