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A direct property market update

May 17, 2021 | Property market  


The property market has been a hot topic during the pandemic. A lot of ups, downs and unknown news for sellers, landlords, buyers and tenants. One thing is for sure – the market has been anything but quiet and at switch properties, we’ve experienced one of the busiest years since we began trading. The market is buoyant.

How have sellers been affected?

At the start of the pandemic, the sudden uncertainty halted the property market and people were not sure whether they should be taking risks. However, this rapidly changed and the market became favourable for sellers. Many factors came into play:

  • Continuation of moving

During the last national lockdown, the government announced those moving homes were still allowed to do so. Estate agencies, removal companies, valuers and show homes were still operating and going into homes while they adhered to the latest COVID-19 guidelines. This allowed the property market to stay active and for those looking to buy, sell, let or rent continue to do so.

  • Stamp duty holiday

The stamp duty holiday was introduced in July 2020 to boost the housing market and economy. This increased buyer activity and helped to kick-start the property market in a way rarely witnessed before. The latest stamp duty holiday extension announced in March 2021 stipulated that those buying properties up to £500,00 won’t need to pay stamp duty until the end of June and after that buyers purchasing properties up to £250,000 will pay no stamp duty until the end of September 2021.

  • 5% deposit mortgages

The introduction of a new mortgage scheme enables homebuyers with a 5% deposit to get accepted for a mortgage with part of the loan being backed by the government. This was announced in the Budget and is currently running until December 2022.

The pandemic saw several banks unwilling to take the risk with 5% mortgages with all the financial uncertainty, therefore, many of them dropped this option.

These are some of the main factors that have influenced the property market lately and if you’re still thinking about selling, there really is no time like the present. The property market is still active and thriving.

What about coming out of the pandemic?

The property market holds a lot of optimism with demand for property showing no signs of slowing down. Additionally, house prices and asking prices are continuing to increase, good news for sellers.

With many buyers snapping up properties before the stamp duty holiday ends, and taking advantage of government schemes, it may mean there will be a lack of supply of homes. This imbalance could mean that house prices will remain high since the demand will still be there.

The wide use of virtual viewings has allowed buyers to view and filter out properties they are really interested in. This has in turn meant that buyers who enquire are more likely to be serious with a greater chance of putting in an offer.

Furthermore, buyers aren’t restricted as borrower affordability continues to improve,  lenders are going back to 90% and 95% mortgages. With the government stepping in, it can give a lot of confidence that the property market will continue to thrive.

How about Landlords?

The lettings market in and around Leeds has steadily been busy and shown no signs of slowing down either. Landlords were left with a lot of questions around securing rents from their properties. However, throughout last year, switch properties only had one dispute which was quickly managed and resolved with the remainder of our over 200 managed properties carrying on as normal and full rents being paid.

Students are getting ready now for the September term and securing a home for the next academic year.

Is there demand for rental?

With restrictions easing and the city welcoming back international students who are allowed into the country again, we are already seeing, and anticipating a huge rise in demand for rental properties in and around Leeds. The additional benefit of international students for landlords is that payment is made upfront as they do not have a UK guarantor.

As the demand for rental properties is still high we welcome any new landlords who are thinking about letting their property. The new legislations and regulations are all aspects in which we can advise and guide you on to ensure your property investment is protected both financially and through compliance.

Interest rates are low and the mortgage availability is growing which means whether you’re looking to invest for the first time or add to your property portfolio, it is a great time to do so.

In summary, the property market in and around Leeds continues to prosper and at switch properties we are confident that the rest of 2021 will be a great time to sell, let, buy or rent property. With a close eye on developments, and in the know about all things related to property, we like to keep our clients informed and up to date on any information that may affect them.

We provide a range of property services and our expertise allows us to offer honest advice and guidance. If you’re looking to sell, let, buy or rent in Leeds City Centre, Headingley, Hyde Park or surrounding areas don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at switch properties.

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