Economic Update

Those of you who are regular readers of our updates, will remember us mentioning our friendly behavioural economist Roger.

During the first lockdown, he was flying in the face of all the doom mongering media and their predictions for a long recession, and instead telling us we were all in for a huge rebound, following the pent-up demand, with everyone starting to spend again as lockdown eased.

As Roger often puts it himself, he is “…broadly right, the majority of the time…”, and certainly in property terms, it appears this was another of those occasions!

Roger has just released his latest thoughts on the economy, along with his predictions for the year ahead, and you will be pleased to hear, that once again he is forecasting good things!

There are of course several unknowns, ranging from what the easing of lockdown will actually look like, to which option the chancellor will choose to recover some of the billions spent supporting the country throughout the pandemic, but his outlook is positive to say the least!

The current stamp duty holiday continues to be a hot topic, with the potential extension of the deadline, but other rumours are circulating including a one off (or perhaps annual) property tax on homes over a certain value! Only time will tell which route the government opt for, but when we consider that according national statistics, the country has seen an average of a 7% rise in property value, it is easy to understand why (if the rumours are true!), they consider a 1% property tax a good option!

Even if the stamp duty holiday is not extended, there are lots of reasons to agree with the positive forecasts for the housing market, with very low interest rates, increased saving levels and the need for space, all providing compelling arguments for a high demand in property.

Nationally, December saw an estimated 29% increase in the normal volume of transactions within the housing market, and whilst things have slowed a little in the new year with the latest lockdown, the predictions are that we will see a return to increased volumes perhaps as early as April, once restrictions start to lift.

Locally, we are aware of quite a few homeowners choosing to wait until lockdown eases, and more of the population are vaccinated, before putting their properties on the market.

This is leading to an increased demand in the face of the decreased supply, and in both the sales and rental markets, the lack of supply is resulting multiple interested parties pushing up the price of sought-after properties!

Boris’s announcement on Monday will further shape what lies ahead of us, but in the property market, perhaps it will once again be Rishi stealing the spotlight as we wait for what is to come.

Stay safe, and have a good weekend!