Selling Property in 2021

'The UK Property market and House Prices in 2021'

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by Anita Richardson
House Wow® Director
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What does the COVID pandemic mean for property sellers in 2021?

As the start of 2021 saw the Prime Minister announce a 3rd National lockdown, a review of the property market revealed an unusual year for property in 2020. The Property Index by the Halifax released today shows House prices ended 2020 at a record high, but pace of growth has slowed. House prices in December were 6.0% higher than in the same month a year earlier. £253,374 being the average property price.

But what will change for property sellers in 2021?

Despite the National Lockdown measures, Government regulation allows the home moving process to continue, with Estate Agents encouraged to promote early viewings virtually and only serious buyers to organise physical viewings. Removers, surveyors, trades and associated business within the property market can continue to operate, under strict health and safety guidelines. At House Wow® our clients' safety is our number one priority and we follow all guidelines including facecoverings and full H&S regulations in carrying out our services. We can carry out full home staging and show home installations working covid-secure as well as working remotely to prepare virtual staging and design schemes.

The second half of 2020 saw a mini housing boom although average April predictions had suggested a 5% price drop in 2020. We take a look at what happened last year and what 2021 is likely to mean for the property market. If you're planning to sell property this year it's worth considering...
Property in a countryside region - Property market in 2021

2020 Mini Property Boom

The Home Staging industry was back to business after Government easing of lockdown in May. House builders got back to work in earnest and show homes re-opened their doors to eager buyers. The property market got back on its feet and buyers and sellers alike became accustomed to seeing masks and the businesses they deal with taking the necessary precautions to keep customers safe.

The end of August saw record property sales for the period year on year as the UK property market lurched back into action and buyers and sellers capitalised on the new wave of energy after lock down and restrictions. The Chancellors generous stamp duty cut for property up to £500 thousand, meant a potential saving of up to £15,000 if buyers were able to move home before April 2021.

More sellers came to market, encouraged by the stamp duty holiday, however this is likely to change in 2021.

Property prices rose in 2020 due to the pent up demand and rise in interest of coastal and out of town properties due to the pandemic. Working from home changed many people's needs in their ideal property and that looks set to continue this year.

However, the uncertain economic outlook for 2021 will see Mortgage companies and Property surveyors retain a level of restraint on property valuations and LTV mortgages for those who require finance.

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"Home Staging Improves Property Value by an average of 8%"
Source: RightMove

How did the pandemic affect property prices and sales?

Although sources such as Knight Frank, Savills and a Reuters poll of property experts had, prior to the Stamp Duty announcement, predicted an average of 5% price drop in 2020 due to the pandemic and a steady rise back to a level playing field over the following 2 years, that all changed when Government gave a level of unprecedented support for jobs and the property market.

Property portal Rightmove said that more sales were being agreed mid-2020 than at any point in the past decade.

Data from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) revealed that 70,710 property sales went through in July 2020, up 14.5% on June's figures but down 27% year-on-year. By the end of August there were record sales for the period year on year.

Halifax Price index reported House prices in November 2020 were 7.6% higher than in the same month a year earlier - the strongest growth since June 2016

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"Working from Home became a by-word for the pandemic in 2020 and is likely to be a recurring theme for property purchases this year"


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The start of 2021 heralds less certainty for the Property market

The Pandemic increase in numbers in the UK at the end of 2020 due to a new COVID strain caused havoc and threw positivity about vaccines roll out into question as the NHS began to struggle and schools began to change start dates for the January 2021 term.

By 4th January the Government had announced a 3rd lockdown for the whole of the UK, with more restrictions than the second lockdown and an announcement that all schools and colleges will close until at least half term. However Estate Agents and the property market are able to continue.

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Will the end of year 2020 property boom continue in 2021?

The end of the stamp duty holiday, increased unemployment, a downturn in the economy and predicted recession will impact buyer confidence, yet the appetite for property as an investment, the essential moves that take place every year and the changes in business practices with home working and less commuting will certainly play a roll in property purchases and steadying of the property market in the shorter term.

The Government have announced new measures to support jobs and the economy with an extended furlough scheme to Spring, support for the self employed and businesses. The housing market is a hugely important sector for jobs and the Government have a commitment to increasing the number of new builds to 300,000 per year from mid-2020 throughout the country.

However, Halifax house price index are cautious with a forecast for a slowdown in the housing market activity over the next 12 months of 2021 and a possible house price drop of 2-5 % with a larger variant of unpredictability.

In the new climate of uncertaintly it is more important than ever when selling property to take measures to increase the chances of a faster sale and to optimise selling price. House Wow® can help with property presentation and staging in order to increase number of viewings and offers. We continue to see increasing numbers of would-be property sellers turn to Home Staging services for improved value of property selling price.

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How does Home Staging increase property value?

UK statistics show that professional Home Staging increases the numbers of viewings, sells property faster and increases selling price by an average of 8%. Average Staging cost is 2% of property value. Therefore, it's very worthwhile spending some time and investing in presenting your property appropriately for the target market.

We've helped many home owners sell quickly at or above asking price during the pandemic. A recent client had 9 offers and sold above asking price after our staging even though it had gone to market the year before but failed to sell. One of our clients had 3 offers and sold at asking price within a week of our staging even though it had already been marketed for 6 months prior but failed to sell.

Whether it's a declutter and clean and sparkle, a coat of paint and styling, refurbishments or a full kit out of furnishings for an empty property - House Wow® have Associates across the UK who can help. We are the UK's leading Home Staging and Styling Professionals.

The visualisation of a home and lifestyle is very important for potential buyers. Images and video are viewed and compared before a buyer will take the time to walk through the front door. Videos and photography are unforgiving to a room or space that is not Staged to sell. It's all about selling the appeal of your home and 70% of buyers cannot visualise a space easily unless it's presented to them. Especially during a pandemic, Home Staging is important to presentation, it's an essential tool of property marketing.

House Wow® and our Associates have a clear COVID secure policy for safety measures and are pleased to talk through details with clients. We are available by video link to chat through your scheme and can create electronic reports and design schemes as well as virtual photography where required.

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*Sources and Stats: Halifax Price Index, Which.co.uk, Nationwide, Land Registry, Rightmove index, Savills, Knight Frank, Reuters.

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To find out more about how we could help you stage your property for rental complete the online enquiry form or check out our Home Staging services.

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