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The London Property Market Rebound: LOCKDOWN 2.0

Nov 12, 2020

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The London Property Market: Are You Ready For The Rebound?
Remember January 2020, when the biggest discussion anybody had about Corona was whether or not you should put a lime in it? Those were the days, because back then 2020 was looking like it was going to be a pretty solid year for the residential property market. We were just about shaking off the aftermath of Brexit, during which time buyers had been scared to buy and sellers were, well, scared to sell. Mortgage approvals were at a 6 year high and price growth returned to London. We could really see the light! And the COVID happened.

124,000 Sales Lost
After the Government introduced a lockdown mid-March, 370,000 home sales were put on hold. For a while, the market was just about keeping its head above the water, with those agents who are more ferocious than most trying all the tricks in the book to seal the deal before the inevitable happened, but by May, sales fell by around a half and approvals sank to an all time low. Zoopla estimates that around 124,000 sales were lost as a result. Of course, because it became nigh-on impossible to book a viewing let alone get a contract in place, many were forced to wait before moving forward with their property, so it’s no wonder the market dipped.
During that time, yes, as an industry we suffered, as did most. Some companies folded and went into liquidation, others had to reduce staff numbers and extend sales. Others, though, decided to use a little innovation and embrace the opportunity to take the stigma that surrounds the industry and turn it upside-down.
It was clear to us that as there are increasingly more ways for homeowners and landlords to sell and rent their homes online, and in particular over the last few months we rely more on and trust more in the online community, the industry really did need a complete overhaul. At Noah’s we maximise the use of the web and combine it with beautiful photography, good, user-friendly tech and exceptional service to do the best job we can. We want to bring the fun back to the property market. What happened to the excitement - the thrill of viewing a potential home - or even selling one?! Several sore suits and bad attitudes probably, but we’re here to fix it.

Buyer Enquiries Increase by 75%
Toward the end of May, lockdown was eased somewhat and estate agents were reopened (hello Noahs!). Suddenly, despite a weak economic backdrop, the housing market didn’t just rebound - it rocketed! The latest data according to CBRE was hugely positive, with a fourfold increase in approvals in June and weekly transactions in England back to pre-COVID levels. What’s more, a 1.7% increase in house prices was recorded in July, completely reversing the fall in June. As a result, annual house price growth recovered to +1.5%, with buyer enquiries 75% higher in July 2020 compared with July 2019. The number of sales agreed is up 15% on last year.
Fancy a little more encouraging data? How about this; it’s also reported that 44% of all properties newly listed in the first month the market reopened are already sale agreed, which is compared with just 34% for the equivalent dates last year. Zoopla reported buyer demand is 1.5 times higher than June 2019 and 46% higher than pre-COVID levels. Then they went and introduced a stamp duty holiday to boot!

40,000 Home Sales Predicted
Both Rightmove and Zoopla have reported an incredible increase in traffic, particularly since the announcement of the stamp duty holiday, which means stamp duty is only payable on properties above £500,000 until 31st March 2021 (Rightmove reported a 35% jump in annual sales volumes in the five days immediately following the announcement!). It is predicted that the holiday could lead to a 6% rise in transitions over the next 9 months - which is the equivalent to just over 40,000 sales.
Need more reasons to buy/sell now? The cost of debt is at a record low and the average mortgage rates on two and five year fixed are at an all time low too, which means people are in a better position to buy. Add to that the fact that there will be fewer new build completions in the next few years, with the number of workers on site having to be reduced due to social distancing and supplies being delayed, that means that more buyers will be looking to pre-loved/secondhand homes instead. So now is the time to get your home looking sexy and in shipshape ready to sell!

London’s Coming Back to Life; HELLO MR VACCINE
Despite the rumours being true in regards to the number of city residents contemplating escaping to the country and contacting estate agents to buy a home in a village rising by 126% in June & July (compared to the same period last year), at Noahs we are hearing some exciting things!
We meet all different people from all walks of life in our industry and since the announcement of the vaccine it is clear that they are all planning for London to reignite! Not only that, there is also crossrail coming into play. London still remains the central hub for most businesses, and those moving out of the City seeking a more comfortable and affordably luxurious lifestyle will soon be able to commute back to the office faster and more comfortable than ever! If you’re looking to sell a home in London right now, all you need is an experienced and honest agent to take the reins.

LOCKDOWN 2.0 Let’s Get Going
For the team here at Noahs, the disruption in the market hasn’t phased us - it’s excited us! Now is not the time to put off selling your home or buying a new property, in fact, with the right guidance and support from us, it is the perfect time. We will give you constructive feedback and suggest the best ways in which to present your home. We’re not a huge agency who’ll throw your home to the bottom of the pile, we’ll ensure it gets the same dedicated care as any other home among our listings. We’ll give it top coverage on our social media channels, provide full video tours, offer virtual viewings and upload high-end quality photography.
Yes, it’s been a struggle for the industry, but allow us to reassure you, the struggle is over, now it’s time to sell some homes!