Image above: Terraced housing in Chiswick
Guest blog by Julian Masson
The end of 2020 and the start of the New Year brought fresh impetuous to the sales market and despite the Prime Minister’s announcement to enter a third national lockdown on 4 January, buyers were still keen to make the most of the stamp duty holiday.
For us, this was demonstrated by the fact that we agreed the sale of seven properties in January, which was very encouraging. As we edge ever closer to the end of March and with the likelihood of an extension to the stamp duty holiday dwindling, many buyers have come to the realisation that they are incredibly unlikely to make the deadline and so are taking more time with their search and have lost a bit of the recent urgency.
Due to the pandemic, the average time for purchases to progress from a sale agreed to exchange has increased dramatically mainly due to a slow-down in the mortgage process, search results received from councils and general efficiency from various parties involved.
Now more than ever, it is absolutely imperative for a buyer and seller to instruct a proactive and efficient mortgage broker and solicitor, both of which we can highly recommend at John D Wood. It’s difficult to say what the future will hold for the property market and house prices but we predict a busy start to the spring with many buyers and sellers holding back for the lockdown restrictions to ease and for the improved weather and optimism.
Residential lettings up 400% in December
In regards to the residential lettings market, activity got off to a positive start in January 2021 off the back of one of the busiest Decembers John D Wood have seen in recent years owing to what we call ‘internal movement’ or ‘London movement’ due to the increased desire for outside space and additional internal space for people working from home.
In December, we witnessed a 400% increase in new lets from 2019-2020. Traditionally, January is a busy month and we certainly haven’t been disappointed with a 57% increase in viewings across our London offices from this time last year.
Many landlords have taken our advice to market their properties at realistic prices to ensure we secure a good quality tenant and avoid void periods. In regard to rental values, these should start to stabilise as the ongoing situation with the Covid-19 pandemic improves.
Julian Masson is Branch Manager and Head of Sales at John D Wood & Co.
If you are thinking of selling your property, take advantage of John D Wood’s Club Card offer: 35% off agency fees. John D Wood & Co sponsors The Chiswick Calendar.
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