With only around 1 in 8 Staines-upon-Thames house sellers actually agreeing a sale on their home in the last month, Staines-upon-Thames sellers and buyers will need to continue to be pragmatic if the surprisingly strong current levels of activity in the Staines-upon-Thames property market are to be sustained.
To start, we had the once in a lifetime event of the credit crunch in 2008, we then had another once in a lifetime event with the Brexit vote in 2016 and now the mother of all ‘once in a lifetime’ events, Coronavirus in 2020 – three once in a lifetime events in the space of 3 Olympic Games!
The doom-mongers forecast that the British property market would drop like a lead balloon on the scale of the 1989 housing crash (where property values dropped by 30.87% in a couple of years) but would be nothing compared to the tsunami that was Covid. Yet in the first 100 days of the property market coming out of lockdown, behavioural and economic changes mean that many Staines-upon-Thames homebuyers are now even more dedicated to moving home and the Staines-upon-Thames property market is performing well.
Going into lockdown, the effect on activity in the Staines-upon-Thames property market during those two months was expectable and predictable as it was placed in suspended animation during April and May, the team at Oasis continued working from home during lock down and whilst we agreed more sales than expected, six in April and seven in May it was understandably slower than our usual levels of business. We actually agreed our first ever sale to a buyer via a live stream viewing. When the Staines-upon-Thames property market re-opened fully in mid-May, nobody predicted what happened next. Of course, many of us in the property industry estimated some release of pent-up demand from the Boris Bounce, yet nobody anticipated such a ricochet in activity in the Staines-upon-Thames property market.
This is particularly interesting when one considers GDP dropped by 20.4% in Q2 2020 (fascinating when compared to notable historic times when it dropped by 13.8% in WW2 and 16.7% in WW1), yet amidst the largest contraction in the UK economy ever in a single quarter, what wasn’t expected was an increase of potential property buyers and property sellers wanting to move post lockdown. We are regularly registering over two hundred buyers a month which is up by 25% on the usual levels of around 150.
Some have cited this boost to the property market on a number of factors. Firstly, we have had the Stamp Duty Holiday, others have pointed at the never seen before 0.1% Bank of England base rates making mortgages cheap, then we had the furlough scheme which protected so many jobs and finally, the pent-up demand from the Boris Bounce.
Yet, when one actually talks with Staines-upon-Thames buyers and sellers, whilst all of them cite one or two of the above reasons, all of them mention and talk about how the lockdown has made them re-evaluate and reconsider how they want to live, their work-life balance and where they want to live. This is also reflected with tenants changing their requirements when looking for a property to rent (so Staines-upon-Thames landlords – be aware of this).
Demand for apartments in the centre of Staines-upon-Thames without outside space has eased off, whilst demand for property with a good-sized garden or other outside space has increased. One question we get asked all the time is also the broadband speeds, although they are good in Staines-upon-Thames (the average broadband in Spelthorne Borough area being 49.5 Mbps download and 10.2 Mbps upload).
So, with record numbers of Staines-upon-Thames properties coming on to the market – is it boom time for Staines-upon-Thames homeowners?
Of the 206 properties that have come onto the market in Staines-upon-Thames over the last month, only 27 of them have agreed a sale (a percentage of 13.1%)
That means around 7 out of 8 Staines-upon-Thames people that have placed their property onto the market have not found a buyer yet.
Yes, the Staines-upon-Thames property market is good, yet the number of people who have placed their property on the market has also gone up. All of the agents in Staines-upon-Thames have been busy with new instructions and our board man has been very busy putting up all the for-sale boards.
But that does mean you are in competition with so many other properties on the market (the number of properties coming on to the market typically at this time of the year is about a third to half less). The Stamp Duty boost ends in March 2021, so that means you need to have found a buyer by November at the very latest. By over-egging your asking price, to test the market, might mean you will lose out on this hiatus and could end up missing the boat!
The prices being achieved for the Staines-upon-Thames properties that have been selling have been fair and realistic and have stood up much better than many were originally expecting when Covid arrived on our shores.
Yet as the country looks forward, given the ambiguous nature of the outlook for the British economy and the possibility that Covid-19 may be with us for a little while yet, I must implore Staines-upon-Thames property sellers to be realistic with their asking price so a greater number of you who want to make the move during the stamp duty holiday, are able to do so.