Market Comment – September 2021

I was very pleasantly surprised with the results of September across all of our departments, from second hand homes, lettings and new homes.

In recent reports, the cost of the average home in the UK was 1.7% higher in September compared with August and September was the fastest monthly rise since February 2007, according to the Halifax. Other figures show that house prices were up 7.4% compared with September 2020, pushing the typical value for a home up to £267,500, the highest on record.

In the second week of September, we saw a big spike in prospective purchasers registering for three and four bedroom houses, which suggest that these applicants smaller properties had recently gone under offer, as well as new prospective purchasers coming to the market. From October the 1st, the threshold up to which buyers could avoid paying stamp duty fell from £250,000 to £125,000 and that is the July 2020 level.

At the moment, there is excellent mortgage availability with record low interest rates, with some fixed rate mortgages less than 1% and our financial services team are seeing a record amount of people comparative to 3 and 4 years ago.

The residential lettings market still amazes me, as the number of prospective tenants looking to rent increases every year and across the group there was 194 more tenants registering in September than August, with a disparity of 6% less rental properties coming to the market.

As a company, we were delighted to take over the full management of two major developments in Croydon, which has enabled us to recruit new property managers who have already started and have hit the ground running.

I was especially delighted that our Purley lettings branch won the British Property Awards, for the best lettings agent in the area and for anybody who doesn’t know how this is ran, a panel of independent judge’s mystery shop on a number of occasions, regarding letting property or being a tenant and the customer experience there in, so I was particularly delighted for Natalie Sanders and her team to pick up this award last month.

Patrick Donnelly and his team in Land and New Homes go from strength to strength and we have an excellent back of new properties being released every month now, well in to 2022.

As we are in the last quarter of 2021, a year which has been so different for all of us, many people have asked me what to expect in the housing market – I think it is inevitable and a given that the lettings market will be disproportionate in that the amount of properties coming to the market will be less than the number of prospective tenants registering. Even though the demand will out strip the supply, I think rents may nudge up a little but no more than 2% or 3%, with the emphasis being on the quality and finish of the property and the top end finishes really are achieving great monthly rents.

The sales market will continue with momentum, as we cannot ignore that there is still a shortage of property coming to the market from 1 bedroom apartments to 6 bedroom detached houses.

I was delighted to receive a number of calls in the 3rd quarter of this year, following my market comments with question regarding the property market and as we go in to the last quarter, please feel free to email or call me if you have any questions on the market going forward.