The first half of 2021 has been extremely busy, with demand outstripping supply particularly in the house market. This led to significant price rises of 10-13% in RG40 and RG41 postcodes over the past 12 months as buyers looked to upgrade from their current property or move out of the rental sector. The various lockdowns experienced due to COVID-19, and the consequential amount of time spent indoors highlighted inadequacies in people’s current home in terms of space, condition, access to a garden and the ability to work from home. Couple this with the government incentive of a Stamp Duty holiday and it was no wonder the market saw activity go through the roof.
Now the deadline of June 30th has passed for the lion’s share of Stamp Duty savings, the market has naturally shown signs of change. As anticipated, there is a profound lack of properties available, and whilst demand has softened slightly, there are still far more buyers than there are properties available which means the market is still firmly in the favour of the seller and the prices being achieved are still extremely strong. On average we are achieving 99.3% of asking price.
The landscape for the rest of the year will be governed by the number of properties coming to market. If this remains stubbornly low, then we would expect to see further price increases, albeit at a much slower rate of growth than the early part of the year. The very best properties, on the very best roads will always command a premium and now is no different. If instruction levels begin to normalise as we go into the autumn, we would expect to see balance returning in the demand/supply dynamic and a stabilisation of prices, and indeed a potential softening may occur, although reports in the press of significant price drops are not on the horizon whilst interest rates are so low, the borough is so desirable and available housing is still in short supply.