Since May 2020, when the housing market reopened after the first lockdown, the market itself has been through the proverbial ringer. Yet, as we approach a successful vaccine rollout and a long awaited ease to lockdown rules, the property industry looks to be steadily gaining momentum with more and more buyers looking to get onto the housing ladder.
With buyers taking advantage of stamp duty holidays and low mortgage schemes offered by the Government, it’s been made significantly easier to make that first step and almost a year later the property industry appears to be engaged in full recovery mode making Spring a very interesting time indeed for the market.
Rightmove recently released data indicating a sharp increase in average asking prices across Britain of £6,700 reaching an all-time high of £327,787. This really is great news for the industry with average sales completion times reaching a record low, at around 51 days.
Rightmove said that while 145,000 properties were newly listed in the past month, this was ‘not enough to meet current buyer demand.’
London – An Exit Strategy
During the pandemic, the desire to relocate out of the busy capital was there for all to see with the bustling city no longer an appealing prospect to those who wished for safety in isolation.
For many Londoners and those that commute regularly, this requirement will be the same, but will be fueled by a slightly different thought process. The modern working week is at an end, being replaced by a more flexible and remote way of earning a living and in turn, making the country (or certainly outside of London) lifestyle a real possibility for middle aged professionals way ahead of their projected retirement age. These areas outside London are likely to see large growth throughout 2021.
The Secrets Out
Reading, where Sophic Property operates, is a prime example of one of these towns. The desire for detached properties with facilities such as south facing gardens and home offices are commanding top prices in this area and is not only an attractive place to live, but also a prime investment opportunity.
A few months back, we wrote an article about how residents from Hong Kong were looking at investing in property in the UK after the British government announced a visa scheme for all Hong Kong people with British National (Overseas) status, which includes some three million people born in the then-British colony before it was handed back to China in 1997. Under the new policy, they can enter the United Kingdom with their families to work or study for five years before becoming eligible to seek the right of abode and, eventually, citizenship.
This policy change has allowed Hong Kongers to buy available properties in towns outside of London, with Reading being a prime area. Acquisition of these sought after properties is achieved by those wishing to move from Asia opting to pay an entire years (or more) rent up front with others buying property with cash outright!
This particular situation is also helping to push up prices in Reading for both rental properties and purchases. The secret has finally leaked out, Reading is quickly becoming the best place to invest in the UK, outside of London.
No one really knows what the future holds for the property market, with some experts believing the industry will slow when the government-funded schemes come to an end and others believing the industry will continue to thrive with investment from abroad, both of which are valid arguments that require proving. We at Sophic Property recommend getting in touch with us about available properties in Reading as soon as possible to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday.
Alternatively, contact us for advice on looking for a property in Reading or the surrounding areas. We are always active speaking to investors and seeking out properties for them – many times – off the market