Following the publication of Rightmove’s most recent House Price Index, it has been revealed that one in five buyers who agreed purchases in July 2020 are still waiting for the deal to be completed more than six months later.
July 2020 is a significant date because it is the moment that the stamp duty holiday was first introduced, setting the stage for a great flurry of housing market activity. The fact that one in five home purchases that were agreed at that time are still waiting for completion is striking, especially given that just one in ten sales agreed in July 2019, a year earlier, took more than 6 months to complete.
This means that, despite the extension to the stamp duty holiday, there is no guarantee that those agreeing purchases right now will complete by the end of June 2021.
The news comes as we learn that today’s housing market is experiencing the ‘greatest excess of demand over supply over the past ten years’, a fact which is forcing average prices up by 0.8%, or £2,484, compared to last month.
Rightmove tells us that the number of potential buyers enquiring about each available property on the market is currently 34% higher than this time last year.
Marc von Grundherr, Director of London-based estate agency, Benham and Reeves, said:
”We’re fast approaching what is traditionally the busiest time of the year for the UK property market. With the double-pronged boost to buyer demand in the form of a stamp duty extension and government-guaranteed 95% mortgage products, sellers can ill-afford to sit on their hands with regard to getting their property on the market.
“While price growth has been understandably subdued in some areas such as prime central London, a lack of supply to meet the huge levels of buyer demand seen in recent months means that by and large, sellers are securing a very good price for their home.
“This is a trend we expect to see intensify over the coming months. At Benham and Reeves we’re finding many more sellers requesting valuations in anticipation of riding this wave.
“With lockdown restrictions still in place, buyers are continuing to value larger homes over location and so we’re seeing the outer suburbs of London perform extremely well right now.”