Is this the best time to sell your home? British homeowners are on the move

British homeowners are on the move with 12 per cent putting their property on the market in the past four months.

Friday, 27th November 2020, 4:15 pm
Updated Friday, 27th November 2020, 4:17 pm

Millions of people have chosen to up-sticks and take advantage of the ‘stamp duty holiday’ announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak earlier this year, which is available until March 2021.

A further 28 per cent are considering their options to move, and one in 20 want to relocate before the holiday ends.

The study of 2,000 homeowners found almost half think the new rules have put them in a better financial position - if they wanted to move.

Why Brits are moving

And Skipton Building Society’s Group owned estate agency Connells has reported a 29 per cent increase in new instructions of properties to the market in quarter three of this year compared to this time last year.

While property search registrations have risen by 36 per cent, and first-time buyer registrations are up by 27 per cent.

Alex Beavis, head of mortgages at Skipton Building Society, said: “The housing market is booming since the stamp duty announcement, with many asking if now really is the best time to sell and buy.

“There are lots of reasons why buying now might be a great idea: the stamp duty changes, savings may have increased due to lack of spending, a buoyant sellers’ market, mortgage rates at their lowest and house prices matching up.

“However, there are also reasons for buyers to be cautious. Buying a home is like any other big decision and the best way to approach it is rationally.

"And in this turbulent time, it’s important that people looking to buy consider a variety of factors before they look to sell or rush to purchase, these include considering their own employment security, their personal reasons for moving and if they’ll need to move again in the future, their deposit size ensuing the move isn’t just to benefit from the stamp duty changes alone.”

The increased demand for houses is pushing house prices higher, and Connells forecast that the average prices for the rest of 2020 will be seven per cent higher than this time last year.

The stamp duty holiday has opened possibilities up to homeowners and first-time buyers that may not have been accessible before, with more than a quarter of people taking more of an interest in the housing market since the July broadcast.

With stamp duty capped at £500,000 those looking to purchase properties below this price would have a chance to benefit from this tax reduction.

For those who are either moving, or considering a move, stamp duty rules have made it possible for 33 per cent to consider increasing the size of the property.

While 21 per cent feel they now have the opportunity to go the opposite way and downsize.

The stamp duty holiday also makes it possible for 62 per cent of those who have considered moving to buy somewhere which needs a little money spending for renovations and decorating.

While 58 per cent like the idea that they could free up some cash to landscape or do up an outdoor space.

It also emerged that 25 per cent of owners have spent more time browsing houses for sale online, regardless of whether they actually plan to move or not.

This has led to 15 per cent of adults polled via OnePoll going to house viewings – seeing an average of nine so far.

Regionally, London has seen 350,000 adults placing properties on the market after the introduction of the new rules. This compares to around 80,000 in the north west, 150,000 in the south east and 42,000 in the south west.

Alex Beavis for Skipton Building Society added: “It’s important for all buyers and sellers looking to benefit from the stamp duty changes to note that with the stamp duty holiday ending on the 31st March 2021, there is a risk and concern that now may be too late to go in search of that benefit, as some property sales and purchases at this later stage may not actually complete until after – with people potentially missing out on the initial benefit they put their property on for in the first place.

“With larger populations than all other regions in England, it stands to reason more people in London and the south east would be in a position to move.

“There is an appetite among Brits to get good value for money, and we certainly seem to be seeing that when it comes to house moving.”