The Chancellor’s stamp duty holiday has certainly achieved its aim of supercharging the property market. The temporary measure – under which homes sold for £500,000 or less are stamp duty free and those costing more have a reduced bill, with savings of up to £15,000 – has led to ‘time on market’ figures reducing drastically, with one in seven homes listed on Rightmove by an agent, between 8th July and 31st August, finding a buyer within a week.
In layman’s terms, ‘time on market’ simply refers to the duration a property is for sale. The start is usually measured from the day a property is launched online, and the final day can be either the day the property is withdrawn from the open market or when a successful offer is made and the property is shown as sold subject to contract.
The appetite for moving home is so strong at the moment that the ‘time on market’ is now at its lowest figure for a decade. Rightmove’s latest data shows sellers are finding buyers within the quickest time frame for 10 years, breaking records that have been held since February 2016. In addition, one in three homes sold within two weeks of coming to market.
There is no doubt the stamp duty holiday has accelerated moving plans. After all, the initiative is a temporary one and buyers must complete their purchase by 31st March 2021 to qualify for the benefit, so time is of the essence. The speed of sales, however, is also down to our new normal and the changing priorities that come as a result.
If you’re wondering if your house might sell in seven days, there are a few factors that will contribute to how quickly a buyer is found and these include:
The size of your property: the lockdown period has highlighted how many families can’t coexist in small spaces, especially if people have adopted home working patterns or have had their children at home for extended periods. The quest for more room has led to a scramble for larger houses so if you have a home with three bedrooms or more, you will attract interest.
Your ability to offer a home office: whether it’s a full time switch to working from home or a split between a central office and a home hub, a dedicated place to work – not a dining table or corner of the lounge – has moved to the top of the buying wish list. Although converting a spare bedroom into a home office sounds good in principle, this can affect a home’s value if it comes at a loss of a bedroom. The most desirable home offices are separate studies on the ground floor or a garden room that’s well insulated with power, light and a heating source.
Any outside space: our gardens have become a place to entertain safely, to exercise in, to let the children burn off excess energy and to start being more self-sufficient during times of food shortages. It’s no surprise then, that gardens have appeared in increasing numbers of property searches. You’re already winning if you have a garden – or even a courtyard – but if your outside space is neat, low maintenance and generously proportioned, you’ll win brownie points with buyers.
If you’d like to know how quickly properties like yours are selling and what prices are being achieved, please get in touch.
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