Covid-19 update

HM Land Registry latest price data

HM Land Registry published the latest price data on 30th December 2021 which is now available on The Move Market.

We are now getting much more data that is related to transactions that have been agreed since the Coronavirus outbreak - one surprising thing that not many predicted was pent up demand causing a mini-boom in property prices and housing activity rising above normal levels.

This in part can be explained by many people 'needing' to move given they need more space to work from home that they had not previously anticipated, as well as the stamp duty holiday being extended.

The stamp duty holiday finally ended in June and up to this point it had created a frenzy of buying activity - with conveyancers and mortgage approvals stretched to their limits.

The stamp duty holiday will taper off by the 30th September 2021 when the property tax will revert to what was in place before the pandemic started.

We are seeing a split in property valuations - flats have fallen in popularity (and price) pressumably due to the limited ability to work from home and the lack of outside space.

Meanwhile, detached properties with room for home offices have surged in price, with many buyers not considering a property that can't offer a good home working area.

In addition to flats falling in desirability due to the rise in working from home, the new fire regulations have hampered many sales with some properties unable to be sold to anyone requiring a mortgage.

How long this change in buying behaviour lasts will partly depend on how swiftly lockdown restrictions are lifted and partly upon business's willingness to let more employees work from home on a regular basis.

Going into 2022 we expect demand for flats and smaller properties to pick up again as people are forced back into work and the towns and cities become busier.

How the prices hold up for larger properties that are further from city centers will be interesting to see - inevitably some people will be called back to the office 5 days a week and realise that a long daily commute isn't for them, although the impact of this change will be more drawn out as moving between larger family homes tends to be a slower process.

What does all this mean?

The general fall in prices that we predicted hasn't happened yet - however, we still expect prices to subdue throughout the end of 2021 and for prices to ease off where demand has surged this year.

Now may be the perfect time for those looking to buy and investment property - finding a flat in a central location that has had its value decrease more significantly than that of other property types may prove to be lucrative in the longer term.