Nicky Stevenson, managing director of Fine & Country, says: “Demand is outstripping supply which is creating a frenzy around properties as soon as they hit the market. It is not uncommon for an agent to have multiple offers on a property within days of it listing, which has result in many properties currently selling over asking price.”
She continues: “As expected, the Spring market is living up to the hype, with the extension of the stamp duty holiday continuing to have a positive impact on the market, along with that fact that consumer confidence is at a record high and people eager to move during the warmer months.”
Stevenson says a report from property consultancy Twenty CI shows that since the stamp duty holiday was introduced in July last year, only two months are missing from the top 10 all-time list in terms of sales agreed.
Twenty CI says 162,000 property sales were agreed last month – March – which is the highest level recorded by the consultancy.
“Although December and January are traditionally slower months within the property market with people taking seasonal holidays and getting into the swing of a new year, December 2020 and January this year had the highest volumes of sales agreed when compared to any previous December or January on record” says Stevenson.
She says demand within higher price brackets has risen significantly, particularly above £750,000.
Stevenson comments: “What is clear from the data is that the mid to upper priced properties are the driving force behind the current high levels of demand in the housing market. This stands to reason, as homes priced above the £500,000 stamp duty threshold would have to most if benefit from the tax relief, that is provided they are able to make the deadline at the end of June.
“While the length of time taken for a property transaction to complete continues to widen, consumers are still confident and eager to move, which is reflected in the number of sales agreed. It also shows that at the higher end of the market, Stamp Duty is not the only driver and that desire for lifestyle change is also having an impact. We anticipate that this desire will continue far beyond the SDLT deadline.”