15 November 2020

Retford Property Market - We have a problem


One thing that has come out of this Covid-19 situation has been the inexorable movement of Retford households wanting to upsize to a larger home. Often considered to be first time buyer properties, the smaller 1st step on the property ladder one and two bedroom properties are selling quite well yet demand for those properties on the 2nd and 3rd step rungs on the Retford property ladder (i.e. the three or four bedroom homes) has been even greater.

This demand has been driven by Retford buyers looking for more living space, especially those looking for an area or room to work from home (be that a bedroom, reception room or even an outbuilding converted into a study).

Retford selling prices during the past six months have been as follows:

Type of Property    Average Price     No of Sales

Detached                  £281,876                   28

Semi-Detached        £159,235                    34

Terraced                   £133,367                    12

Flats                         £100,833                      3

The average asking price of a 4 bed Retford home is currently £294,300, whilst for a 5 bed Retford home it stands at £395,830

As you can see, quite a jump for an extra bedroom! The heightened contest for 2nd and 3rd step Retford homes for that extra bedroom pushed demand to a record in October for those looking to take the next step up the ladder. 

Historically, as a family and its household income grow, the need for more space has permanently been the No.1 reason for moving home, yet now there is a new need for additional space to facilitate people working from home. 

This means not only do we have growing families wanting larger Retford homes, there are also the people needing the same larger homes for space for a home office. The Retford property market is doing quite well, but we do have a problem.

These ‘sold’ properties are causing another issue. Just because a property becomes Sold Subject to Contract (SSTC) doesn’t mean the property is actually “sold”. 

Before going into Covid-19, it was taking approximately 19 weeks from agreeing a sale price (and instructing lawyers) to completing the sale. Yet, because we are running at 95% of properties SSTC, many of my estate agent colleagues are having to manage expectations with buyers and sellers, and tell them that the date they are going to move will take a little longer.

The elephant in the room is that the temporary stamp duty holiday ends on the 31st March 2021

It sounds an age away, yet trust me, nothing could be further from the truth. Adding an extra month for the additional homes in the bottleneck means even if the sale of your Retford home was agreed today, that would take us to the 3rd week in March ... that’s cutting it very close for the stamp duty holiday.

It is so fundamental for buyers and sellers of Retford homes to work meticulously with their estate agent, solicitor and mortgage lender. 

For example, there are less staff in the local authorities to do the local searches, bank staff are working from home meaning mortgages are taking much longer to get approved, and conveyancer/solicitors are snowed under with work. 

Therefore, if you get a document that needs filling in, are asked to provide documents, pay disbursements or questions need answering, do it immediately and without delay. A day here and day there will snowball and could mean you miss the stamp duty holiday … and that could cost you thousands and thousands of pounds.

The bottom line is that we haven’t seen this sort of pressure on the UK property market since 1987, when dual-MIRAS (Mortgage Interest Relief at Source) was abolished. 

With many legal and banking staff working remotely or still on furlough, the perfect storm has occurred with unprecedented demand from buyers looking to move post lockdown. 

The best advice I can give is, as soon as you put your property onto the market, find a solicitor that has the capacity to work with you, then instruct that solicitor to start work immediately to prepare the paperwork, so once you have a buyer, things can move more smoothly and quickly. 

The last thing you want is to lose out on saving thousands of pounds by missing the stamp duty holiday by a whisker.

Thanks for reading.

I'm here to help sellers, buyers, landlords, and tenants.

Call me or drop me a message if you think I might be able to help you.

geraldbowers@thegoodea.co.uk

The Good Estate Agent – North Nottinghamshire
Tel: 01777 237310 or 07981 744003

https://www.facebook.com/thegoodestateagentnorthnottinghamshire

 





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