With the property market busier than ever, despite Lockdown 3.0, we take 5 minutes to speak with Nick Rogers of Prospect Mortgages about his thoughts on the housing market at the moment, and the latest property news.
So Nick, what has happened to house prices?
Despite what many presumed at the start of the pandemic, the resilience seen in recent months has shown that there is a strong demand for property. All regions in England saw price rises over the year of around 5% to 9%. Rightmove suggests sold prices on the Isle of Wight over the last year were 8% up on the previous year and 11% up on the 2018 peak. Overall, sold prices in Isle Of Wight over the last year were 8% up on the previous year and 11% up on the 2018 peak.
The pandemic itself has boosted activity, as life in lockdown and changes to working patterns have led many to re-evaluate their housing needs. With research indicating increased demand for less densely populated locations, like the Isle of Wight! Following the trend naturally were the number of mortgages approved which hit their highest level for a decade in October reaching nearly 50% above the monthly average in 2019.
We are sure that the Stamp Duty Holiday has been an incentive for many to move as well, do you think this will be extended?
There have been renewed calls for the government to extend the stamp duty holiday in order to support the mortgage/property industry.
Last year, chancellor Rishi Sunak offered a temporary freeze on stamp duty, which would last until 31st March 2021. Yesterday it was reported that MP’s will debate the prospect of a Stamp Duty Holiday extension next Monday, 1st February…we wait and see!
In light of the latest lockdown, are physical valuations still happening?
Further to the Lockdown announcement on 4th January 2021, surveyors have confirmed that they will continue to provide valuation services at this time in England. It is, however, expected that surveys and house valuations may take longer than usual and so this should be kept in mind.
Some national companies are beginning to limit the services they offer, not carrying out certain surveys, so it is always worth speaking to a local surveyor.
Is it true High Street lenders have returned to offering 90% mortgages?
More high-street lenders are continuing to return to the high loan-to-value market of 90 per cent mortgages including Accord, Barclays, Coventry, Halifax, HSBC, Leeds, Metro, Nationwide, NatWest, TSB and Virgin plus many more off the high-street lenders. This is positive news for homebuyers with smaller deposits, however there are some restrictions for those that are self-employed so if you find yourself in this position it is worth speaking to a broker to help navigate you through the process and find the best result. We would be pleased to advise to ensure your clients have the best possible outcome.
Finally, are you still open for business?
Britain’s housing market is very much open for business, so yes we are! Government guidance states that one of the valid reasons for leaving our homes could be: “to fulfil legal obligations or to carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property”. There appears to be no change for our market and that’s good news for those looking to buy or sell. If anything, the latest lockdown could even increase or reignite the desire to move for some – something we clearly saw after the first lockdown.
To speak with Nick, or one of the team at Prospect Mortgages about your mortgage or indeed insurances, they can be reached at:
We at Spence Willard remain open, working in a Covid-secure manner in order to help with your property needs, whether buying, selling, renting or letting, so please do get in touch with us.