Market Reports And An Idea For Rishi From Tim

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Market Reports And An Idea For Rishi From Tim

I am sure there will be readers who recall the immortal closing line of Michael Caine at the end of the original Italian job film, as a coach full of stolen gold was swaying on a cliff edge, “Hang on lads, I’ve got a great idea …err, err, err”.
Inevitably, some will question whether the residential property market will now hit a period of uncertainty after the new coronavirus rules announced earlier this week. Personally, I do not think this will happen. Unlike the uncertainty faced by Michael Caine when presented with a unique set of circumstances, the market clearly knows where it wants to go as witnessed by the last 3 months of rather frenetic activity. Okay, things might slow a little while some buyers and sellers take a breather whilst getting used to new procedures, but I believe this will only be short term as the current pent up demand looks set to continue.
Whilst we all clearly need a reality check to ensure the possibility of a second virus wave is minimised, at present, there is no reason to believe the new constraints will be extended to the buying and selling of property. Yes there will be individuals who will be nervous and others who will adopt a more cautious attitude but that may well be for wider economic reasons. Others might just decide to hold back to see how things progress but if the last three months has taught us nothing else, it is that there does seem to be a strong and ongoing desire on the part of many to simply get on with their lives and property ownership is integral to that. Owning a home is what many seek to achieve and the pathway generally takes you up and down the property ladder. Sometimes, the ladder isn’t quite what you hope it might be and sometimes opportunities arise that allow you to move up the ladder quicker than expected. Either way, our love of property seems set to continue. What is apparent is that recent events have promoted a shift in lifestyle and work patterns and we have seen a change in the demand for specific property types. The rural farmhouse with limited amenities is now more popular than ever provided there is decent broadband. The character cottage in a pretty village that might have struggled due to limited amenities is back in the popularity stakes, even more so if there happens to be a pub and/or local school. Maybe I am a little biased having lived in a village that had both when my children were growing up. We had a wonderful time enjoying country living
So where does this leave us as we embark on the start of the autumn selling season? If the new rules do not become any more draconian, the feeling of a return to some form of normality will only become more entrenched with sporting events, schooling, shopping, and weddings taking place, albeit with strict guidelines. And as soon as buyers and sellers alike get used to the new norm, I believe we will see strong market activity through to the end of 2020 and into early 2021 as the clock ticks towards the end of the stamp duty holiday next March. What happens thereafter can only be a matter of conjecture.
With this in mind, unlike Michael Caine, I do have “a great idea”. Why not extend the stamp duty holiday for another six months? This is a suggestion for Chancellor and MP for Richmond, Yorkshire, Rishi Sunak.
Tim Waring FRICS, Head of Residential.