We’re now almost six months on from when we went into national lockdown. Streets emptied, businesses closed, the economy started to wobble and the property market virtually ground to a halt. There’s been plenty of developments in Tameside’s property market since, including stamp duty holidays and bans on evictions, but what is the overall image depicted during this ‘new normal’?
The media have been swarming all over negative news stories like bees to honey over recent months.
The UK housing market. however, is one of the good news stories. Generally, sales are up and month by month recovery is getting stronger.
When properties sell, other sectors benefit. DIY companies prosper, tradespeople become busier and furniture stores thrive. The housing market is also closely linked to consumer spending. When house prices go up, homeowners and investors become better off and feel more confident and as such, they spend more.
When house prices go down, homeowners and investors risk that their house will be worth less than their outstanding mortgage, therefore they cut down on their spending.
In July, HMRC registered 70,710 transactions in the UK. This is an increase of 14.5% over June. Sales, however, are still 27.4% down on the figures from last year.
In Tameside over the past six months, there have been 317 property sales. Many of these sales fall to first-time buyers, or investors making the most of the stamp duty holiday.
Plenty of properties are being brought to the market as well across the borough/ July alone saw 158 new rental properties being brought onto the Tameside property market, with them being let just as quickly as they were added. 669 properties were also brought to the market for sale.
What is notable on the Tameside property market is the renewed interest in the higher end of the market. Locally this is classed as sales above £300,000 – to put things into perspective only 2% of all sales in the area last year were above £500,000.
Enquiries for higher price properties have certainly increased. Overall, agents across the country have reported a 14% increase in enquiries. Sales above £500,000 have seen the biggest surge. Enquiries have almost doubled for some.
The stamp duty savings in Tameside might not be as big as they are down south, however, neither are our property prices.
At present, Tameside first-time buyers are now struggling with mortgages compared to the start of the lockdown. The number of mortgage options back in March, all the way through to June, were relatively unaffected by the lockdown.
Now, however, mortgages in which a first-time buyer would pay 5% on the value of the property as a deposit have disappeared from the market.
Deposits of 10% have also become rarer, and banks have put in place tighter rules on how much a person’s family can help them with a deposit.
This is only going to continue to make it more difficult for first-time buyers in Tameside to get onto the property ladder, but also expanding the need for the rental sector in our borough; where properties are currently being let at rapid rates.
For more information on investing in Tameside property, give me a call on 07709 505 442.